Leadership Team

Margaret E. O’Kane, President

Margaret E. O’Kane is founder and president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and has received the Picker Institute Individual Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care, as well as the Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

Modern Healthcare magazine has named O’Kane one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” 12 times, and one of the “Top 25 Women in Healthcare” 3 times.

She is a board member of the Milbank Memorial Fund and the Institute for Exceptional Care. She is also a board member and former board chair of Healthwise, a nonprofit organization that helps people make better health decisions.

O’Kane holds a master’s degree in health administration and planning from Johns Hopkins University, where she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Other Service

  • Member, Institute of Medicine
  • Member, Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council
  • Member, National Quality Forum—Measure Applications Partnership Coordinating Committee
  • Board Member, Population Health and Public Health Practice
  • Board Member, Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, Inc.
  • Board Member, American Board of Medical Specialties
  • Board Member, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Board Member, Milbank Memorial Fund
  • Board Member, Freedom from Hunger

Professional Honors

  • “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” Modern Healthcare, 12 times
  • “Top 25 Women in Healthcare,” Modern Healthcare, 2011–2014
  • Gail Warden Leadership Excellence Award, National Center for Healthcare Leadership, 2012
  • Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2012
  • Picker Award for Advancement of Patient-Centered Care, Picker Institute, 2009
  • Champion of Prevention Award (CDC’s highest), Centers for Disease Control, 2000
  • Founder’s Award, The American College of Medical Quality, 1997
  • Health Person of the Year, Medicine and Health, 1996

Tom Fluegel, Chief Operating Officer

Tom Fluegel became NCQA’s chief operating officer in December 2012. He is responsible for all aspects of business planning and operations in support of the organization’s strategic plan.

Fluegel has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the health care industry. Prior to NCQA, he was COO of Dental Insurance at Coventry Health Care. From 1999–2008, he held diverse leadership positions within divisions of UnitedHealth Group, including two vice president posts, chief information officer and senior vice president for Client Operations.

Previously, he directed group administration and sales activities at CIGNA, as well as acquisitions, integration and operations at the California-based SafeGuard Health Enterprises.

Fluegel holds a BS in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MBA from the University of Miami.

Sharon King Donohue, General Counsel

Sharon King Donohue is general counsel, compliance officer, and chief privacy officer for NCQA. In that capacity, she is responsible for the general oversight and coordination of all legal matters for the organization. She plays an active role in the development of policy related to NCQA’s quality measurement and assessment programs and is involved with strategic planning.  Sharon is a member of the leadership team and an officer of the company.

Prior to joining NCQA in 1996, King Donohue spent more than 10 years in private practice and was most recently affiliated with the firm of Climaco, Climaco, Seminatore Lefkowitz & Garofoli Co., LPA., in Cleveland, Ohio. During her tenure at Climaco, she specialized in the development of integrated delivery systems, mergers and acquisitions and other transactional and regulatory matters for health insurers, managed care organizations, hospitals and physician organizations.

Mrs. King Donohue received her JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.

Daniel O’Connor, Chief Financial Officer

Daniel O’Connor became NCQA’s Chief Financial Officer in August 2018. He oversees the overall financial, administrative, and accounting practices.

Daniel has more than 20 years of leadership experience in financial and administrative operations. He spent the last 13 years as CFO of ACA Compliance Group, a firm that provides risk management, compliance and technology services. Prior to ACA, Dan held financial leadership roles at Internosis, Global Telesystems Group and Hughes Network Systems.

Dan earned an MBA from University of Baltimore, an MS in Finance from Loyola College and an MS in Information and Telecommunication Systems from Johns Hopkins University. He has also held various certifications, including Certified Public Accountant , Certified Managerial Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Information Systems Auditor.

Eric Schneider, MD, M.Sc., Executive Vice President, Quality Measurement and Research Group

Eric Schneider, MD, M.Sc. leads NCQA’s measurement, research and contracting agenda as Executive Vice President of the Quality Measurement and Research Group. In this role, he helps drive NCQA’s efforts to create a more equitable health care system and to advance the move to digital quality measurement.

Dr. Schneider came to NCQA from The Commonwealth Fund, where he was Senior Vice President for Policy and Research and a member of its executive management team. He has a long history with NCQA, most recently as Co-Chair of its Committee on Performance Measurement. He served on that committee for more than 10 years, including nine as Co-Chair.

Prior to his tenure at The Commonwealth Fund, Dr. Schneider was principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and held the RAND Distinguished Chair in Health Care Quality. As the first director of Rand’s Boston office, Schneider built its highly regarded multidisciplinary team of health services researchers.  As a professor at the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School Eric taught health policy and practiced primary care internal medicine for 25 years.

Widely regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent health services researchers, Dr. Schneider has authored more than 125 published peer-reviewed research investigations and dozens of other scientific or medical research publications, reviews, chapters, editorials, and more. His work has focused on four aspects of health care quality — performance measurement methods; evaluation of quality and safety measurement in public reporting and financial incentive programs; use of health care quality measures to assess racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health care quality; and evaluation of innovative approaches in health insurance, organization and financing of health care, and the organization of health care delivery.

