Job Announcement: Executive Director/CEO

Do you have the skills necessary to lead the World Institute on Disability?

Seeking a candidate with exceptional leadership, management, and relationship building skills to lead a national & international cross disability organization in impacting positive change for social, political and economic equality for people with disabilities.

Become the next Executive Director/CEO of the World Institute on Disability!

Position Summary

The Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the World Institute on Disability (WID) and is responsible for the overall leadership and development of the organization. This person reports directly to the WID Board of Directors. The Executive Director provides leadership, strategic alignment, and capability with public, private and governmental agencies, national and international organizations, and political leaders. This person will demonstrate strong leadership behaviors and is capable of translating Board policy into measurable operational objectives. The Executive Director must possess strong leadership skills and vision to effectively align organizational structure and talent with the ability to provide guidance, coaching, and mentoring to his or her management team and the organization as a whole. This role must also demonstrate the ability to effectively manage, communicate, and sustain change. The Executive Director assists the Board of Directors in policy adoption and maintenance and evaluation of operational programs at WID and serves as WID’s spokesperson and liaison to other organizations.

Located in the birthplace of the disability rights movement, Berkeley, CA, WID’s mission in communities and nations worldwide is to eliminate barriers to full social integration and increase employment, economic security, and health care for persons with disabilities. WID creates innovative programs and tools; conducts research, public education, training, and advocacy campaigns; and provides technical assistance.

WID needs a highly skilled senior level leader to help shape the next phase of impact of a dynamic organization whose programs continue to grow in complexity, scale, and reach. The successful candidate will bring the strategic vision and collaborative partnership approach needed to enable the organization to continue to lead the removal of all barriers currently preventing people with disabilities from full access and integration. The ideal candidate will have polished communication and presentation skills and serve as an articulate and passionate ambassador and revenue generator for the organization in a broad range of settings to diverse audiences. The successful candidate can be located in Berkeley, CA or Washington, DC.  This is an exceptional, high-profile national/international leadership opportunity.

Major Responsibilities

LEADERSHIP – Exercise leadership and move others to action, both inside and outside of WID. Demonstrate a positive, results-oriented style that inspires people and broadens the circles of support for WID’s agenda and programs. Prioritize the goals and strategies approved by the WID board, as part of the annual budget and strategic plan and manage staff to realize these goals and implement these strategies.

AMBASSADORSHIP – Build and maintain relationships with other disability advocacy organizations. Work in close partnership with and collaborate with such organizations on a variety of disability policy issues and events.

FISCAL MANAGEMENT – Work with the Chief Financial Officer and relevant board and staff members to develop, implement, and monitor the annual budget and all other financial activities of WID. Exercise sound and prudent fiscal judgment to ensure that WID meets its financial obligations and annual budget goals.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT AND REPORTING – Work closely with the board and assist in board administration and governance issues.

ADVOCACY – Convene stakeholders to advocate for economic and social empowerment for people with disabilities at the state and federal levels.

STRATEGIC PLANNING – Develop a plan to continue to grow WID and build on its programmatic successes such as the WID E3 program, including the Employment, Economic, and Disability Benefit Empowerment programs; New Earth Disability (NED), WID’s climate change initiative; The New Leaders Fellowship Initiative program,  DPO Leadership and Management Training Initiative; and Accessibility Consulting.

DEVELOPMENT – Work with the board and staff to broaden the financial support for WID, growing the budget and programs over time, and helping the organization achieve sustainable growth and long-term fiscal strength. Align development priorities with the organizational goals and strategic plan.

COMMUNICATION ABILITY – Use multiple communication channels to deliver a message that is clear, compelling, and creates a climate where diverse audiences understand the message and, to the extent possible, want to participate and support the message.

TRAINING/COACHING SKILLS – Foster the professional development of staff through coaching and feedback on results; take decisive action to address any performance problems.

VISION – Work with the board to develop and communicate a compelling vision for WID, and recognize, create, and capitalize on opportunities for organizational growth and success.

POLICY KNOWLEDGE –Work with the board and staff to position WID as a disability and civil rights policy thought leader by strategically participating in policy development, research, and coalition work.

