Joyal Mulheron is a Washington, DC, public policy expert with more than 15 years of service to the nation’s governors, the White House, and some of the most distinguished nonprofit ventures. Joyal has served both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and worked with corporate America and advocates alike. Like millions of Americans, Joyal has experienced tragic loss from both her terminally ill infant daughter in 2010 and then her father, a veteran, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
In 2013, Joyal left her position as Chief Strategy Officer with Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit chaired by former First Lady Michelle Obama, to begin understanding grief in America. She began her education in bereavement by walking the streets of Washington, D.C. meeting with families and professionals, each of who had experienced their own tragic deaths. Soon thereafter, her work grew substantially as families from all walks of life began welcoming her into their homes, places of worship, and community centers to share their heartfelt stories of love and loss. During these conversations, Joyal began to uncover chronic and persistent system injustices that children and families faced in the aftermath. Trained as a basic scientist, Joyal began aligning personal stories of loss with evidence-based literature realizing that bereavement was a health, social, and economic crisis hiding in plain sight. Soon thereafter she founded Evermore, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of bereaved children and families.
The significant, unjust, and unequal implications of bereavement on American families is an invisible public health, social, and economic crisis touching nearly every household in the nation. Given the scale of the problem and the lack of quality care in the aftermath, the issue warrants attention and investment from our nation’s lawmakers, foundations, and key opinion leaders. Today, there are far too few solutions to help families remain healthy, solvent, and productive, and as a nation, we can do more. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, NBC News, Good Morning America, and many other media venues.
Prior to her work advising the Obama White House, Joyal spent several years at the National Governors Association (NGA), including advising former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee during his NGA chairmanship. She managed the population health portfolio for NGA, managing and fundraising millions from key federal government agencies and health foundations, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Joyal started her career at the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C., managing emerging science and trends, building its genetics portfolio, and coordinating legislative policy priorities across states. During this time, she concurrently translated Institute of Medicine reports for state legislative audiences, taught basic biology at local community colleges, and earned her Masters’ degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. Joyal is a graduate of Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) with degrees in Biochemistry and English, a minor in Chemistry, and concentrations in World War II literature and Black American literature. She’s married to her college sweetheart of 30 years, has four children (including a superhero, a biochemist, and an activist), is dedicated to reformer practice, jogs (not runs), VR workouts, and loves to cook dairy-free, gluten-free meals for her family (which they are more than enthusiastic about!).
You can reach out to Joyal via LinkedIn.