Darlene Curley, MS, RN
CEO, Jonas Family Fund & Executive Director, Jonas Center

Darlene J. Curley, MS, RN, FAAN is CEO of the Jonas Family Fund, investing grants in high need areas of nursing & veterans’ healthcare, low vision and blindness, and children’s environmental health. Curley is Executive Director of the Jonas Center. Since 2009, she has forged partnerships with 40 National funders and more than 140 leading academic and healthcare organizations, to develop the signature program: 1,000 Doctoral Nursing Scholars in all 50 States addressing the nation’s critical shortage of nursing faculty and primary care leaders.

Ms. Curley was elected to the Maine State Legislature in 2002 and responsible for negotiation and oversight of an $8 billion state budget as a member of the appropriations committee. The Governor appointed her to the National Conference of State Legislatures charged with increasing healthcare access, improving quality, and reducing costs with legislative leaders from across the country.  In 2006, she was a Congressional candidate in Maine’s 1st district.

Previously, Curley was the Founder and CEO of a Medicare certified home health and medical staffing agency serving five rural counties in western and northern Maine, creating jobs for 100 health care providers.  As National Director of Strategic Planning for HealthSouth she was responsible for health system mergers and acquisitions in all 50 states.  

In 2013 she received the Second Century Award for Excellence in Healthcare from Columbia University, and in 2015 was named a Visionary Pioneer at the University of Maryland. At the National Academy of Sciences, she is a member of the Global Forum for Innovation in Health Professional Education, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and New York Academy of Medicine. She is a frequent speaker and author on topics of healthcare philanthropy, healthy policy & finance, and workforce development including op-eds in Politico and the L.A. Times. She is a graduate of the University of Maine and holds a M.S. from the University of Maryland.

Claire M. Fagin, PhD, RN, FAAN
Jonas Ambassador 

As Ambassador to the Jonas Scholars program, Dr. Claire Fagin provides overall guidance for the Center’s strategic planning and programs, offering a uniquely knowledgeable and experienced insight into nursing.

In June 2005, Dr. Fagin completed five years as Director of the John A. Hartford Foundation National Program (Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity). This program, which she helped the Foundation develop, supports Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, invests in other schools of nursing building their geriatric expertise, and supports pre-doctoral scholars and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Fagin served as dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania from January 1977 to January 1992. During her tenure as dean, the School developed landmark education and research programs, a privately funded research center, a PhD program, had the most faculty members of any nursing school in the American Academy of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine, and was ranked #1 by US News and World Report. Dr. Fagin served as the Interim President of the University from July 1, 1993 to June 30, 1994, the first woman to serve a term as Interim President of any Ivy League University. Presently she is Leadership Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita at Penn.

Dr. Fagin has served on four corporate boards (Daltex, Provident Mutual, Salomon, Inc. and Radian Guarantee, Inc.) and has been in elected and appointed positions with many professional organizations. Currently she is a member of the Board of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, the Expert Panel on Nursing of the World Health Organization, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Fagin has received 15 honorary doctoral degrees and numerous alumni, civic and professional awards. In recognition of her contribution to nursing education and leadership and her influence on health care policy, Dr. Fagin received the Honorary Recognition Award of the American Nurses Association, the most prestigious honor awarded in the nursing profession. Among her other awards are the first Distinguished Scholar Award given by the American Nurses Foundation, and the Hildegard E. Peplau Award (for her work in psychiatric nursing) from the American Nurses Association.

Dr. Fagin has published 15 authored/edited books and monographs and more than 100 articles. She received the Bachelor of Science degree from Wagner College, the Masters of Arts degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and the Ph.D. from New York University.

William T. Bester, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Brigadier General (RET)
Senior Advisor, Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program

Prior to taking his current position, Brigadier General Bester served as the Vice President for External Affairs at the Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences. Before that, he was USU’s Acting President for six months and prior to that had a short assignment as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. Prior to his assignment as Acting PDASD, he served as the Vice President for Distributed Learning and as the Acting Vice President for External Affairs at USU. He also served as the University’s Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Nursing from July 2006 to December 2007. Following his retirement from active duty, he served as Professor of Clinical Nursing at the University of Texas in Austin and was also the Director of Nursing Practice with the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin, Texas.

Bester holds a BSN degree from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota and an MSN from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Nurse Anesthesia Program at Madigan Army Medical Center.

His distinguished career in the US Army culminated in his selection as the 21st Chief of the Army Nurse Corps. While serving the Army as its Nursing Service Chief, Brigadier General Bester was also assigned as the Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Health Policy and Services (2000-2002) and as Commander of the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (2002-2004).

Highlights of earlier assignments include sole anesthesia provider for the Cuban Refugee Operation at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas (1980); Chief Nurse of the 67th Combat Support Hospital during its deployment (1995) to Taszar, Hungary in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, later serving as Medical Task Force Commander with responsibility for all medical assets in Hungary and Croatia; and Commander, Moncrief Army Community Hospital, Ft. Jackson, South Carolina (1998-2000).

As a Professor of Clinical Nursing at the University of Texas, Brigadier General Bester was asked (2005) to be Director of Nursing for a health care team, organized by Project Hope, to assist the victims of the tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. He joined the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal “Men in Nursing” in 2006. A sought after lecturer on topics of nursing and health care leadership and disaster relief, Brigadier General Bester has been invited as a guest speaker to over 25 conferences, workshops, and meetings during the last 5 years. He is the recipient of the Luther Christman Award (2005) and 2 honorary doctorates; College of St. Scholastica (2001) and Seton Hall University (2003). His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, 3 Legion of Merits and 4 Meritorious Service Medals. He is a member of the California Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, the Military Officers Association of America, Sigma Theta Tau International and the Association of the United States Army.

Kelly Mahoney, MPA
Deputy Director

Kelly Mahoney serves as Deputy Director of the Jonas Center, where she oversees the organization's national grantmaking programs and day-to-day operations. Most recently, Ms. Mahoney worked in development at Malaria No More, helping to mobilize resources to end malaria deaths. Prior to joining Malaria No More, she spent two years as the lead health education volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and did post-tsunami field work for the United Methodist Committee on Relief in Aceh, Indonesia. She also worked at the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at New York University and at Millennium Promise Alliance.

Ms. Mahoney received her master’s in public administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and her bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University.

Eliza Bromfield
Development Manager

Eliza Bromfield serves as the Development Manager at the Jonas Center, managing the Center’s fundraising operations, including donation processing, prospect research, donor cultivation, special events and data management. Most recently, Ms. Bromfield worked at Friends of Yad Sarah, fundraising for Yad Sarah, an egalitarian humanitarian organization in Israel, committed to addressing the home and health care needs of the elderly, people with disabilities, and children with special needs. Prior to joining Friends of Yad Sarah, she served as the Coordinator of Public Programs at the Institute for Human Centered Design, an international non-governmental educational organization (NGO) dedicated to enhancing the experiences of people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design, by balancing legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.

Ms. Bromfield graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, and earned a pre-law certificate at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Maggie Gelwix
Executive Assistant 

Maggie Gelwix serves as the Executive Assistant at the Jonas Center responsible for overseeing, coordinating, planning and organizing the day-to-day support operations for the grantmaking, financial and communication functions of the Center and managing relationships with the Center’s consultants and outside vendors. Ms. Gelwix has several years of experience serving in various managerial and administrative roles.

Ms. Gelwix received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunications and Film from the University of Alabama.