CREATIVITY –Demonstrate openness and creativity in approaching problems and opportunities for WID and the disability community.

ETHICS – Demonstrate the highest ethical standards and operate with integrity and transparency in conducting the business of the organization.

Position Requirements


  • A minimum of 7 years of management/leadership experience, fundraising, and fiscal oversight, or equivalent experience, preferably with a non-profit organization. Significant experience in marketing or business will be considered
  • Excellent knowledge of disability policy and advocacy, with a demonstrated passion for social justice.
  • Demonstrated thought leadership in advancing the inclusion of individuals with disabilities nationally and globally.
  • Excellent established relationship and engagement success with the disability community.
  • Non-profit experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion and intersectionality.
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • Ability to handle and manage change.
  • International experience including knowledge of USAID and State Department Programs preferred.


  • Minimum B.A./B.S.; an advanced degree preferred


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Responsive to stakeholders in a timely manner
  • Strong organizational, management, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to inspire and motivate colleagues, volunteers, funders, and coalition partners
  • Strong team-oriented and collaborative ethic and approach
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with everyone
  • Basic technology skills, including MS Office/Google Suite of Apps and social media knowledge

Ability to Travel is Required

Apply Now

Submit your resume and cover letter by email to Christine Griffin at with “WID Executive Director/CEO” in the subject line. Resumes and cover letters are due by June 21, 2019.

Download a Word document with the job description information here:

WID Executive Director/CEO Job Announcement

WID is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Accommodations provided upon request.

WID’s Current Initiatives-2019

For 35 years the World Institute on Disability has been dedicated to examining the cutting-edge issues faced by people with disabilities on a local and global scale. WID’s mission was built on a foundation of civil rights activism that its founders Ed Roberts, Judy Heumann, and Joan Leon embodied when they established this organization in 1983. The world that WID envisioned was one in which people with disabilities could lead fully integrated lives, void of barriers and institutionalized obstacles.

Today, WID’s current team of professionals, activists, and policymakers believes in this mission more than ever and we are always expanding our scope of knowledge to address the needs, wants, and opportunities of our changing world. Our policy and educational work centers around inclusion and universal design, and we are dedicated to the fight for equality. WID’s work addresses the diverse needs of the disability community for creative and innovative accommodations and solutions.

Painting depicting a scene of downtown Berkeley, including a wheelchair user with their service dog, as well as merchants selling jewelry at a street faire.
Section from a Patrick Connally painting inside the WID Berkeley office

2019 is going to be an exciting year for us. We are broadening the reach of long-term projects to encompass new initiatives that pinpoint barriers within the disability community. Our goal this year is to use our research to provide nuanced answers to the problems that hinder people with disabilities from living their lives to the fullest. Following are a number of 2019 initiatives we are excited to work on. You will find relevant links for each project in the descriptions if you wish to learn more about the work we do.


WID E3 is a disability empowerment model and set of resources created to provide valuable tools to job-seekers with disabilities to promote entrance into the workforce. Effective programs and resources have been developed by WID’s subject matter experts to support the dynamic nature of working with a disability. These components are suitable for use by special education, post-secondary, rehabilitation, workforce, independent living programs, and individuals with disabilities. WID E3 materials can also help both family members and related professionals become more effective. WID E3’s components are designed to be added to existing employment efforts, either in whole or in part.

The model is divided into three focuses to offer comprehensive information about career and savings integrity. These are the Employment, Economic, and Disability Benefit Empowerment programs. For complete access to these navigational tools, follow through to the WID E3 main page.

Disaster Preparation and Resilience

Environmental research is the foundation for WID’s climate change initiative New Earth Disability (NED). The primary concern of this project is to identify challenges for the disability community posed by climate change and establish the best responses to these issues. NED works to educate the public and involve various stakeholders to ensure concrete resources for people with disabilities as natural disasters and environmental change persists.

NED is kicking off 2019 with a new project consulting the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on how to improve city infrastructure to enable people with disabilities to live active, dynamic lives. Our team regularly presents to community partners on our research findings, and these platforms and connections will be implemented to focus on transportation-centered concerns. This project is state funded and will examine topics such as disability-centered evacuation during wildfire disasters and improved paratransit reliability.

