Board of Directors

Rick Rader, MD,FAAIDD, DHL (Hon)
President of AAHD
Editor in chief, HELEN, The Journal of
Human Exceptionality
Director, Habilitation Center,
Orange Grove Center, Chattanooga, TN
VP Public Policy, American Academy of
Developmental Medicine and Dentistry

Vince Campbell, Ph.D.
Disability Researcher and Consultant
Gulf Shores, AL

Andres Gallegos, Esq.
Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.
Chicago, IL

Matt Holder, MD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Lee Specialty Clinic
Editorial Advisory Committee, HELEN,
The Journal of Human Exceptionality
Louisville, KY

Amy Houtrow, MD, MPH, Ph.D
Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
and Pediatrics Endowed Chair for Pediatric
Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA



Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Health Policy Research Center, Morgan Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114

Matthew P. Janicki, Ph.D
Associate Research Professor
Department of Disability and Human Development
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Gary Liguori, Ph.D, FACSMProvost and Senior Vice PresidentUniversity of West Florida
Editorial Advisory Committee, HELEN,
The Journal of Human Exceptionality
Pensacola, FL 32514

Julie McLean, CPA
Sherman Fairchild Foundation
Bethesda, MD

Margaret (Maggie) Nygren, Ed.D., FAAIDD
Executive Director and CEO
American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
Silver Spring, MD



Karl Cooper, Esq.
Executive Director
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Karl D. Cooper, Esq. is an attorney and disability advocate. As a person with his own disabilities, he has spent most of his professional career addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities. Effective June 1, 2023, Karl was selected to be Executive Director of AAHD. Previously, he served as Director of Public Health Programs at AAHD, overseeing a number of projects which conduct outreach in the disability community to engage them in public health initiatives. He started at AAHD in October 2013, working as the Project Manager for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC). Prior to moving to DC in 2012, he practiced law for 14 years in the greater Philadelphia area where he was able to devote time to pro-bono advocacy for those affected by physical and developmental disabilities. In addition to his work with AAHD, Karl is the current Chair of the Disability Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Karl received his law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1997 and a BA in Communications/Political Science from Cedarville University in 1994.

Jacob Ditsch, OTD
Senior Research Associate
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Jacob Ditsch, OTD, is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at AAHD, providing his knowledge and skills from a clinical perspective with training in project management and knowledge translation. He serves as Project Coordinator on the VTE KTTU Project and co-facilitates knowledge translation, Coordinator. In addition to the VTE KTTU Project, Jacob Ditsch assists other AAHD staff on knowledge translation, transfer, and utilization for people with disabilities.

Charles E. Drum, MPA, JD, PhD
Director, National Center on Research, Knowledge Translation, & Dissemination
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Charles E. Drum, MPA, JD, PhD, is the founding Director of the National Center on Research, Knowledge Translation & Dissemination at the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD). Previously, he was Director of the Institute on Disability and Professor of Public Health at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Assistant to Associate Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Drum is an established leader in disability and health issues, focusing on health promotion, health care access, and health disparities. He has produced over 250 peer-review and knowledge translation publications and obtained grant support more than $32 million.

Michelle Eastman, MDiv.
Accessibility and Communications Specialist

Michelle is a graduate from Boston University from the School of Theology with a concentration in disability studies, focusing on the intersections of environmental justice, race, religion, and higher education. Working for more than 10 years with people with disabilities both nationally and internationally she is passionate about digital content creation and its role in driving different disability justice initiatives. Michelle is excited about the work at AAHD and serves as an Accessibility and Communications Specialist for the All of Us and Community Catalyst projects.

Cassandra Moore, MPH
Project Associate

Cassandra has a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology. She is a Project Associate with the All of Us Research Program project. Her experience is in directing public health programs in a community-based setting. She has experience in coordinating and implementing programs. In addition, Cassandra has worked with people with disabilities as a direct support professional assisting with daily living.

Nuria Piracha, MPH
Project Manager

Nuria has a Master’s in Public Health program and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from George Mason University. Professionally, she has worked within women, youth, and children’s health, with a focus on state-based plans, access to continuous and affordable healthcare coverage, and health policy advocacy. Nuria currently serves as the Project Manager for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative project, along with support on the All of Us Research Program project.

Allison Poullard
Administrative Manager (Grants/Contracts)

Allison started with AAHD in November 2021 as the Grants and Contacts Manager. In her previous work, she served as a Senior Program Accounting Manager at a local nonprofit overseeing grant compliance for federal, state, local and private funding sources. She also has 7+ years of experience with billing, budget creation and modification, financial reporting, reconciliations and audit preparation. Allison received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland at College Park in Government and Politics with a minor in Agricultural Economics in 2009. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University.

E. Clarke Ross, DPA
Public Policy Director
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Dr. E. Clarke Ross has worked over 50 years with six national mental health and disability organizations. Since December 2010, Clarke has worked as the public policy director for the American Association on Health and Disability. Clarke and AAHD have served since 2014 as the Washington Representative of the Lakeshore Foundation.  Between 2012-2023, each year, Clarke served on a variety of the National Quality Forum (NQF) committees. Clarke’s work history includes Chief Executive Officer of CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy, NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness; Executive Director, American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association (AMBHA); Assistant Executive Director for Federal Relations and then Deputy Executive Director, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD); and Director of Governmental Activities, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). Clarke previously served as the Chair of the “Friends of NCBDDD” (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities) at CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); then its Advocacy Coalition chair. Dr. Ross was a co-founder of the Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD) in 1973. A former VISTA volunteer, from 1984-1986, Clarke worked as an Assistant Professor of Public Administration for Troy State University – European Region, headquartered in Weisbaden, Germany. Between 1983 and 2020, Dr. Ross served as an adjunct instructor of graduate public administration for Central Michigan University.

Michelle Sayles, MA 
Communications Manager

Michelle graduated from McMaster University with a Master of Arts in Globalization Studies in 2018, building on her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography. Her graduate research explored the relationship between mental health, trauma studies, and climate change. Community outreach, engagement and socially-engaged arts have been central to her work and integrated through professional positions at the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and Clark University. She is experienced in non-profit social media management, digital media production, and communications strategy development. Michelle was also a participating artist in The Most Costly Journey non-fiction comics anthology project, and lead author of an accessible education tool for the McMaster University Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Michele Sky Lee, MA

Michele Lee is a second year Interdisciplinary Health doctoral student at Northern Arizona University. Michele is also a Research Coordinator at The Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University. Her primary research interests include understanding Pap testing in women with disabilities.

Maria Manolatos
Administrative Assistant
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