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National Council on Disability Expands with New Staff

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011

Washington, DC –The National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency, which advises the President, Congress, and other federal officials and entities on policies and programs affecting Americans with disabilities, recently added four new staff to its team. NCD is pleased to welcome back two staff to NCD. Rejoining the agency are Robyn Powell as Attorney Advisor and Mark Seifarth as Legislative Affairs Specialist. Previously a Legal Intern for NCD in 2006, Powell returns after working as the Assistant Director for Policy and Advocacy for the Disability Policy Consortium in Boston. Seifarth served as NCD’s Congressional Liaison from 2005 to 2007. He worked as the Legislative Liaison for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and retired in March with over thirty years of public policy and legislative work before returning to NCD.

Ken Pezzella and Lawrence Carter-Long are new to NCD, but not to their respective fields. Pezzella, a Financial Analyst, comes to NCD from the Department of Transportation. Lawrence Carter-Long enters civil service as NCD’s Public Affairs Specialist. Before coming to the agency, he worked extensively in the non-profit sector and is an internationally recognized artist, media analyst and presenter.

“Each new hire advances NCD’s capacity to effectively engage with community members, implement the knowledge we’ve acquired, support staff and appointed Council members, and bolster the advocacy efforts of stakeholders across the nation,” said Jonathan Young, NCD Chairman. “Their combined expertise and knowledge infuse NCD with over 50 additional years of experience in policy, outreach and fiscal management, invigorating our efforts by combining both the practical and wide-ranging elements our work requires.” 
“Public policy is only relevant when connected to people’s day to day lives,” said Joan Durocher, NCD’s General Counsel & Director of Policy. “As civil servants, we have a responsibility to link historical precedents to long-term objectives while never forgetting central quality of life issues faced by Americans with disabilities today. Robyn brings both understanding and expertise to the necessities of shaping public policy.”

“With budgets being reassessed on both federal and state levels the issues affecting the lives of people with disabilities often change daily, sometimes by the hour,” said Anne Sommers, NCD’s Director of Legislative and Outreach. “The addition of Mark and Lawrence uniquely positions NCD to keep our fingers on the pulse of Americans with disabilities across the nation while simultaneously ensuring timely, consistent responses to Congressional requests with trusted, real-time insights and information.”

“One of the primary responsibilities of a public agency is to be accountable to the American citizens we serve. Bringing Ken on board demonstrates our commitment to ensure taxpayers’ money is spent efficiently and appropriately,” said Aaron Bishop, NCD’s Executive Director. “Ken’s experience as a senior consultant in government auditing, providing internal control support for three multi-billion dollar federal programs brings to NCD precisely the kind of expertise needed to fulfill our commitment to the public and stakeholders in our recent strategic plan. We’re thrilled about bringing on new skilled, committed staffers to the agency and everything they bring to our endeavors in service to Americans with disabilities.”

An official website of the National Council on Disability