Paul R. Willging has been named executive vice president of the National Council of Health Centers, the Washington-based trade association representing investor-owned nursing home corporations. He will assume his new post Oct. 3.

Willging was formerly an officer of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Greater New York and the Department of Health and Human Services.

From July 1982 until the present, he had been assistant vice president of subscriber service of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He was responsible for the provision of services for the 9 million New York City-area members.

He joined the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1969 as an intern. His last position with HHS before he left in 1982 was deputy administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration.

Willging is a former chairman of the board of directors of Howard County General Hospital and a member of the board of presidents of the Maryland Hospital Association.

Dr. Walter E. Nance has been elected president of the International Society for Twin Studies. Nance is chairman of the department of human genetics at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Sue A. Marcum has been elected secretary of the District of Columbia chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants. Marcum is an accountant with Berlin, Seguin, Karam and Ramos in Silver Spring.

Louis Gershenow has been elected chairman of chapter I of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Active Corps of Executives (ACE). Gershenow is with the Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce.

Patricia A. Nobel has been elected president of Soroptimist International of Washington, D.C. Nobel is assistant vice president and branch manager of Columbia First Federal Savings and Loan Association.

Mancur Olson has received the American Political Science Association's 1983 Gladys M. Kammerer award for his 1983 book, "The Rise and Decline of Nations." He was a co-winner with Robert A. Dahl, author of "Dilemmas of Pluralist Democracy." Olson is a professor of economics at the University of Maryland.

Thomas L. Phillips of Phillips Publishing Inc. in Bethesda has been elected to membership in the Young Presidents' Organization Inc. YPO is a worldwide educational organization of about 4,000 young chief executives who have become presidents of sizable companies before the age of 40.

Frank Barnako has been elected president of the Video Software Dealers Association. Barkano is owner of the The Video Place, a division of Home Video Outlet Corp. of McLean. There are six Video Place stores in the Washington area.

Bob McHugh has been named vice president of member services of the National Wholesale Druggists' Association in Alexandria. McHugh was formerly director of business development and trade relations of Vicks Consumer Products Companies.

Edward M. Downey has received the 1983 "T-H-E" (the highest effort) Award from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Alumni Association for contributions to the communications and journalism professions. Downey is president of Downey Communications Inc. in Washington and publisher of a military lifestyle magazine, Ladycom Magazine.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced promotions of three staff members in its business-government policy department. Melody J. Blank was named associate editor of the monthly newsletter, Business Action Network: Washington Watch. Nancy J. Johnson was named research associate and legislative editor of Washington Watch. Samuel Roth was named research associate for the chamber's Small Business Center.