Advisory Council

Mother and young daughter bonding

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance Bill of Rights Act of 2000, Section 154 (E) requires that the UCEDD establish a Advisory Council (GAC) of which a majority of members should be individuals with developmental and related disabilities and their family members.  In addition, the GAC should have representatives from the State Protection and Advocacy System, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities,  self-advocacy organizations, parent training and information organizations,  assistive technology centers, and other community groups concerned with the welfare of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.  It also must reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the State. 

The GAC consults with the Director of the Center regarding the five year plan, its annual review and renewal.  The GAC comments on the progress of the Center in meeting the goals in the plan and makes recommendations for revisions.  The GAC must meet at least twice per year.

GUCEDD Advisory Council Member Highlights

We will feature highlights from our great members each year. 

Wilma Elen

Member of the advisory council, parent of a child with a disability.


Rebecca Salon

Member of the advisory council, DC Department of Disability Services, in the state office of policy, planning, and innovation. Also serves as an advisor for Project ACTION!


Robert Kennedy

Member of the advisory council, he serves on many boards in DC, including the Hospital for Sick Children Male Caregivers, and Parent Advocate Leaders (PALS). He also had a founding role in Project ACTION!


DC Coalition for Disability Service Providers Executive Director

Ian Paregol

Ian Paregol, executive director of DC Coalition for Disability Service Providers and former executive director of community services for Autistic Adults and Children, offers a multidisciplinary perspective as a member of the First Place® AZ advisory board. His 25-year professional career is the culmination of his diverse background in law, human services management and education administration. 


The Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities has established an Advisory Council. The GAC meets three times per year. Below is a current listing of GAC members . 

If you would like to inquire about being a member of our GAC, please contact us at

GUCEDD Orientation for new Members

Full Curriculum from AUCD

GUCEDD Advisory Council Members

District Government Agency Representatives

  • Andrew Reese, Director
    Department on Disability Services
    250 E Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20024

DC Developmental Disabilities Network

  • Jane Brown, Esq., Executive Director
    University Legal Services
  • Alison White, Executive Director
    DC Developmental Disabilities Council

People with Lived Experience

  • Heidi Case
  • Robert Kennedy
  • Steven Powe

Family Members of People with Lived Experience

  • Bayoush Alemayhu (parent)
  • Michelle Hawkins (parent)
  • Karla Reid-Witt (parent)
  • Wilma Eley (parent)
  • Chioma Oruh (parent)

Private Agency Representatives

  • Phyllis Holton, Deputy Director 
    DC Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities 
  • Molly Whalen
    State Director, Best Buddies VA & DC

Service Providers

  • Rebecca Salon, PhD
    Program Specialist
    Department on Disability Services
  • Marsha H. Thompson, ED
    Capitol Hill Supportive Services Program
  • Ian M. Paregol
    DC Coalition of Disability Service Providers
  • George Aguehounde
    DC Center for Independent Living
  • Patricia Browne, President and CEO
    National Children’s Center

University Representatives

  • Heidi Tseu, 
    Director of Local Government Affairs
    Georgetown University
    Office of Government Relations and Comm. Engagement

GUCCHD-UCEDD Faculty and Staff

  • Tawara D. Goode, Director
  • Rachel Brady, Director of Information Dissemination
  • Joan Christopher, Director of Community Services
  • Sharonlyn Harrison, Director of Research and Evaluation
  • Safiya Hassan, Project Assistant
  • Wendy Jones, Director of the Parenting Support Program
  • Mariam Kherbouch, Administrator
  • Toby Long, Director of Training
  • Phyllis Magrab, University-wide DD Liaison
  • Jalyn Marks, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Sarah Ward, Multimedia Specialist


The Act also requires collaboration among UCEDDs, Protection and Advocacy Agencies and Developmental Disabilities Councils. This collaboration and partnership is referred to as the Triad in the District of Columbia.