About CNME

Council on Naturopathic Medical Education

The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, a non-profit organization founded in 1978, is an accrediting agency for doctoral programs in naturopathic medicine (ND programs) in the U.S. and Canada. Graduation from a CNME-accredited ND program qualifies an individual to take the NPLEX licensing exam and to become a licensed naturopathic physician in the U.S. and Canadian states and provinces where naturopathic medicine is regulated.

The CNME is recognized as an accrediting agency for ND programs by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), and thus meets the DOE’s stringent regulatory requirements. For general information on accreditation and the DOE recognition process for accrediting agencies, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

CNME is governed by a board of directors composed of practicing naturopathic doctors, naturopathic medical faculty and academic administrators, and public members, and it is managed by an executive director.

CNME is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors and abides by the ASPA’s Code of Good Practice. It is also a member of the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada.

CNME Board of Directors

Amanda Alexander, ND, MEd, Secretary
Mesa, Arizona
Profession Member

Ben Connolly, ND, Vice President
Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia
Profession Member

Jennifer Johnson, ND
Seattle, Washington
Profession Member

Jessica Mitchell, ND, FABNP 
Phoenix, Arizona
Institutional Member

Joni Olehausen, ND, President
Blythewood, South Carolina
Profession Member

Dee Saunders, ND, MS
Portland, Oregon
Institutional Member

Susan Tebb, PhD, MSW, C-IAYT, RYT-500
St. Louis, Missouri
Public Member

Melissa Woodin, CPA, MBA, Treasurer
Kent, Connecticut
Public Member

Eugene Zampieron, ND, RH (AHG) 
Woodbury, Connecticut
Public Member

Mitchell Zeifman, ND, BSc
Toronto, Ontario
Institutional Member


Joni Olehausen, ND

Ben Connolly, ND
Vice President

Melissa Woodin, CPA, MBA

Amanda Alexander, ND, MEd

Executive Director

Daniel Seitz, JD, EdD
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
P.O. Box 178
244 Main Street
Great Barrington, MA 01230

CNME Vision, Mission, Goals, and Values


The vision of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education is to be recognized as the effective and innovative accrediting agency advancing the quality of naturopathic medical care internationally through accreditation standards and processes that promote excellence in education.


The mission of CNME is quality assurance: serving the public by accrediting naturopathic medical education programs in the U.S. and Canada that voluntarily seek recognition and meet or exceed CNME’s standards.


To enable CNME to pursue its vision and fulfill its mission, the primary goals of the CNME are to:

  • Provide an accreditation service in the U.S. and Canada that works in collaboration with the naturopathic profession, educators, regulators, certifying bodies and the public in developing and administering its standards and processes.
  • Foster collaboration and cooperation among the naturopathic educational institutions and other health care education institutions and professions.
  • Pursue the development of processes and cooperative arrangements that minimize unnecessary duplication of effort for programs seeking accreditation.
  • Maintain a practical, cost-effective and efficient model of governance and administration.
  • Operate in a manner that respects due process and is characterized by openness, transparency, fairness, equality and consistency.
  • Develop credible, relevant, clear and regularly updated accreditation standards and residency requirements.
  • Ensure—through valid and reliable, evidence-based evaluation processes—that the CNME standards are being met by naturopathic medi­cine programs that seek CNME recognition.
  • Give public recognition to those educational programs in compliance with CNME standards, and to foster and encourage the continuing improvement of naturopathic medical education programs.
  • Foster the development of new institutions and new programs by providing assistance and information on program development and accreditation.
  • Support the ongoing development and public acceptance of the naturopathic medical profession by finding ways to encourage and enable ND programs to meaningfully expand their research and scholarly activities, whether individually or in collaboration, including for example documenting clinical outcomes and writing case studies.


In conducting its operations, the Council adheres to the following values:

  • Supporting the traditional and evolving principles of naturopathic medicine as expressed in contemporary naturopathic medical education programs through program objectives, research activities, and didactic and clinical curriculum components.
  • Quality and continuing improvement in naturopathic medical education programs—as well as in the Council’s own policies, standards and processes—achieved through ongoing assessment, creativity, productive innovation and responsiveness to change.
  • Its primary accountability to the public, including students interested in entering or enrolled in educational programs in naturopathic medicine and the patients they will serve upon graduation.
  • Due process characterized by honesty, openness, transparency, fairness, equality and consistency, as well as by objective, valid and reliable evidence-based approaches to the determination of a program’s compliance with accreditation standards.
  • Partnership and peer review processes characterized by communication, consultation and cooperation with organizations and individuals involved in naturopathic medical education, practice, certification and regulation, as well as with naturopathic medical students and the general public.
  • Supporting CNME volunteers and staff in contributing to and enhancing the Council’s work through orientation and training sessions, programs and other opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Practical, efficient and cost-effective approaches to carrying out its obligations and responsibilities.
  • Respect for the dignity of every individual—and inclusion of a diversity of people, backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints, with fairness towards all.
CNME promotes excellence in naturopathic medical education.

Photo courtesy of Universidad Ana G. Méndez

CNME promotes excellence in naturopathic medical education.

Learn more

North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners

Information about the NPLEX examination, the professional ND licensing exam in the U.S. and Canada.

Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors

The national professional association representing licensed/regulated naturopathic doctors in Canada.

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

The national professional association representing licensed naturopathic doctors in the U.S.