Meet Dianne O’Donnell McNamara, J.D., M.A

Dianne O’Donnell McNamara, J.D., M.A
Dianne O’Donnell McNamara, J.D., M.AAttorney

Dianne O’Donnell McNamara, J.D., M.A.

Dianne O’Donnell McNamara is an attorney and consultant with over two decades of professional experience in law, management, administration, business strategy and policy related to employer retirement plans, health and wellness programs, estate planning, aging services and long-term care.  She is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Arizona.  

In her early legal career in Atlanta, Georgia, Dianne specialized in the employee compensation and benefits field. As a consultant with Ernst & Young, as a practicing attorney, and as an advisor to a large insurance planning firm, Dianne designed programs, researched tax law and wrote communications materials for retirement, health benefits, executive compensation, and insurance programs. Dianne also held human resources management positions in two large corporations, where she was responsible for managing multi-million dollar employee benefits budgets, negotiating HR issues in corporate mergers and acquisitions, and leading strategic planning projects.

In 2005, Dianne decided to apply her retirement and health care experience more specifically to the country’s aging population.  At the GSU Gerontology Institute, Dianne focused on memory research and long-term care systems. Her studies culminated in a master’s degree in Gerontology and the publication of her master’s thesis, an innovative program evaluation of a medical-model adult day services center specializing in dementia care. Dianne then returned to the practice of law to help clients plan for long-term care and to draft wills, trusts, powers of attorney and other legal documents.  Dianne was also tasked to serve as the consultant/lobbyist to the Senior Citizens Advocacy Project – the combined advocacy effort of the 12 Georgia Area Agencies on Aging.  She educated legislators and other policy makers on the fiscal and social impacts of the law and regulations related to Georgia’s elderly.  

In 2012 Dianne’s personal life took a dramatic turn when she married Tom McNamara, a retired U.S. Army (CW5) pilot, left Georgia and headed west.  She became the only professional in Arizona to be a Certified Educator for The Eden Alternative and had her own law firm for several years in the northeast Valley.  She joined the Forakis Law Firm in 2017 to assist clients in estate planning, business consulting, and elder care/special needs planning.  

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Dianne’s background is unique: few professionals in the U.S combine knowledge of employer-provided benefits, insurance and public benefits (such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefits) to serve the entire life cycle of a consumer client – from active employment, to retirement, to post-retirement, to old age.