National Council on Disability welcomes new Council Member
For Immediate Release
Aug. 23, 2022
WASHINGTON — The National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent federal agency – welcomes the appointment of Shawn Kennemer, of Bakersfield, California, to the Council.
Mr. Kennemer was appointed to NCD by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy. He took the oath of office on Aug. 22 and began his term as an NCD council member at that time.
“In my 30-plus years of serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it’s an honor to serve,” said Council Member Kennemer. “I look forward to bringing my thoughts and experiences to the Council.”
He joins Chairman Andrés Gallegos, Vice Chairman Jim Brett, and Council Members David D’Arcangelo, Dr. Munr Kazmir, Dr. Rick Rader, Neil Romano, Daniel Schreck and Mary Vought.
Appointments to NCD are made by the President of the United States, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Minority Leader pursuant to Section 451 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Pub. L. 113–128).
In welcoming him officially to the Council, Chairman Gallegos added the important work of those serving on the independent, nonpartisan Council:
“Our charge is not to serve the interests of those who appointed us,” said Chairman Gallegos. “Our charge is always to serve the interests of the over 61.4 million people with disabilities who depend upon us to address the critical needs affecting their lives; for disability knows no political, racial, ethnic, religious, or socio-economic lens.”
Biography of Shawn Kennemer:
Shawn Kennemer has a background in executive leadership and developing services and supports for people with disabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Fresno Pacific University and Graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is currently the President and CEO of Bakersfield ARC that is leading change by becoming the first organization in Kern County, that provides jobs and support to people disabilities, to become fully community based. He has worked and lead a local non-profits collaboration of executive directors (VOICED) to make all bus stops in the City of Bakersfield no parking. Over his 30 years in providing services to people with disabilities, Shawn has held positions at both the executive level as well as providing direct support and created over 15 new programs. Shawn has been an advocate at the local, state, and national level. Shawn currently serves as on the board of directors of the Independent Living Center of Kern County and is a member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown.
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.