Pillars of the AOFAS


The Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation's Pillars of the AOFAS initiative honors iconic surgeons who have advanced the Society and the profession through their leadership and dedication to educating foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons.


2024 Pillars

James A. Nunley II, MD

James Nunley, MD

James A. Nunley II, MD, is an outstanding clinician, educator, and researcher who has spent 50 years practicing orthopaedic surgery at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Originally trained as a hand and microvascular surgeon, Dr. Nunley changed careers and devoted himself to the field of foot and ankle surgery. With his previous experience as a total joint surgeon, a microvascular surgeon, and the chief of trauma at Duke, Dr. Nunley brought a unique perspective and techniques to foot and ankle surgery.

Dr. Nunley restarted Duke’s foot and ankle fellowship in 1990 and has had the privilege of training more than 50 fellows. He served as chairman of the orthopaedic department at Duke from 2002-2012 and was AOFAS president from 1997-98.

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Arthur Manoli II, MD

Arthur Manoli II, MD

Arthur Manoli II, MD, (1946-2020) was a passionate educator, prolific researcher, and talented clinician. Though he began his career as a traumatologist, he reinvented himself as an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon after completing fellowships at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle under Sigvard T. Hansen Jr., MD.

Dr. Manoli served as a fellowship director for more than 25 years and trained more than 45 fellows. As a researcher, he pioneered clinical and academic work on progressive flatfoot deformity and cavus foot. He had more than 130 published works and 450 national and international presentations. In 2012, Dr. Manoli received the Sigvard Hansen Award for lifetime achievement in trauma and foot and ankle surgery.

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Previous Inductees

Thomas Clanton, MD

2023: Thomas O. Clanton, MD

Thomas O. Clanton, MD, has spent nearly four decades as an orthopaedic surgeon, teacher, researcher, and leader. Dr. Clanton is the consummate professional, demonstrating commitment to excellence in every aspect of practice. Despite retiring in December 2021, he is a frequent presence in the office and lab.

Dr. Clanton ascended to several leadership roles, including chair at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School; team physician for the Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, and Rice University Owls; fellowship director at UT-Houston and The Steadman Clinic; and 1999-2000 president of AOFAS. His zeal for foot and ankle surgery is exceeded only by his commitment to family and his unshakable faith.

Make a Gift in Dr. Clanton's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of Thomas O. Clanton, MD.

Michael Coughlin, MD

2023: Michael J. Coughlin, MD

Michael J. Coughlin, MD, is a leader, educator, and innovator in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery whose expertise in forefoot surgery is recognized worldwide. While in primarily solo practice in Boise, Idaho, he trained 25 fellows and edited five editions of Surgery of the Foot and Ankle.

As president of the AOFAS from 1990-1991, he was the driving force that propelled the evolution of AOFAS to a large, inclusive society. Dr. Coughlin championed the creation of AOFAS postgraduate education and public education programs and later served as the first AOFAS president of the International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies (IFFAS), where he continued his advocacy for education globally.

Make a Gift in Dr. Coughlin's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of Michael J. Coughlin, MD.

Francesca Thompson, MD

2023: Francesca M. Thompson, MD

Francesca M. Thompson, MD, (1945-1996) made an indelible impact on orthopaedics and the AOFAS. After graduating from Smith College in 1965, getting married, and having two children, she entered medical school in 1973. She was the first female orthopaedic resident at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and completed her fellowship training with Roger Mann, MD. Following fellowship, she joined William Hamilton, MD, in New York City as his partner and co-director of the Roosevelt/HSS Fellowship Program.

In 1992, she was elected to the AOFAS Board of Directors as secretary and served on the Board for seven years. Sadly, she developed multiple myeloma, succumbing 18 months before she would have become the first woman president of a subspecialty society. Dr. Thompson was a role model for all, and her far-reaching positive influence continues to this day.

Make a Gift in Dr. Thompson's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of Francesca M. Thompson, MD.

