The Aspen Institute’s Conversations with Great Leaders Series, in Memory of Preston Robert Tisch,is thrilled to welcome Paula Neira in conversation with Emily Tisch Sussman. Please join us for a discussion of Paula’s work to ensure health equity for the transgender and wider LGBTQ+ community, a call to service following a varied career as a decorated US Navy Veteran, an attorney, and a registered nurse and nurse educator. Please follow the link above to register to attend this in-person program. You may also click here to register to watch the discussion’s live stream.
Paula Neira, JD, MSN, RN, CEN, FAAN is the Johns Hopkins Medicine Program Director of LGBTQ+ Equity and Education in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity. A member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1985, she graduated with distinction from Annapolis in May 1985. A Surface Warfare Officer, she served as a regular and reserve officer including serving in mine warfare combat during Operation Desert Storm. Her military decorations include three Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon, as well as numerous unit, campaign, and service awards. After leaving the Navy in 1991, she began her career as a registered nurse. She is certified in emergency nursing and focused her career on adult emergency care and trauma resuscitation. From 2008-2016, Paula served as the Nurse Educator in Emergency Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also served as the co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Transgender Medicine Executive Taskforce. In November 2016, she became the founding Clinical Program Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health and served in this role 2016-2022 befor being named to her current position.
An attorney and member of the Maryland bar since 2001, Paula was a leader in the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and in the change of military regulations to allow for transgender military service. As part of her role at Hopkins, she lectures nationally on the need for improved transgender cultural competence in healthcare. In 2015, she made naval history by becoming the first transgender Navy veteran to have her discharge documentation updated to reflect her correct name by order of the Navy. In 2020, she was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in recognition of her work in advancing both diversity and inclusion in the United States Armed Forces and transgender healthcare. She is the first United States service academy graduate to achieve this honor in American nursing.
Emily Tisch Sussman is a podcast host, women’s empowerment and family policy advocate, leading democratic political strategist, contributor to Marie Claire and Parents, and mother of three. On her previous podcast, Your Political Playlist, she interviewed countless leaders and influential women on her podcast including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Yara Shahidi, and more.
As the Political Correspondent to Parents magazine, Emily acts as an expert voice bringing the most important political issues affecting families and women to the forefront in a thoughtful and effective manner. Emily is a staunch advocate of women’s rights and helped to shape the leading principles for the inaugural Women’s March in January 2017. She recently served as Senior Advisor for Paid Leave US and is a constant advocate for how policies can support families and businesses. She has extensive experience guiding young activists, having previously served as executive director of Young Democrats of America, and as founder of Think Blue, an organization to increase youth participation in the democratic electoral process.
The Aspen Institute is grateful to Steve Tisch, Laurie Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and to the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund for their generous support of this program.