Board of Directors


David R. Jones, MD

Chair Emeritus 
Fred A. Crawford, Jr., MD

Secretary – Treasurer
Cindy VerColen

David A. Fullerton, MD

Shaf Keshavjee, MD

Alec Patterson, MD

Emile A. Bacha, MD

AATS Leadership Academy

Inaugurated in May of 2009 and conducted annually in conjunction with the AATS Annual Meeting, the AATS Leadership Academy exposes potential future leaders in our specialty to the administrative, interpersonal, and mentoring skills necessary to serve in a leadership position within their institution as well as the surgical community at large. In addition to a didactic and interactive program, participants are provided with focused networking opportunities with the goal of building professional relationships and future mentoring possibilities with faculty members who have been selected based upon their expertise in particular areas.

An important part of the Leadership Academy program includes a 1:1 ratio of attendees to faculty with mandatory attendance of both faculty and attendees and active involvement required. The AATS Council and Leadership Academy Board of Directors believe that the Academy format has created a unique experience for all participants while fulfilling one of the AATS’ major goals of developing future leaders in the field of cardiothoracic surgery.


2018 Leadership Academy Program Information
Friday, April 27, 2018, San Diego, CA
(Immediately prior to the AATS Annual Meeting)

The 2018 AATS Leadership Academy is an intensive, didactic, and interactive program for up to 20 surgeons who have demonstrated significant promise as potential future division chiefs or who have recently assumed the role of division chief.

Program Goals

  • To provide participants with the administrative, interpersonal, and mentoring skills necessary to serve successfully as a division chief.

  • To provide an opportunity for participants to interact with well known thoracic surgical leaders who might subsequently serve as personal mentors.

Candidate Qualifications

  • Achieved the rank of Associate Professor

  • Active/successful clinical surgeon

  • Evidence of academic productivity including peer-reviewed publications and presentations at regional or national scientific meetings

  • Funded research is preferable but not essential

  • Evidence of local institutional and/or state/regional/national leadership ability

  • Letter of recommendation/support from current division chief or department chair

Academy faculty will consist of well-known leaders in cardiothoracic surgery as well as invited guest speakers.

AATS will provide Complimentary Registration to the AATS Annual Meeting and:

  • Two nights hotel accommodations

  • All meals on Friday, April 27th

  • Complimentary ticket to either the Saturday Skills Courses or Sunday Postgraduate Courses

Successful candidates are responsible for transportation to and from San Diego.