Founders of the AOFAS2022: The Founders

We are proud to recognize the seven founding members of the AOFAS: Melvin Jahss, MD; Nathaniel Gould, MD; Nicholas Giannestras, MD; Robert Joplin, MD; Hampar Kelikian, MD; Paul Lapidus, MD; and Joseph Milgram, MD.

In 1969, these seven surgeons — all prominent in their field and representing a wealth of foot and ankle experience — gathered in Dr. Jahss's New York City apartment to discuss the formation of a society dedicated to the foot and ankle. Their vision, leadership, and dedication led to the creation of the AOFAS and programs that have furthered education in the specialty for generations.

A contribution to the Founders Fund will honor these visionaries' commitment to educating the next generation of foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons.

Make a Gift to the Founders Fund

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of the Founders Fund.

James W. Brodsky, MD2021: James W. Brodsky, MD

James W. Brodsky, MD, is the consummate orthopaedic surgeon. An enduring leader in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery, he has worked tirelessly to advance our understanding of complex pathology from Charcot arthropathy to total ankle arthroplasty. Ever ready with a clever witticism, he always stimulates his fellows and colleagues to ask the tough questions and seek the tougher answers. Above all, Dr. Brodsky is a teacher, leading by example and inspiring those around him to be better.

Dr. Brodsky founded the Baylor Foot and Ankle Fellowship nearly three decades ago and remains its driving force. He has mentored more than 90 clinical fellows along with a host of international researchers and guests. Dr. Brodsky served as president of the AOFAS in 2005-06 and continues to be a leader in the Society.

Make a Gift in Dr. Brodsky's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of James W. Brodsky, MD.

Sigvard T. Hansen Jr., MD2019: Sigvard T. Hansen Jr., MD

Sigvard "Ted" Hansen Jr., MD, was a world-renowned pioneer in both orthopaedic traumatology and reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. After joining the University of Washington Department of Orthopedics in the 1970s, he quickly became a revered mainstay and leader in the foot and ankle field. Exercising a legendary disdain for bureaucracy, Dr. Hansen brought his foot and ankle service to international prominence while also serving as Department Chair from 1981-85.

Over his four-decade career, Dr. Hansen mentored more than 70 domestic fellows and scores of international fellows — many of whom have gone on to be division chiefs, department heads, and leaders in the AOFAS and the worldwide foot and ankle realm. He was also an AO Fellow, winner of the AO Innovation Prize, and a founding member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association.

Make a Gift in Dr. Hansen's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of Sigvard T. Hansen Jr., MD.

John S. Gould, MD2018: John S. Gould, MD

John S. Gould, MD, was a master surgeon, clinician, educator, and leader. As chair of the Department if Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin for 10 years, he established a prestigious fellowship for foot and ankle orthopaedic surgery. His commitment to advancing orthopaedics was evident as he served as AOFAS president from 1985-86 as well as president of several other orthopaedic organizations.

Dr. Gould passed away in September 2015, but his legacy lives on through his research, writing, and former fellows who have followed in his footsteps to make great contributions to orthopaedics.

Make a Gift in Dr. Gould's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of John S. Gould, MD.

William G. Hamilton, MD2018: William G. Hamilton, MD

William G. Hamilton, MD, was a respected member of the orthopaedic community, well-known for his exceptional teaching, clinical expertise, and witty "Hamiltonisms." In 1972, Dr. Hamilton was hired by George Balanchine, co-founder of the New York City Ballet, to provide care for the company's 100+ dancers. He later took on roles as the orthopaedic surgeon for the American Ballet Theatre, the School of American Ballet, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet, as well as consultant for the New York Knicks and New York Yankees.

Dr. Hamilton served as AOFAS President from 1992-93 and mentored more than 50 foot and ankle orthopaedic fellows.

Make a Gift in Dr. Hamilton's Honor

Thank you to the individual donors who have contributed to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in honor of William G. Hamilton, MD.