Virginia Ladd is the President and Executive Director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA), an organization that she founded to bring a national focus to autoimmunity and increase collaboration in autoimmune research, education, awareness, and advocacy. She has been involved in the nonprofit community for over 30 years as a patient advocate and educator. Mrs. Ladd served as president and executive director of the Lupus Foundation of America.
Mrs. Ladd was instrumental in the formation of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), an alliance dedicated to advocacy for patient centered health care, and is an immediate past member of its board of governors. She has served as a member of the board of directors for the UN NGO Health Committee and is a past member of the board of directors of the National Health Council. She is the founder and facilitator for the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups (NCAPG), an organization of 33 national autoimmune disease-specific groups.
She was the first non-researcher to be awarded the “AESKU.AWARD for Life Contribution to Autoimmunity,” which was presented to her at the 7th International Congress on Autoimmunity,” in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Heritage Award of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association.
She has spoken literally all over the world at workshops, meetings and international conferences and spoke on “Women and Autoimmune Diseases: Gender and Biological Peespective" as part of the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2000.
Mrs. Ladd serves on several committees of the National Institutes of Health, including the Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee; the Public Interest Committee for the National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood; the Public Interest Group for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; and the Panel of Experts for the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan.
She has written, co-authored and/or published scores of scholarly and consumer articles, reports and papers on autoimmunity.