National PKU Alliance Names Catherine Warren Executive Director

The National PKU Alliance (NPKUA), whose mission is to improve the lives of people living with phenylketonuria (PKU) and pursue a cure, today announced Catherine Warren as the organization’s new Executive Director.

“I am thrilled to welcome Catherine to the NPKUA to lead the execution of our strategy by accelerating fundraising and community engagement as we fund research and make progress toward a cure for PKU,” said Rhonda Connolly, NPKUA President. “Catherine’s appointment is a deliberate step on our strategic plan to build on the efforts Lisa Milberg has been leading to expand the reach and impact of the NPKUA.”

“The NPKUA has an exceptional staff and corps of volunteers who are eager to support Catherine as she cultivates partnerships and alliances that will promote growth and awareness inside and outside the PKU community,” said Milberg, who is leaving the organization to pursue her additional passions and interests.

Bringing nearly two decades of healthcare nonprofit development and management experience, Catherine served as Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate and later as Senior Director of Southwest Virginia for the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation. Her professional journey also encompasses roles with the Jefferson College of Health Sciences and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, where she honed skills in organizational management and community engagement.

Catherine’s personal connection to PKU began twelve years ago when her nephew was diagnosed at birth. “I am deeply committed to advocating for improved treatment options, increased research, and enhanced access to resources for all individuals and families affected by PKU,” she said. “I look forward to meeting more members of the PKU community at the bi-annual NPKUA conference this July 18-21, 2024 in Chantilly, Virginia.”

Also announced today are the addition of five new leaders to the organization’s Board of Directors, contributing healthcare leadership experience:

  • Chuck Bucklar, Pharmaceutical industry executive
  • Michael Finkel, DO, MPH and adult living with PKU
  • Mark Gralen, General counsel and PKU parent
  • Daniel Lazzari, Healthcare finance executive
  • Christina Love, Registered nurse and adult living with PKU

Current Board members include:

  • Rhonda Connolly (Board President), PKU parent
  • Elizabeth Aselage (Board Vice President), Life sciences patient advocacy executive
  • Alison Reynolds (Board Secretary), PKU parent
  • Sue Berry, MD, Director of Genetics and Metabolism, Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota
  • Lillian Isabella, Playwright/actress and adult living with PKU
  • Heidi Maxfield, PKU parent
  • David Mickle, Life sciences strategic communications executive
  • Adam Sherman, Pharmaceutical industry leader and entrepreneur

“We are thankful for the structure Lisa has put in place during her time as Executive Director. Now, with Catherine’s appointment and our expanded Board leadership, 2024 marks the next phase of the NPKUA to have an even broader impact in service of those living with PKU,” added Connolly.

About the NPKUA:
The NPKUA was founded in 2008, with a mission to improve the lives of individuals with PKU and to pursue a cure. Phenylketonuria, or PKU, is a rare metabolic condition affecting approximately 16,500 people in the United States. It is an inborn error of metabolism that requires careful management of phenylalanine (Phe) levels in the body throughout life to prevent severe intellectual disability. To learn more about the NPKUA, visit