January 3, 2021 
Contact:  Nancy Sween, 703-942-5711, 703-942-5711

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Names C. Grace Whiting, J.D., as Incoming Executive Director

Leading national association of elder law and special needs law attorneys anticipates expanded need for legal services as America ages

C. Grace Whiting, J.D

Washington, DC — The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Board of Directors has selected C. Grace (Grace) Whiting, J.D., as NAELA’s next Executive Director. Ms. Whiting will helm the nonprofit organization, which trains legal professionals on how to support older adults and people with disabilities. With a growing number of aging adults in the U.S. and anticipated challenges facing people with disabilities, including potential long-haul COVID19 patients, NAELA aims to continue to build a network of attorneys prepared for trends in aging. 

“We are looking forward to working with Grace Whiting as she guides NAELA in new and exciting directions while keeping what has made NAELA successful,” said NAELA President Letha Sgritta McDowell, CELA, CAP. “Grace is joining an incredible team who are passionate and dedicated to our work, and who go above and beyond in helping our members.” 

“I’m thrilled to be joining NAELA,” said Ms. Whiting. “With more than thirty years of history, the association has the right expertise to help the lawyers who serve older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. If there’s one thing the COVID19 pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of planning for emergencies and being prepared to care for those we love.” 

Ms. Whiting joins NAELA from the National Alliance for Caregiving, where she most recently served as President and CEO. She has also worked with the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease, in the Washington D.C. area. Prior to that, Ms. Whiting received her Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she helped launch an Alternative Spring Break program and received the Memphis Bar Association’s Irvin Bogatin Public Service Award in 2010. With a bachelor’s degree in communications from Louisiana State University, Ms. Whiting started her career with the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps, supporting hurricane recovery efforts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  She has dedicated her career to helping others and has extensive experience with advocacy groups in the aging, disability, and healthcare communities.

Ms. Whiting follows Peter G. Wacht, M.A., CAE, NAELA’s outgoing Executive Director. With more than a decade at NAELA, Mr. Wacht is largely credited with stabilizing the organization’s financials and modernizing its operations. Under Mr. Wacht’s leadership, NAELA’s membership grew to include over 4,000 members and expanded to include new state chapters. After a successful tenure, Mr. Wacht anticipates earning is PhD in 2022 in Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies. An Amazon best-selling fantasy author, Mr. Wacht also plans to continue his work as a novelist, adding to more than ten published novels. 

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.

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