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President Appoints New Chairperson, Three New Members and One Returning Member to the National Council on Disability

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feb, 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies regarding disability policy – is proud to welcome Jeff Rosen as its new Chairperson. The agency also welcomed three new members also appointed by President Barack Obama to the agency on January 31, 2013 after the intention of their appointment was announced January 25. In addition, Council Member Chester Finn was appointed to a second term. New Members are expected to begin work with NCD immediately upon completion and receipt of all necessary documents.

New NCD members are: Jeff Rosen (Chairperson), Captain Jonathan F. Kuniholm, USMC (Retired), Lynnae Ruttledge and Alice Wong. They join Janice Lehrer-Stein, Chester Finn (reappointed), Gary Blumenthal, Sara Gelser, Matan Koch, Ari Ne’eman, Kamilah Oni Martin-Proctor, Stephanie Orlando, Clyde Terry, Dr. Fernando M. Torres-Gil, and Pamela Young-Holmes, who were previously appointed by the President. Biographies for the new Council Members are provided at the end of this release.

NCD extends its gratitude to the outgoing Members for their public service: outgoing Chairman Jonathan Young, Lonnie Moore, Dongwoo Joseph “Joe” Pak, and Linda Wetters.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of the National Council on Disability and join an outstanding group of Council Members,” stated NCD’s new Chairperson Jeff Rosen. The appointment is a homecoming, of sorts, for Rosen. He previously served as the General Counsel and Director of Policy of the agency. During his previous seven-year tenure at NCD, Rosen helped the Council carry out its policy and research work through three principal conceptual frameworks: The Civil Rights Monitoring Project; Investing in Independence; and Livable Communities. He also led the agency’s Righting the ADA project, which served as the foundation for the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

“NCD has long seen itself as the voice of people with disabilities in the Federal Government,” said incoming NCD Chairperson Jeff Rosen. ”In close collaboration with the Administration, Congress and disability stakeholders, NCD has promoted policies which have advanced equal opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, independent living, inclusion and integration into all aspects of society for individuals with disabilities. NCD is resolute about continuing its leadership role during a time where our nation is structuring and financing domestic programs of significance to people with disabilities and their families as well as engaging with disability globally such as through the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.”

Biographies of New Council Members:

Jeff Rosen, Chairperson
Jeff Rosen of Maryland is a third generation deaf person active in the disability movement. Mr. Rosen is the General Counsel to ZVRS, a company that provides video interpreting services and products. Prior to joining ZVRS, Mr. Rosen served as the General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations of Snap!VRS from 2007 until 2011. Previously, he served as the General Counsel and Director of Policy for the National Council on Disability from 2000 to 2007. He was an attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1987 to 2000. Mr. Rosen is Treasurer of the United States International Council on Disabilities, a Member of the National Association of the Deaf Employment Task Force, and serves as an advisor to the World Federation of the Deaf. Mr. Rosen attended Gallaudet University and received a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Washington.

Chester Alonzo Finn 
Chester Finn (Reappointed) of New York is a Special Assistant in the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, a position he has held since 1997. He was first appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Obama in 2010. In 2008, Mr. Finn, who is blind and developmentally disabled, co-founded the Community Empowerment Programs Incorporated, which provides community services and educational programing for people with disabilities. He served as President and Chairman of the National Self Advocates Becoming Empowered from 2002 to 2006 and then again from 2009 to 2011. In 1995, he received the New York State Self Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Finn received an A.A. from Genessee Community College.

Captain Jonathan F. Kuniholm, USMC (Retired) 
Captain Jonathan Kuniholm, of North Carolina, is the President and Founder of the Open Prosthetics Project, and the Founder of StumpworX, Inc., a prosthetic arm manufacturing company. Captain Kuniholm served in the United States Marine Corps from 1997 to 2006. He served as a combat engineer officer and platoon commander for the 1st Marine Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom II. In 2006, he was honorably discharged after being wounded in combat and losing his right forearm. He is a Member of the Board of the Given Limb Foundation, and is an advisor and past Chair of the Board of Able Flight. In 2009, he received the DESIGNsmith award from North Carolina State University, and received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program in 2003. Mr. Kuniholm received an A.B. from Dartmouth College, and a B.S., M.S., and M.I.D. from North Carolina State University.

Lynnae M. Ruttledge 
Lynnae Ruttledge of Washington is a disability policy advisor to an Irish-based international research institute, DOCTRID (Daughters of Charity, Technology Research Into Disability). Ms. Ruttledge served as Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration with the U.S. Department of Education from 2010 to 2012. From 2005 to 2009, she served as the Director of the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Previously, Ms. Ruttledge held executive level leadership positions in the Oregon Department of Human Services, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Committed to international diplomacy and goodwill, she has been affiliated with Mobility International USA since 1988. In 2000, Ms. Ruttledge was honored with the Governor’s Award as Disabled Oregonian of the Year. In 2007, she received the Washington Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management. Ms. Ruttledge received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Michigan University.

Alice Wong 
Alice Wong of California is a Staff Research Associate for the National Center for Personal Assistance Services at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), which conducts research and training to support the care of people with disabilities. She is President of the San Francisco In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority Governing Body, and is a Board Member of Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California. Ms. Wong served as Vice Chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Disability Issues at UCSF from 2006 to 2009. She received the Mayor’s Disability Council Beacon Award in 2010, the 2010 Chancellor’s Disability Service Award, and the 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award at UCSF for leadership on behalf of the disability community. Ms. Wong received a B.A. from Indiana University and an M.S. from the University of California, San Francisco.

About the National Council on Disability: NCD is an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on policies, programs, practices and procedures affecting people with disabilities. NCD works to further the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.

An official website of the National Council on Disability