Dr. Schneider trained in health services research, public health and primary care general internal medicine. He holds a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in biology from Columbia University and a Master of Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. He is a member of the AcademyHealth Board of Directors and a fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Tia Butler, Chief People and Diversity Officer

Tia Butler joined NCQA in January 2024 as Chief People and Diversity Officer. In this role, she is building a people strategy that supports NCQA through this period of steady growth, innovation and organizational change. With an emphasis on Talent Management and Development, Employee Engagement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and Organizational Design, she serves as an internal cultural ambassador, driving positive change and energy while leading by example.

Before joining NCQA, Butler served over 15 years in government, mostly as a member of the Senior Executive Service. She began her career in public service with the Department of the Navy and was most recently the Chief Human Capital Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She also served as Deputy Associate Director for Retirement Services at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and was Executive Director of the Corporate Senior Executive Management Office at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she was appointed to the White House Advisory Group on Senior Executive Service Reform under President Obama.

Ms. Butler has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia and a MA in Education and Human Development, with a concentration in Human & Organizational Learning from the George Washington University.

Lori Ferguson, Senior Vice President, Product and Customer Operations

Lori Ferguson

Lori Ferguson joined NCQA in May 2022 as Senior Vice President, Product and Customer Operations. In her role, she leads the organization’s strategy and execution to implement, deliver and service our products. Her addition signals the organization’s commitment to our stakeholders with a focus on innovation, continuous improvement and the customer experience.

Lori is a proven operational leader with significant experience working with NCQA products during her 20 year career in Medicaid and Medicare managed care. As a change agent, she has led a number of successful turn-arounds, a start-up and has extensive M&A experience. With a focus in Managed Long-Term Care, Dual-Eligibles, and Special Needs Plans, she understands the importance of high quality healthcare. In her most recent roles, Lori has served as Chief Managing Director for VNS Health and Chief Operations Officer at Magellan Health, both servicing the most complex members in New York City.

Lori is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and earned a Master’s in Applied/Organizational Psychology at Christopher Newport University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Radford University.

Krishna Kandula, Chief Product Officer

Krishna Kandula is an accomplished, growth-driven health care leader with 20 years of experience bringing products, technology and solutions to the ever-evolving health care ecosystem. Prior to joining NCQA, he held product leadership roles at Optum, most recently as SVP Head of Product for Prospective Clinical Solutions. He also served as SVP Risk & Quality Solutions at Cotivity, one of NCQA’s largest HEDIS® vendors, where he built cross-discipline product capability from the ground up. As Chief Product Officer of NCQA, Kandula will manage the growth and evolution of new and existing health care measurement, evaluation and improvement programs.

Brad Ryan, MD, Chief Growth Officer

Dr. Brad Ryan is NCQA’s Chief Growth Officer. His addition to NCQA leadership signals the organization’s commitment to build on its existing quality measurement expertise with the promise of new technology, digital measurement and telehealth. He leads NCQA’s pioneering work in digital quality transformation and manages growth and evolution of its existing health care measurement, evaluation and improvement programs.

Dr. Ryan’s prior work includes numerous assists with NCQA’s digital quality initiatives, most recently as co-founder and Chief Solutions & Product Officer at Apervita, a collaborative platform for value-based health care. He also supported NCQA’s Natural Language Processing work with UPMC Enterprises. Dr. Ryan’s professional background is a “perfect storm” of skills and experience for the newly created position. In addition to Apervita, Brad has held leadership roles at IMS Health and McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Ryan earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He studied engineering, computer science and mathematics as an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. To this day, he remains firmly committed to “Roll Tide” and to his family and friends in Alabama.

Vik Wadhwani, Chief Transformation Officer

Vik Wadhwani became NCQA’s first Chief Transformation Officer in early 2023. He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in business and technology transformation. Vik has supported large-scale organizations and start-ups with expertise in strategy, design and implementation of technology and data/analytics-enabled capabilities.

Vik spent more than 15 years leading mature strategic execution capabilities in payer, provider, health care technology, emerging value-based care service and clinical content delivery organizations. At NCQA, Vik leads all Transformation Initiatives. He also leads the development of internal capabilities to position NCQA for delivery excellence as we expand our content, products and services.

Edward Yurcisin, Chief Technology Officer

Edward Yurcisin leads NCQA’s technology strategy and execution, helping advance continued digital innovation. As Chief Technology Officer, he is responsible for providing organization-wide leadership and direction across products and services, enterprise operations, IT infrastructure, and security.

Ed is a proven technology leader with significant experience implementing technology and data solutions for health care payer and provider customers. Ed joined NCQA in 2022, after serving in C-level positions across leading health care and technology organizations, including Chief Technology Officer at Embedded Healthcare, Chief Product Officer at Onyx Technologies, Chief Data Officer at CareJourney, and Chief Information Officer at PeraHealth. Ed also led several initiatives to improve diversity, including developing a technical recruiting pipeline in Latin America.

Ed holds a BA in Economics with a focus on Econometrics and Quantitative Economics from Duke University.

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