Board of Directors


Dr. Patricia Morrissey, President
Consultant, Disability Policy
Dr. Morrissey is the former Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities within the Administration for Family and Children in the US Department on Health and Human Services.  She is currently a consultant on disability policy. 

Lex Frieden, Vice President
Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research
Houston, TX 
Lex Frieden is Professor of Health Informatics and Professor of Rehabilitation at the University of Texas at Houston.  He has been a leader in the independent living movement since the 1970s and has received two Presidential Citations for his work in the disability field. 

Marca Bristo, Past President
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago
Chicago, IL 
Marca Bristo is President and CEO of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago’s center for independent living.  She served as the Chair of the National Council on Disability, and the President of the National Council on Independent Living.

Glen White, Secretary
Research and Training Center on Independent Living
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
Dr. White is Director of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas and has worked in the field of rehabilitation and independent living for more than 30 years.  Since 1997, he has conducted research and training to build capacity and disability leadership in Peru.

David Hutt, Treasurer
Senior Staff Attorney
National Disability Rights Network
Washington, DC
David Hutt is senior staff attorney at the National Disability Rights Network.  He has provided training and manages the Representative Payee Review Project, and works on issues related to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Candace Cable
Candace Cable has competed in 9 Paralympic Games, 4 Summer and 5 Winter Games from 1980 to 2006 in 3 sports, wheelchair racing, alpine and Nordic ski racing, winning 12 Paralympic medals, 8 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze. Winner of 84 marathons including 6 Boston Marathon titles, she is the current Paralympic skiing athlete representative to the USOC athlete advisory council.  Candace is writer, webcast host, visual media creator, and United Nations representative for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. 

Jennifer Dexter
Assistant Vice President, Government Relations
Easter Seals
Jennifer has coordinated Easter Seals efforts to promote ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  Prior to joining Easter Seals in 1996, Jennifer was a research/legislative specialist for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Daniel Fisher                                                                              Founder of the National Empowerment Center                               Daniel Fisher obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry at University of Wisconsin, and while conducting neurochemical research, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. To humanize the mental health system, he obtained an MD, completed psychiatric training, and publicly discusses his experience with a mental health condition. He founded the National Empowerment Center, was a member of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, and helped organize the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.

Jill Houghton
Executive Director
US Business Leadership Network
Jill Houghton is the Executive Director of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN ) and most recently served as the Executive Director of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel.

Axel Leblois
President and Executive Director
Axel Leblois is the President and Executive Director of G3ict, the global initiative for inclusive ICT’s, spent over 20 years as the helm of international technology companies in the United States, and served as a Senior Special Fellow of the United Nations Institute on Training and Research

Barbara LeRoy
Developmental Disabilities Institute
Wayne State University
Barbara LeRoy is a disability consultant to the Ministries of Education in New Zealand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

Janet Lord                                                                                     Board of Amnesty International USA Member                                 Janet Lord is an international human rights lawyer who has worked on disability rights advocacy for 15 years. She participated in the drafting of the CRPD, written extensively on disability rights issues, and worked with disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs) around the world. She serves on the Board of Amnesty International USA and teaches international disability rights at American University.

Susan Mazrui
Director of Public Policy
Susan Mazui is the Director of Public Policy of AT&T. She has served on two terms of the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee, as well as on the national advisory committees of the Telecommunications Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center and the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC).

Jerry McCloskey                                                                            Representative                                                                                  State of Wisconsin                                                                       Jerry McCloskey is a graduate of Marquette University and serves as a Board member of Independence First, Milwaukee, WI, executive and advocacy committees.  He is one of the State of Wisconsin representatives working with USICD on the quest for ratification of the CRPD, and is a polio survivor.

Faith McCormick                                                                        Director of Programs                                                                   Faith McCormick is focused on outreach, collaboration, cultural competency and advocacy.  Her 10-year tenure as the Director of Programs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, continued her path of learning and collaborating with Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE).  In 2015, she participated in two workshops in Istanbul.  She trained NGOs on self-advocacy, disability laws, programs, and the CRPD implementation.

Shelia Newman                                                                        President                                                                                      New Editions Consulting, Inc.                                                      Shelia Newman is President of New Editions Consulting, Inc., a government consulting firm specializing in contracts that focus on vulnerable populations, especially people with disabilities. Ms. Newman has been in the field of disability for 30 years, directing research studies, developing educational materials and more recently overseeing work on international disability programs. She volunteers for and supports numerous disability organizations and has won awards for the company's inclusion of people with disabilities. Ms. Newman has a M.S. in rehabilitation counseling.

Stephanie Ortoleva
President and Founder
Women Enabled, Inc.
Stephanie Ortoleva is an international human rights lawyer, researcher and consultant and is the President and Founder of Women Enabled, Inc., a Non-Governmental Organization which educates and advocates for the rights of all women and persons with disabilities with a special focus on women and girls with disabilities through collaborations with organizations of women and girls with disabilities around the world.

Debra Perry
International Consultant on Disability Inclusion in the Workplace
Debra Perry currently works with governments, universities, international organizations and employers to promote the human rights and business cases of inclusion.  She is the former Senior Specialist in Disability Inclusion at the International Labor Organization in Geneva (five years) and spent an additional 8 years as the ILO Senior Specialist in Vocational Rehabilitation for Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok prior to that.

Neil Romano
Taylor Hooton Foundation
Romano Group
Neil Romano has served as Assistant Secretary of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). He also has written and directed films portraying the experiences of people with disabilities and served on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He is a consultant to Major League Baseball and Wal-Mart on disability issues. He is a person with dyslexia who is presently battling leukemia.

Eric Rosenthal
Executive Director
Disability Rights International
Washington, DC
Eric Rosenthal is the founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International, an organization dedicated to the protection and community integration of children and adults with disabilities worldwide.

Diana Samarasan
Director, Disability Rights Fund
Boston, MA 
Diana Samarasan is the director of the Disability Rights Fund, a grant maker to disabled people’s organizations in developing countries that are advocating for improved implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

John Wodatch
John Wodatch served for 42 years in the Federal government, where he authored the government’s comprehensive disability rights regulations for Section 504 and the ADA and created and led the Department of Justice’s section in charge of enforcing the ADA.  He was also part of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations that helped develop the CRPD.  He continues working internationally by assisting countries with their own disability rights laws and working to seek U.S ratification of the CRPD. 

Government Representatives

David Baquis
The Access Board
Washington, DC 
David Baquis is an Accessibility Specialist in the Access Board’s Office of Technical and Information Services, an independent US federal agency that promotes accessibility for people with disabilities.  He was formerly Director of the National Center on Assistive Technology.

Joan Durocher
General Counsel and Director of Policy
National Council on Disability
Washington, DC 
Joan Durocher is General Counsel and Director of Policy at the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that advises the President and Congress about issues of importance to people with disabilities.

Marcie Roth
Office of Disability Integration and Coordination
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC
Marcie Roth is the Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA.  She has held leadership positions with the National Coalition for Disability Rights, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, National Council on Independent Living and TASH.

Sue Swenson
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Office on Special Edcuation and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS)
Department of Education
Washington, DC

Meredith DeDona
Program Specialist
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Department of Labor
Washington, DC

U.S. Department of Transportation
Washington, DC