International Development and Capacity Building

The New Leaders Fellowship Initiative is a program built on WID’s role as a host organization for fellows from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI).  WID facilitates opportunities to share best practices, to start dialogues about common issues around disability, and to view the bigger picture of disability worldwide.

DPO Leadership and Management Training is a worldwide capacity building initiative to facilitate the growth and prevalence of Disabled Persons Organizations through knowledge transfer and education in advocacy, development and funding. The International project works with NGOs providing essential services in developing and conflict-ridden countries to build policies and practices into NGO services that include individuals with disabilities.  WID focuses particularly on services related to DPOs and organizations focused on climate change, peace-building and Employment.

Find more about WID’s international initiatives and programs on the World Programs site.

Accessibility Consulting

Here at WID, we believe that accessibility should be an inherent aspect of design to include people with disabilities as participants, clients, and subscribers. Technology and services often require upgrades to better accommodate disability-related needs such as assistive device compatibility or multiple learning-style models of information sharing. Our team of consultants works with organizations to educate their service developers on how to improve their products and better serve the disability community long-term. This project is called Accessibility Consulting.

The accessibility projects focus on three main areas. The Business and Industry initiative partners with the financial, technology, educational Software, and consulting arenas to expand their ability to provide accessible services to their clients and employees. The User Testing initiative focuses on webpage and app accessibility in order to provide information to developers and distributors on the accessibility and usability of products. Lastly, the Conference Accessibility project sends WID staff to national conferences with a total attendance of more than 5,000 people. Our goal is to make these conferences accessible and relevant for people with disabilities, while also educating the conference organizers about disability barriers and accommodations.

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Welcoming in the 2019 WID Board of Directors

The start of every new year is an inspiring time. The first few winter months serve as a benchmark for taking stock of values and appreciating growth, and each fresh start is accompanied by hope, anticipation, and ambition. Here at the World Institute on Disability, we have the pleasure of ringing in 2019 with a new assembly of officers and members as our executive board. These esteemed people have committed to upholding WID’s mission and helping extend our reach to better facilitate disability empowerment. This new grouping of members has already inspired ambitious goals and WID is starting off 2019 with strong optimism.

We are very excited to welcome long-term member Kevin Foster to his new position as Chair, along with five new members to the Board of Directors. These are representatives of the disability justice movement who we are confident will be incredible leaders in these new roles. Please join us in warmly welcoming Kevin to his new position as Board Chair.

Kevin Foster stands on stage at a mic, smiling out at the crowd
Kevin Foster at WID’s Ever Widening Circle Reception in 2018 | Photo by Ripley Hayden

Kevin Foster is a human resources and diversity professional who has previously worked with Motorola Solutions for over twenty years. As he begins his term as Board Chair, Kevin is leading WID staff in external assessment exercises to creatively and thoughtfully examine WID’s impact. His goals include analyzing feedback and developing new strategic plans to better serve the needs of a changing and evolving world.

He is joined by new members:
Zachary Bastian, Manager, Public Policy & Strategic Alliances at Verizon, who coordinates policy creation and negotiation with organizations to best reflect diverse and intersectional communities.

Bryanna Evans, Manager of External Affairs at CTIA, who manages CTIA’s accessibility initiative-Access Wireless-acting as a key convener between industry and leaders in the accessibility community.

Kiran Kaja, Technical Program Manager with Google, who works on accessibility and ensures that assistant-based products and features are useful to everyone including users with disabilities

Kamilah Martin-Proctor, Chair DC Commission on Persons with Disabilities, Founder of the Martin Multiple Sclerosis Alliance Foundation (MMSAF) and who has served as Vice-Chair on President Barack Obama‘s National Council on Disability.

Susan P. Mazrui, Director of Public Policy at AT&T, who works on public policy issues related to disability and aging, and serves as the liaison with national disability organizations for AT&T Services Inc.

