Councils, Commissions and Committees Information, Minutes and Unofficial Actions


Each council has the following duties with respect to the subject matters (areas of responsibilities) for which each council is responsible:

  • Define, develop and oversee programming and projects that support and advance the strategic plan of the Association;
  • Consider and investigate emerging issues;
  • Respond to directives received from the House of Delegates or the Board of Trustees;
  • Propose new policies and rescission of and amendments to existing policies for consideration by the House of Delegates; and
  • Collaborate with external and internal agencies, upon direction or approval of the ADA President, on initiatives or issues that are within the responsibility of the council and communicate appropriate information to the Association membership.

Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention

Dr. Elizabeth Simpson, Chair
Dr. Jane Grover, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: July 19, 2024 

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Oral health literacy;
  • Oral health equity;
  • Oral disease prevention and intervention;
  • Access to oral healthcare; and
  • Community oral health advocacy.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Communications

Dr. Laura Schott, Texas, chair
Ms. Ivy Woods, ADA Staff Contact
March 1-2, 2024; August 2-3, 2024

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Advise on the management of the Association’s reputation;
  • Develop, recommend and maintain ADA strategic communications plans;
  • Advise ADA agencies on branding;
  • Advise on prioritization and allocation of communications resources; and
  • Advise on communications and marketing for constituents and components, upon request.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Dental Benefit Programs

Dr. Stacey S. Gardner, chair
Dr. Mark A. Moats, vice chair
Nicole Tarbor, ADA Staff

Meeting Dates: May 2-3, 2024; November 7-8; 2024; May 1-2, 2025; November 6-7, 2025

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Administration and financing of all dental benefit programs including both commercial and public programs;
  • Dental Quality Alliance;
  • Monitoring of quality reporting activities of third party payers;
  • Peer review programs;
  • Code sets and code taxonomies including but not limited to procedure and diagnostic codes;
  • Electronic and paper dental claim content and completion instructions; and
  • Standards pertaining to the capture and exchange of information used in dental benefit plan administration and reimbursement for services rendered.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Dental Education and Licensure

Dr. Najia Usman, Ohio, chair
Dr. Jason Tanguay, Montana, vice-chair

Dr. Meaghan Strotman, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: January 18-19, 2024 and June 6-7, 2024

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Dental, advanced dental and allied dental education and accreditation;
  • Recognition of dental specialties and interest areas in general dentistry;
  • Dental anesthesiology and sedation;
  • Dental admission testing;
  • Licensure;
  • Certifying boards and credentialing for specialists and allied dental personnel; and
  • Continuing dental education.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Dental Practice

Dr. Jeffrey C. Ottley, Florida, chair
Dr. Shane A. Ricci, Texas, vice chair

Ms. Karen Ann Danca, ADA Staff Contact

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Dental practice, including:
    • Dental practice management;
    • Practice models and economics;
    • Scope of practice;
    • Impact of and compliance with regulatory mandates; and
    • Assessment of initiatives directed to the public and the profession;
  • Allied dental personnel, including:
    • Utilization, management and employment practices; and
    • Liaison relationships with organizations representing allied dental personnel;
  • Dentist health and wellness, including:
    • Dental professional well-being, wellness and ergonomics;
    • Patient safety and wellness; and
    • Liaison relationships with state well-being programs and related national organizations;
  • Dental informatics and standards for electronic technologies; and
  • Activities and resources directed to the success of the dental practice and the member.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs

Dr. Debra A. Peters, Michigan, chair
Mr. Daniel Franklin, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: March 28-29, 2024; July 26-27, 2024

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Ethics and professionalism, including disciplinary matters relating thereto;
  • The governing documents of this Association, including:
    • Review of the constitutions and bylaws of constituents and components to ensure consistency with the Association’s Bylaws; and
    • To correct punctuation, grammar, spelling and syntax, change names and gender references and delete moot, and to correct article, chapter and section designations, punctuation, and cross references and to make such other technical and conforming revisions as may be necessary to reflect the intent of the House in connection with amendments to the Association’s Bylaws, Governance Manual, Manual of the House of Delegates, Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct and Current Policies where such revisions do not alter the material’s context or meaning upon the unanimous vote of the Council members present and voting; and
    • To report to the House of Delegates any corrections made to the governing documents of the Association pursuant to subsection ii. of this section of the Governance Manual; and
  • Hold hearings and render decisions in disputes arising between constituents or between a constituent and component.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Government Affairs

Leigh Kent, Alabama, chair
Dr. James Tauberg, vice chair

Ms. Margaret Tucker Fogarty, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: February 16-17, 2024 (Washington, D.C.); July 19-20, 2024 (Washington, D.C.)

