Jim Towey, an attorney, founded Aging with Dignity in 1996 after his experiences at Mother Teresa’s homes for the dying inspired him to promote better care for people facing the end of life. Towey was legal counsel to Mother Teresa of Calcutta for 12 years, and he lived for one year as a full-time volunteer in her home for people with AIDS in Washington, D.C. Before meeting Mother Teresa in 1985, Towey worked in Washington as legislative director and legal counsel for U.S. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon, and later, directed Florida's Social Services Agency, the nation's largest.
After founding Aging with Dignity and leading the organization for six years, Towey was appointed by President George W. Bush in February 2002 to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He was named Assistant to the President in January 2005.
In April 2006, Towey served as President of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and in 2010, was named President of Ave Maria University near Naples, Florida. He and his wife Mary have five children. He remains active in Aging with Dignity as a member of the Board of Directors.