While we welcome these incoming members and celebrate Kevin Foster’s new role, we would be remiss to not pay our respects to Carol J. Bradley and her incredible leadership, who served as WID’s Chair from 2016 to 2018 and remains on WID’s board as Immediate Past Chair. She also remains a Disability Compliance Officer with the Sutter Health Office of the General Counsel. We appreciate Carol’s dedication to our organization and we are thrilled to have her remain with us throughout the oncoming years.

Foster, Bradley, Bastian, Evans, Kaja, Martin-Proctor and Mazrui join WID’s current board members, of whom you may view in total on our Meet Our Board page.

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Events banner. Icons of envelope and two wine glasses.

Ever Widening Circle 2018

Help Us Celebrate Our Community’s Advocates

The Ever Widening Circle Reception allows the disability community
to connect with supporters, leaders, and innovators . This space
allows for networking and open discussions of critical issues in a
public and casual environment. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be
provided to attendees during this social event.

WID’s Ever Widening Circle Reception takes place:
Thursday November 1, 2018 5:00-7:00 PM
Ed Roberts Campus 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703

RSVP today to attend our annual event

This year we are honoring three community advocates with the Disability Leadership Awards during the EWC event. These are leaders who we believe have done incredible work in 2018 and beyond. The innovation, care, enthusiasm, and perseverance each has shown have inspired us to share their work during this very special night.

Ryan Easterly head shot


Ryan Easterly, WITH Foundation. Ryan is the Executive Director of WITH and serves as a primary consultant to WID’s intersectionality initiatives. His work has brought inclusivity to the disability community and advocates for people who are impacted along the intersection of race, class, and disability.

Heather Dowdy head shot


Heather Dowdy, Microsoft. Heather’s main focus is implementing technology to improve usability for the disability community. We are excited to honor Heather and her work as acting Chair on WID’s Board of Directors.



Miguel Quinones head shot


Miguel Quinones, TracFone Wireless. Miguel is the Director of Customer Usability and Accessibility and has spearheaded better inclusion for people with disabilities through website access, customer service, and marketing. His hard work has led to the accessibility of multiple brands and the visibility of inclusion efforts.


There will also be a presentation by our International Fellow Amrita Gyawali, a Nepalese woman and disability advocate who brings her expertise and experience to us from Nepal’s Sakshyam Foundation, which she founded in early 2018. WID will preview the short film Independent Amrita, which follows Amrita throughout her daily life in Berkeley. This film addresses how disability advocacy creates infrastructure and community inclusion which leads to accessibility and independent living for all. This short is filmed, edited, and produced by WID.

We hope you will attend and help celebrate these incredible leaders

If you would like to be a sponsor of the 2018 Ever Widening Circle event, you may find our sponsorship forms here: 2018 EWC Sponsorship Form

Please forward the completed form to Kat Zigmont, WID’s Director of Operations at

To complete payment for your sponsorship, you may visit our Paypal donation page. Please mention your name, sponsorship, and EWC 2018 in the “special instructions” form.

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A group of ten people sit around an adaptive sailboat and an adaptive bike

Get Fit! Get Moving! Fitness Fair

For three years (2013-2015), WID hosted an annual fitness fair at the beautiful Ed Roberts Campus. Partnering with organizations like AXIS Dance Company and Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), WID brought together the Bay Area’s best leaders and teachers in adaptive fitness, recreation, and nutrition.

Questions the fitness fair aimed to address:

  • Why does it seem as if there is a disconnect between “disability” and “fitness”?
  • Why do each of us struggle with finding options for our bodies and our particular health needs?
  • How can we improve our nutrition and health and find ways to have fun while doing it?

“The most important thing I learned was to be aware of your own unique body!” -Participant

What the fitness fair offered:

  • Yoga and movement classes for all bodies
  • Physically Integrated Dance classes
  • Adaptive Cycling Demonstrations by BORP
  • Resource tables on recreation, adventures, and accessible team sports
  • Cooking and nutrition classes
  • Light refreshments
  • Plus door prizes and raffles

These three fitness fairs were well-received by the local disability community, and WID hopes to hold another in the future.

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Site Map

For an alternate navigation tool to the main menu, we offer about 23 links to the main pages on this site below.

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