Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NCD Welcomes New Executive Director Deb Cotter

Monday, December 11, 2017

Press Release

December 11, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C — National Council on Disability (NCD) Chairman, Clyde Terry, announced today that Deb Cotter of Washington, DC joins NCD as its new Executive Director. NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal officials and entities on all policies, programs, practices and procedures affecting people with disabilities. NCD’s mission is to further the goals enshrined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities. 

Mr. Terry stated, “I am delighted to have selected Deb Cotter as NCD’s new Executive Director. Ms. Cotter is a well-respected disability advocate in her own right.”

Ms. Cotter comes to NCD directly from the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she has worked on the Independent Living Programs since 2009, when the Program was housed at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining the federal workforce, Ms. Cotter served as a Legislative Aide to Senator George J. Mitchell of Maine; as a Senior Legislative Assistant at the American Psychological Association; and as a Policy Analyst with the National Council on Independent Living. 

“Her range of experiences including congressional, nonprofit advocacy, and regulatory, her personal experience with disability, and her strong work ethic will be an asset to the future work of NCD. We look forward to working with Deb and are excited about her role in NCD’s future,” stated Mr. Terry.


Biography of Deb Cotter

A storyteller by nature and an advocate at heart, Deb Cotter learned the ropes on Capitol Hill, working for Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-ME). Starting as a receptionist, Deb worked her way up to the role of Legislative Aide. During the course of her career in nonprofit and public sector positions, Deb has navigated through many choppy waters to communicate effectively on behalf of her employer. Deb’s work history demonstrates her sincere interest in leveraging opportunities to collaborate and build bipartisan partnerships to achieve common goals. From conducting on-site monitoring reviews of Centers for Independent Living grantees, to providing technical assistance to grantees, to working across programs in the Administration for Community Living, and to assisting high risk grantees in developing corrective action plans, Deb has earned praise and respect for her work ethic, her strong listening, written, and verbal skills, and for infusing her work with levity. Deb brings to her work at NCD her optimism, resilience, and commitment to advancing the full integration and participation of people with disabilities in society. Deb graduated magna cum laude from Wells College in Aurora, NY with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advanced Russian Studies; and from George Mason University with a Master of Arts in U.S. History.

An official website of the National Council on Disability