National Council on Disability Affirms its Unity, Marks Shift from Inward Restructuring to Outward Impact at Swearing in Ceremony

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NCD #11-614
March 11, 2011
Contact: Anne Sommers
202-272-2004

WASHINGTON – Members and staff of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency, on Thursday swore the oath of office at a swearing in ceremony held at the National Archive Building Rotunda, in the very room in which the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights are kept and displayed. Members' and staff's families and other federal partners were present for the event.  

"It is unusual to unite presidential administrations as we do today, and equally unusual to unite political appointees and career civil servants. But it is by design. Our collective oath symbolizes that we are one agency with a singular purpose," said NCD Chairman Jonathan Young. 

Dr. Young explained, "In the past year, our efforts have been directed largely inward to map out a sustainable future for the Council's leadership in disability policy. Today we shift our focus squarely to the policy work for which we have been appointed." 

"These are difficult times, particularly for millions of people with disabilities who are often the first to feel the pain of economic distress. Our efforts as a Council must rise to meet these challenges. To do this the Council must be continually engaged with disability community stakeholders and be vigilant in identifying opportunities to influence priority policy issues as, and even before, they emerge," said Dr. Young.

During his remarks at the ceremony, Dr. Young announced several immediate plans of action, including exercising the agency's statutory authority to hold hearings. Plans are already underway to soon hold an agency hearing to ensure that people with disabilities are included in budget debates. Dr. Young also reaffirmed the agency's commitment to continue to convene regular regional forums around NCD's new holistic policymaking theme of "Living, Learning, & Earning;" and to use public-private working groups to develop actionable policy recommendations and focus on collaborative ways to implement them. 

The oath of office sworn by NCD Council Members and staff originates from Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which requires an oath of all government officials to support the Constitution. 

The list of Members and staff of the National Council on Disability is as follows:

NCD Council Members:
Jonathan M.Young, Ph.D, Chairman
Linda Wetters, Vice Chair
Dr. Fernando M. Torres-Gil, Ph.D., Vice Chair - Policy 
Ari Ne'eman, Vice Chair - Engagement
Gary Blumenthal
Victoria Ray Carlson
Chester A. Finn
Sara Gelser
Marylyn Howe
Lonnie Moore
Dongwoo Joseph "Joe" Pak, MBA
Carol Jean Reynolds
Pamela Young-Holmes

NCD Professional Staff:
Aaron Bishop, Executive Director
Joan M. Durocher, General Counsel and Director of Policy
Stacey S. Brown, Staff Assistant
Julie Carroll, Senior Attorney Advisor
Lisa Grubb, Director of Operations and Administration (Acting)
Geraldine-Drake Hawkins, Ph.D., Senior Program Analyst
Carla Nelson, Administrative Specialist
Anne C. Sommers, Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach (Acting)

NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. 
 
For more information, please contact Anne Sommers at asommers@ncd.gov or by telephone at 202-272-2004 (voice); 202-272-2074 (TTY).