Kathleen T. O’Loughlin: ADA Executive Director
Dr. Kathleen T. O’Loughlin
Dr. Kathy O’Loughlin is the executive director of the American Dental Association, the nation’s leading advocate for oral health. She is a nationally recognized leader in the health care, nonprofit and education sectors, and she speaks around the country about the profession of dentistry, oral health care delivery, public health policy, dental practitioner mental health and wellness, interprofessional collaboration within health care delivery, and on the need for diversity within the dental profession. She was the first female dental school class president and valedictorian of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and is the first female executive director of the American Dental Association, which was founded in 1859.
Dr. O’Loughlin holds faculty appointments at both Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. She serves on the board of directors of the American Dental Association and the Sprague Institute in Chicago, and has served as a trustee on several boards including Tufts University, Oral Health America, Biomedical Science Careers Program, Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Children’s Dental Health Plan, and Delta Dental Plans Association.
Prior to joining the ADA, Dr. O’Loughlin was president and CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts and former Chief Dental Officer for United Health Group. She maintained a private dental practice for 20 years in Medford and Winchester, Massachusetts, while serving as an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in the Department of General Dentistry. She received her bachelor’s degree cum laude from Boston University in 1973 and her doctorate from Tufts University summa cum laude in 1981. In 1998, Dr. O’Loughlin received a master’s degree in Public Health and Health Care Management from Harvard University. She also provided consulting for Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Parent Professional Advocacy League. Dr. O’Loughlin served as co-chair of a statewide children’s mental health campaign organized by Health Care for All and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
In 2016 she was named an Icon in Oral Health by the Forsyth Institute. Dr. O’Loughlin received the Shils Award in 2015 for her outstanding leadership as a Health Educator, Business Executive and Oral Health Advocate. She has also been recognized with the Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award from the American Association of Women Dentists, a Presidential Citation from the American Dental Education Association, the Public Service Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Leading Women Award from the Girl Scouts, the Edna W. Smith Pioneer in Community Health Care Award from the Mattapan Community Health Center, the Faculty Award of Excellence from the American Student Dental Association, and the Award for Distinction in Public Service by the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Dr. O’Loughlin is a member of the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the Hispanic Dental Association, American Association of Women Dentists, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, and the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association. She is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.