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Encourage the improvement of the health of the public and to promote the art and science of dentistry in matters of legislation and regulations by appropriate activities;
  • Formulate and recommend legislation, regulatory activity, policies and governmental programs relating to dentistry and oral health for submission to Congress;
  • Serve and assist as liaison with those agencies of the federal government which employ dental personnel or have dental care programs, and formulate polices which are designed to advance the professional status of federally employed dentists; and
  • Disseminate information which will assist the constituents and components involving legislation and regulation affecting the dental health of the public.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Membership

Dr. Nipa Thakkar, chair
Ms. Nicole Subick, ADA staff contact
Meeting dates: February 16-17, 2024 and June 7-8, 2024

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Membership recruitment and retention and related issues;
  • Monitor and provide support and assistance for the membership activities of constituents and components; and
  • Membership benefits and services

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs

Dr. Richard A. Huot, chair
Ms. Rita Tiernan, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: March 17, 2022 (new member orientation); March 18, 2022; August 19, 2022

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Insurance and retirement plan products and resources; and
  • Risk management education programs and resources.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:

Council on Scientific Affairs

Dr. Purnima Kumar, Michigan, chair
Dr. Ashraf Fouad, vice chair
Ms. Hillary DeLong, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: January 23, 2024 and July 10, 2024

Areas of subject matter responsibility:

  • Science and scientific research, including:
    • Evidence-based dentistry;
    • Evaluation of professional products;
    • Identification of intramural and extramural priorities for dental research every three years; and
    • Promotion of student involvement in dental research;
  • Scientific aspects of the dental practice environment related to the health of the public, dentists and allied health personnel;
  • Standards development for dental products;
  • The safety and efficacy of concepts, procedures and techniques for use in the treatment of patients;
  • Liaison relationships with scientific regulatory, research and professional organizations and science related agencies of professional healthcare organizations; and
  • The ADA Seal of Acceptance program.

Minutes and Unofficial Actions:


Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations

Dr. John D. Da Silva, Massachusetts, chair
Dr. David M. Waldschmidt, Ph.D, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Date: June 28, 2023

The purposes of the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations are:

  • To provide and conduct examinations for all purposes, including assisting state boards of dentistry and dental examiners in exercising their authority to determine qualifications of dentists and other oral health care professionals seeking certification and/or licensure to practice in any state or other jurisdiction of the United States.
  • To make rules and regulations for the conduct of examinations and the certification of successful candidates.
  • To serve as a resource for dentists and oral health care professionals concerning the development of examinations.
  • To provide a means for a candidate to appeal an adverse decision of the Commission.

Visit for meeting reports.

National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards

Dr. Brian McAllister, Delaware, chair
Ms. Catherine Baumann, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Date: April 24-25, 2023

The National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards serves the public and the profession by providing transparent and objective review of the recognized specialty organizations, prospective specialty organizations, their respective certifying boards and their adherence to the ADA Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties and National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialists.

Visit for meeting reports and minutes.

Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition

Dr. John D. Ball, Missouri, chair
Ms. Mary Borysewicz, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: April 28, 2022; September 29-30, 2022

The Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition serves the public, the dental profession, and other healthcare providers by developing and implementing standards that promote excellence in continuing dental education to support professional competence and continuous improvement of patient care.

CCEPR fulfills its mission by:

  • Establishing standards and criteria for the recognition of continuing dental education providers
  • Recognizing providers of continuing dental education through a voluntary, self-regulated, peer-review process
  • Promoting quality improvement of continuing dental education standards and recognized providers

Visit for meeting reports and minutes.

Commission on Dental Accreditation

Dr. Bruce Rotter, Illinois, chair
=Meeting Dates: February 11, 2022  August 5, 2022

The Commission on Dental Accreditation serves the public and profession by developing and implementing accreditation standards that promote and monitor the continuous quality and improvement of dental education programs.

Visit for meeting reports and minutes.


American Dental Political Action Committee

Dr. Brad Barnes, Illinois, chair

The American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) is the political arm of the American Dental Association. Its mission is to educate dentists about the importance of political action and to help elect candidates for congressional office who understand and are supportive of issues of importance to dentists and their patients.

ADPAC provides financial assistance on a bipartisan basis to congressional candidates, oversees a grassroots network of activist dentists, provides political education opportunities for member dentists, works closely with state dental political action committees, and encourages dentists to participate in an array of political campaigns and activities.

While not a lobbying organization, ADPAC's focus on political action and involvement complements the legislative efforts of the Association on the national level and coordinates its activities with the ADA Council on Governmental Affairs and the ADA Leadership.

Learn more about ADPAC

New Dentist Committee

Dr. Gabriel B. Holdwick, Michigan, Chair
Ms. Ivy Woods, ADA Staff Contact
Meeting Dates: May 3, 2024 (virtual); June 21, 2024 (virtual); October 16, 2024 (New Orleans); SmileCon: October 17-19 (New Orleans)

As a committee of the Board, the ADA New Dentist Committee’s primary purpose is to advise the Board of Trustees on matters relating to new dentists. The Committee reviews and advises the Board on member benefits, policy and the member experience from a new dentist perspective. The Committee also works with the Committee on Annual Meetings on the successful implementation of a new dentist program at the Annual Meeting and advises on the ADA dental school strategy as well as addresses other matters as assigned by the Board of Trustees.

Learn more about the ADA New Dentist Committee.