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MDA Names Kristine Welker as Chief of Staff

NEW YORK, NY, January 13, 2021 — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced it has appointed Kristine Welker to the newly created role of chief of staff. She was a member of the MDA board of directors from 2014-2020 and served as interim president and CEO from January through October 2017. Welker joined the board as a mother of a child with muscular dystrophy and to leverage her experience and expertise to help shape the future of the organization and pioneer new strategies to evolve MDA's mission.

"Along the way, I had the privilege of meeting so many incredible people impacted by rare neuromuscular diseases, in particular Mattie Stepanek," said Welker. "I am committed to building upon his profound wisdom as a young poet and peacemaker, who said it best: 'Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.'"

MDA Names Kristine Welker as Chief of Staff
MDA Names Kristine Welker as Chief of Staff

In her new role Welker will work alongside Donald S. Wood, PhD, MDA's president and chief executive officer, and Steve Farella, chairman of the board, to ensure that together they design and deliver on the highest value strategic objectives to drive the mission process forward. Each of the three leaders has supported MDA for decades. They now join to leverage their collective experience as researcher, entrepreneur, business leader, and parent and unify the team, mission, and community at large.

"We are thrilled to have Kristine join the management team of MDA," said Don Wood. "I am highly confident about the future of MDA as we work together to launch next chapter of scientific discoveries and innovative medical services that will continue to transform the lives of people with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases."

"Kristine's emphasis on unity is perfect for today. Our board, management and staff are unified in our mission and focused on having an impactful 2021," said Steve Farella.

Before joining MDA, Welker was principal and chief development officer for Alternate Resources, a certified women-owned business. She was also publisher and chief revenue officer for Dr. Oz Magazine, chief revenue officer for Hearst Digital Media, and vice president and founding publisher of CosmoGIRL!.

About the Muscular Dystrophy Association

For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA’s COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at For more information, visit