National Council on Disability Announces Appointment of Neil Romano by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 3 — The National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent federal agency that recommends disability policy to the Administration, Congress and other federal agencies acknowledges the appointment of Neil Romano as a new member of NCD.  Romano’s appointment to NCD by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was published in the Congressional Record on Tuesday, February 03, 2015.

Under a provision in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014, four Council Members whose terms are expiring will be or have been replaced by appointments made by the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Minority Leader. In time, NCD’s membership will be reduced from fifteen to nine as the next six Council members will not be replaced when their terms expire.

Romano joins NCD Chairperson Jeff Rosen, Co Vice-Chairs Katherine D. Seelman and Royal P. Walker, Jr. and Councilmembers Gary Blumenthal, Chester A. Finn, Captain Jonathan F. Kuniholm USMC (Retired), Janice Lehrer-Stein, Kamilah Oni Martin-Proctor, Ari Ne'eman, Benro T. Ogunyipe, Lynnae Ruttledge, Clyde Terry, Alice Wong and Bob Brown.  

Mr. Romano’s biography is included at the end of this announcement.

"The Council looks forward to adding Mr. Romano’s expertise in media and public policy to our collective quest to ensure full participation of Americans with disabilities in the civic, social and economic fabric of American life,” stated NCD Chairperson Jeff Rosen.

NCD also expresses its unified gratitude to the outgoing member Sara Gelser for her terrific work on behalf of Americans with disabilities and her commitment to public service.

Biography:  Neil Romano has dedicated his career to the marketing of ideas and messages to help save lives and promote public policy.  Romano’s extensive professional background includes tenure as director of communications for the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy. In that role, he worked on notable public awareness campaigns including “Just Say No” and “America Responds to AIDS.”

In 2007, Romano was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As head of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Romano advised the Secretary of Labor and worked with all DOL agencies to lead a comprehensive and coordinated national policy regarding the employment of people with disabilities in the United States. His work as a member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled, helped improve the quality of life for workers with disabilities. In 2010, Romano’s work as a member of that committee was recognized by the full committee with a special leadership award. As a producer/director, Romano’s film, “Youth Homicide: A Public Health Crisis,” earned a Best Director Emmy Nomination.

About the National Council on Disability (NCD): First established as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD became an independent federal agency in 1984. In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. Since the ADA became law in 1990, NCD has continued to play a leading role in crafting policy solutions, and in advising the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.