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Council Members

The members and leadership of the National Council on Disability that lead agency priorities, policy trends, and other agency business. NCD Council Members are appointed to represent people with disabilities, national organizations concerned with disabilities, providers and administrators of services to people with disabilities, people engaged in conducting medical or scientific research related to disabilities, business concerns, and labor organizations. By statute, a majority of NCD Council Members are to be people with disabilities.
Andrés Gallegos picture

In Memoriam: Andrés Gallegos

Chairman (Died Dec. 1, 2023)

Chicago, Illinois

Chairman Andrés J. Gallegos, Esq., 62, of Illinois, passed away Dec. 1,. 2023.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, recommended Gallegos, of Chicago, be appointed to the Council to then-U.S....

Claudia Gordon photo

Claudia L. Gordon

Vice Chair (Acting Chair)

Washington, D.C.

Claudia L. Gordon is a dedicated advocate for people with disabilities with nearly 30 years of versatile professional expertise, with a personal mission to level the playing field and ensure the...

Hoskie Benally Jr. photo

Hoskie Benally Jr.

Council Member

Shiprock, New Mexico

Hoskie Benally Jr., is a Member of the Navajo Nation and is Legally Blind. He is currently employed with the Native American Disability Law Center as the Community and Government Liaison...

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Sascha Bittner

Council Member

San Francisco, California

Sascha Bittner, who is quadriplegic with a speech disability as a result of cerebral palsy, is a lifelong community activist, with a particular focus on disability and domestic workers’ rights....

Theo Braddy photo

Theo W. Braddy

Council Member

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Theo W. Braddy has advocated on behalf of people with disabilities for over 40 years. At the age of 15, he became a person with a disability due to a high...

photo of Shawn Kennemer

Shawn Kennemer

Bakersfield, California

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...

Risa Jaz Rifkind photo

Risa Jaz Rifkind

Council Member

Las Vegas, Nevada

Risa Jaz Rifkind is a justice advocate who seeks to make change by shifting access to power and influence. As the Director of Civic Engagement and Marketing for Disability Lead, she...

Emily Voorde headshot

Emily Voorde

Council Member

South Bend, Indiana

Emily Voorde is a presidentially-appointed member of the National Council on Disability. She is the founder and CEO of INTO Strategies, a disabled-led firm bringing people into moments, movements, and campaigns....

Neil Romano Picture

Neil Romano

Council Member

Orlando, Florida

Neil Romano has dedicated his career to the marketing of ideas and messages to help save lives and promote public policy.  Romano’s extensive professional background includes tenure as director of communications...

An official website of the National Council on Disability