President Biden Announces Key Appointees
WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announces his intent to appoint the following individuals to serve in key roles:
- Elver Ariza-Silva, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Heather Dowdy, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Gregory S. Fehribach, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Mozhdeh Amelia Hamraie, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Hannah Raissa Ibañez, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Alexis Ander Kashar, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- KR Liu, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Benjamin William Julian Nadolsky, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Madeline Rose Ruvolo, Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
- Gen. John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.), Member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
- Dr. Paul J. Angelo, Member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
- President Emeritus Robert E. Clark II, Member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
- Adm. Michelle Janine Howard, USN (Ret.), Member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
- Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain IV, Member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
- Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, USMC (Ret.), Member, Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.
Elver Ariza-Silva, Member
Elver Ariza-Silva is active in advocacy efforts for all people with disabilities, with a focus on those who are Latino in the District of Columbia. Originally from the Republic of Colombia, Ariza-Silva is a polio survivor and a professional with more than 20 years combined experience in human and social services and in the food industry. Ariza-Silva has served as a research assistant for a Johns Hopkins University study that focused on preventing child trafficking from Latin America and has held leadership roles in the food industry. Ariza-Silva was appointed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve as Chairman on the Statewide Independent Living Council. Ariza-Silva served as Vice-chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee Board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, advising Metro on ways to improve Metro Rail, Metro Bus, and Metro Access.
Heather Dowdy, Member
With fifteen years of experience developing and demonstrating accessible technology in mobile, web and artificial intelligence, Heather Dowdy is passionate about connecting the dots across disability, race, tech, and faith. She currently leads Accessibility at Netflix, leveraging technology to connect people with disabilities to their next favorite story. Previously, Dowdy served in several accessibility leadership roles at Microsoft and Motorola Mobility, including being named Chair of the Accessibility Working Group of the Mobile & Wireless Forum. As the oldest daughter of Deaf parents, Dowdy is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Dowdy has served as a Board Member of the World Institute on Disability (WID), deaf kids CODE, and Billion Strong. She loves using the design thinking process to create solutions that improve usability for everyone. Dowdy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Gregory S. Fehribach, Member
Greg Fehribach is a leader in accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. An attorney for over thirty-five years who is affiliated with the Indianapolis law firm Tuohy, Bailey, & Moore, LLP, Fehribach founded The Fehribach Group in 1995, where he provides innovative access solutions to clients nationwide who are seeking to create an accessible environment that is welcoming to all guests. Under Fehribach’s guidance as legal counsel, Indianapolis has often been named a top accessible American city, as demonstrated when it hosted the 2012 Super Bowl, considered the most accessible Super Bowl for people with disabilities to date. Fehribach currently serves as a Trustee of the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County (Indianapolis). In 2013, Fehribach’s vision for the full inclusion, equity, and economic independence for people with disabilities led to the development of the innovative Gregory S. Fehribach Center. In 2004 he was appointed by the Governor of the State of Indiana to be a Trustee for Ball State, and he continues to serve as a Distinguished Fellow at the university.
Mozhdeh Amelia Hamraie, Member
Dr. Aimi Hamraie (they/them) is a disabled designer and scholar, with expertise in architectural and digital media accessibility. They are the author of Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), a history of the Universal Design movement and accessibility standards in the United States. Hamraie has also published numerous other articles on the topics of disability access, architecture, and urbanism in academic journals. They are quoted in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio, the History Channel, and other news sources. Hamraie works as Associate Professor of Medicine, Health, & Society and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, where they train students in the pre-medicine and pre-health professions in the field of disability studies. Hamraie also directs the Critical Design Lab, a collaborative of disabled designers and researchers located in three countries. The Critical Design Lab was recognized with a United States Artists Fellowship in Media for 2022.
Hannah Raissa Ibañez, Member
Hannah Raissa Ibañez, Esq. currently works as a Senior Staff Attorney on the Tenant Defense Project for Inner City Law Center, a non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to vulnerable residents of Los Angeles. In this role, she provides litigation defense to low-income tenants, working poor families, immigrants, people who are living with HIV/AIDS, people with disabilities, and veterans facing homelessness and eviction. Prior to joining ICLC, she was an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s Sixth and Twelfth Judicial Districts, serving in both Misdemeanor and Felony Divisions. She served on the board for the Red Tent Women’s Initiative, a Florida non-profit that focuses on providing resources to incarcerated women to assist in their transition back into society. She developed a pro-bono clinic between the Sixth Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s office and her alma mater Stetson Law school to provide support to Public Defenders and their clients, while giving young lawyers the opportunity to consider a career in social rights advocacy. Currently, she volunteers with the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild as a Legal Observer, ensuring that the constitutional rights of peaceful organizers are protected.
Alexis Ander Kashar, Member
Alexis Kashar is a civil rights attorney, business leader, and technologist. She grew up in a multi-generational Deaf family that encouraged her interest in civil rights and accessibility from an early age. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Business and the University of Texas Law school. For over two decades, she was among a small group of Deaf attorneys in the world practicing civil rights and special education law in the private sector, where she fought for a more accessible world. She is also a second-generation entrepreneur in the accessible design and technology space. Kashar’s parents founded Krown Manufacturing where they were pioneers in the world of assistive technology, manufacturing communication kits for homes and hotels around the world. She is currently the President of the Board for the New York School for the Deaf, one of New York’s oldest institutions and the founder of Rosebyander Jewelry. Kashar currently resides in Westchester, New York.
