Majd Alwan speaking
Majd Alwan, PhD, speaks at the 2019 LeadingAge Leadership Summit. (Photo courtesy of LeadingAge)
Majd Alwan speaking
Majd Alwan, PhD, speaks at the 2019 LeadingAge Leadership Summit. (Photo courtesy of LeadingAge)

After 15 years of full-time employment with LeadingAge, and several years of consulting before that, Majd Alwan, PhD, is branching out on his own.

The Damascus, Syria-born engineer earned his bachelor’s degree in his native country. He got his first glimpse into his field of biomedical engineering while working toward his master’s and doctorate degrees in the United Kingdom. For his dissertation, he designed a wheelchair that, theoretically, could respond to voice commands.

Alwan was involved with the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies well before it even was launched in 2003, he said. As a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, he was invited to an inaugural meeting of academics and representatives from technology companies that were involved significantly in developing technology to help caregivers for older adults.

Working at LeadingAge was a “very gratifying experience,” Alwan told the McKnight’s Business Daily on Friday. “I believe we were able to accomplish a great deal over the last 15 years … and it was time for me to do something different.”

Alwan said he felt that he largely had accomplished what he had set out to do all those years ago as senior vice president of technology and executive director of CAST.

“It was time for me to do something different,” he said of his recent departure.

That’s what made this the right time to start his own consulting and advising business for senior living and care providers from his home in Albemarle County, VA, near Charlottesville, he said. 

“One of the things that providers were struggling with is roadmaps to help them better understand and know how to look for and implement the right technology, better understand the role of technology, better understand how to calculate the ROI [return on investment] for technology and how the future of their organization’s infrastructure had to have the right people and the right level at the board and the C-suite and so on and so forth,” he said.

Alwan said he is open for business and advising providers across the full spectrum of aging services, as well as providing advice to technology companies. 

“I’m also exploring advising for venture capital funds that are investing in some of these companies,” he said.

Alwan said he also will continue to advise policymakers as a technical expert, which he called “a passion” of his.

LeadingAge said that CAST will proceed under the leadership of LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan in close collaboration with longtime CAST staff members Scott Code and Suman Halthore.

Code is in a good position to take on this leadership role, which will provide an opportunity for him to “grow and make his own mark on the sector,” Alwan said.

“I’m excited for the new phase, and I’m looking forward to simply providing this value well beyond the LeadingAge membership,” he said.