Board of Directors


President - Raul Olivera, MD FAANS

Raul Olivera, MD, FAANS is an Associate Professor of the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida. He is currently the Medical Director of USF neurosurgery at Advent Health Tampa.

Dr. Olivera is originally from Cuba where he almost graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Havana, Faculty of Matanzas, before living the country on his last year of Med School. He was at the top of his class and was part of the National Talent Program for medical students there as a nongraduated instructor for Neurosurgery. After emigrating to the U.S., he eventually finished his medical education graduating from the Autonomous University of Central America in Costa Rica, Cum Laude Probatus.

As a foreign medical graduate he did a Pre-Residency fellowship in Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Olivera went on to do his Internship in General Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and after that his Neurological Surgery training at Saint Louis University in Missouri, where he received the Caring Physician Award. After residency, Dr. Olivera did his skull base and cerebrovascular fellowship at the University of South Florida where he stayed as faculty after graduation.

Dr. Olivera has implemented a tertiary multidisciplinary group at Advent Health Tampa as part of USF Neurosurgery. He has had a special interest in creating and advancing the Comprehensive Stroke Center and developing complex brain tumor surgery and skull base surgery including endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches. He has also pioneered the minimally invasive robotic 3D exoscopic approaches for brain and spine surgery at that Institution.

Dr. Olivera is a member of the Southern Neurological Society, the North American Skull Base Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.




President-Elect - Jason Blatt, MD

Jason E. Blatt, MD is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he was a National Merit Scholar and graduated magna cum laude. While in Nashville his honors included election to Alpha Epsilon Delta, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, and an Alpha Phi Omega Distinguished Service Key. He then completed his medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and received the Harold C. Pillsbury Student Research Award.

After receiving his MD, he remained at the University of North Carolina to complete his internship and residency, both in Neurological Surgery. He received numerous awards during his training, including both the Hydrocephalus Association Award and the Resident Traveling Fellowship, both from the AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurosurgery, was elected to UNC’s Academy of Educators, and was named a Socioeconomic Fellow of the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies. Finally, he relocated to Pittsburgh to complete a prestigious subspecialty fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh under renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Ian Pollack, MD.

Dr. Blatt’s clinical interests include all aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, with special focus on brain tumors, epilepsy, minimally-invasive and transnasal (through-the-nose) brain surgery, and craniofacial disorders. His research interests include not only those aspects of pediatric neurosurgery, but also medical and surgical education, surgical simulation, and physician process automation. He collaborates with computer modeling researchers at Old Dominion University and with the large Brain Tumor Immunotherapy group at UF Shands/McKnight Brain Institute.

Dr. Blatt is passionate about the care and wellbeing of children, and prides himself on the ability to make complex neurosurgical decisions easy to understand for patients and their parents. Caring for an ill child is never easy, but Dr. Blatt and his team strive to alleviate worry and suffering, and provide world-class care for kids of all ages. The UF Pediatric Neurosurgery Team recognizes that children with brain and spine disorders aren’t just “small adults,” and need to be treated by expert subspecialists with extensive experience. Shands Children’s Hospital accepts all pediatric neurosurgery referrals for assessments or second opinions.




Program Chair - Adam Oliver, M.D.

Dr. Adam Oliver is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and joined Tallahassee Neurological Clinic in 2013. Dr. Oliver was born in Tallahassee and raised along the Gulf Coast, spending his formative years in Blountstown, FL and Tallahassee.



Treasurer - Lance Governale, M.D.

Lance S. Governale, MD, FAANS, FAAP is the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and the L.D. Hupp Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics. He joined the University of Florida’s Department of Neurological Surgery in 2017 after serving as a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Governale obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland, research training from the National Institutes of Health, and his Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School. He then stayed at Harvard to complete neurosurgical residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and pediatric neurosurgical fellowship training at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Dr. Governale has the distinction of having received awards from his colleagues for excellence in research, teaching, and clinical care, including the Harvard Medical School Richardson Research Fellowship for MD Scientists and a nomination for the Harvard Medical School Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching. His research interests focus on clinical outcomes, quality improvement, and medical informatics; and he is a member of multiple professional societies including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Although he enjoys the full range of pediatric neurosurgery, Dr. Governale is especially interested in craniosynostosis, minimally invasive neurosurgery (including endoscopic treatment of hydrocephalus, craniosynostosis, pituitary disease, and skull base disease), brain / spinal cord tumors, tethered spinal cords, arachnoid cysts, and cavernous malformations. He is board certified by both the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery.




Secretary - Ian Cote, M.D.






Immediate Past President - Michael E. Ivan, MD

Dr. Michael E. Ivan is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami where he acts as Jackson South's Chief of Cranial Neurosurgery and Neuro-oncology Service and Co-Director of Neurosurgery. He is also the Director of Research for the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative within Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and is a leader among his peers, serving as an executive member of the Young Neurosurgeon's Committee for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Ivan graduated from Cornell University and received his Doctorate of Medicine and Master's Degree from UMDNJ/Rutgers University. While at Rutgers Medical School, he served as President of his class and was honored as a Gold Humanism Scholar. He then completed his neurological surgery training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF, Dr. Ivan focused on the treatment and management of brain tumors, vascular malformations, and skull base lesions. He was awarded the Howard Naffziger award for best clinical resident and received multiple awards for his research on brain tumors and stereotactic neurosurgery. As a testament to his dedication to medical education, Dr. Ivan was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for Cherished Housestaff from UCSF. After residency, he moved to Miami and completed a fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at the University of Miami (UM). At UM, he continues his research on minimally invasive brain tumor management with state of the art treatments, including laser interstitial thermal therapy and fluorescence guided surgery.

The primary focus of Dr. Ivan's clinical, academic, and research interests has been on the microenvironment of brain tumors and their invasive qualities. In recognition for his post-doctorate work on the role of glioma pathogenesis and invasion, he received a research grant from the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF). Dr. Ivan's laboratory is currently continuing his brain tumor research with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.



Rep to the CSNS - Greg Murad, MD




Reps to FMA House of Delegates
Gazanfar Rahmathulla, MD




Members at Large
Paya Alikhani, MD
Adam Polifka, MD
Rabih Tawk, MD
Maria Toledo, MD




Rep to the SNS - Steve Pirris, MD




Resident Liason - Daniel Eichberg, MD




Advocacy Consultant - Chris Nuland Esq.