KR Liu, Member
KR Liu is a leader in the area of disability inclusion and LGBTQ rights. She has been on the forefront of issues blazing a trail towards inclusive design and marketing for almost 20 years. Diagnosed with severe hearing loss at the age of three, she’s made it her life’s work to be a strong advocate for disabled people. As the Head of Brand Accessibility at Google, Brand Studio she drives innovation of representation for diverse disabled audiences, a segment that historically has been overlooked. Liu has been invited to speak at the White House, the United Nations, Capitol Hill, CES, SXSW to push for a more accessible and inclusive world for all through brand marketing and inclusive design in technology. She successfully lobbied on Capitol Hill with Senator Warren’s team and helped pass legislation called the Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017. She is on several boards such as the Consumer Technology Association Foundation, Deaf Kids Code, and the American Association for People with Disabilities. She is a nationally awarded advocate, with a strong reputation in inclusive design, brand marketing, policy, and inclusion.
Benjamin William Julian Nadolsky, Member
Benjamin Nadolsky of Knoxville, Tennessee is the principal of Nadolsky Consulting Group LLC, a firm specialized in education, accessibility, and disability rights. He is on the Board of Directors for the World Institute on Disability and the Pennhurst Preservation & Memorial Alliance Advisory Board. Additionally, he is a professional student at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his JD/MBA, a Coelho Law Fellow, and a co-chair for the Yale Disability Alumni Group. Previously, he served as a high school teacher for two years in Nashville, TN. While teaching, he received his M. Ed. from Lipscomb University. In 2018, he received his B.A. in Global Affairs and History from Yale University. There, he served through mayoral appointment on the City of New Haven’s Commission on Disabilities, founded Yale’s only undergraduate organization dedicated to disability rights, Disability Empowerment for Yale, and worked as an Inaugural Kerry Yale College Fellow for U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. During his college career, Nadolsky also interned with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, the Office of Former U.S. Senator Bob Corker (TN), and the Office of Former Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett (TN).
Madeline Rose Ruvolo, Member
Madeline Ruvolo is a transportation planner on the Accessible Services team at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. She specializes in the accessibility of active transportation and emerging mobility projects and programs. Previously, Ruvolo worked for the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and the Oakland Department of Transportation. Ruvolo has received many accolades for her work at the intersection of transportation and disability, including the prestigious Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship and Myra L. Frank Memorial Graduate Scholarship. She holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Scripps College, where she graduated summa cum laude. Ruvolo is from Silver Spring, Maryland and resides in Oakland, California.
The Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy
The Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy inquires into the state of morale and discipline, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the academy which the Board decides to consider. The Board consists of six members appointed by the President, three appointed by the Vice President, four appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one designated by the Senate Armed Services Committee and one designated by the House Armed Services Committee. The President of the United States receives an annual written report of the Board’s findings and recommendations.
General John R. Allen, Member
General John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.) is a retired four-star Marine Corps General who currently serves as the 8th President of the Brookings Institution. General Allen was the first Marine to command a theater of war, serving as Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. Following his retirement in 2013, General Allen served as Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL under the Obama administration. A graduate of the Naval Academy class of 1976, where in 2021 he was named a Distinguished Graduate, General Allen’s nearly 38 years in the Marine Corps included two postings at the Naval Academy, first as an instructor in the Political Science Department, and then as the 79th Commandant of Midshipmen – the first Marine to hold this position.
Dr. Paul J. Angelo, Member
Dr. Paul J. Angelo, PhD, is a fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he researches migration, insecurity, and strategic competition in the Western Hemisphere. A U.S. Navy Reserve foreign area officer, Angelo also serves as the executive officer of a U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command unit based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was formerly an International Affairs Fellow at CFR, and in this capacity, he represented the U.S. Department of State as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. His previous service in the Navy includes tours on board a destroyer deployed to the Asia-Pacific region; at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia; in a United Kingdom-based NATO role; and as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy. Angelo holds a BS in political science (with honors) from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship; an MPhil in Latin American studies (with distinction) from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar; and a PhD in politics from University College London.
President Emeritus Robert E. Clark II, Member
President Emeritus Robert Clark served as the 17th President of Wesley College before retiring in June 2021 after ensuring the long-term viability of the Wesley College brand with a historic Acquisition Agreement signed with Delaware State University. In recognition of his leadership and service to the College and the community, the Board of Trustees bestowed upon him the title of President Emeritus. Clark is a proud Navy Veteran, and a 1984 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. During his 32 years of service as a Submarine Officer, he served on five nuclear powered fast attack submarines, as well as in some of the most critical and rewarding positions in the Navy, including; 84th Commandant of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy; Commodore of Submarine Squadron Four; Deputy Executive Assistant, and then Executive Assistant, to two Vice Chiefs of Naval Operations, where he was the only officer in the history of the office to hold both positions concurrently; and Commanding Officer of the nuclear powered submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22). He and his wife, Ruth Ann, have two sons, both Naval Officers, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter.
Admiral Michelle J. Howard, Member
Admiral Michelle Howard (Ret.) served 35 years in the United States Navy. Howard led Sailors and Marines multiple times in her career as the Commander of a ship, an Expeditionary Strike Group, a Task Force, and a Naval theater. Her last command was from 2016 to 2017 as U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. She simultaneously led NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples with oversight of missions from the Western Balkans to Iraq. Her operational experiences include: Desert Shield/Desert Storm, a West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief Efforts, Maritime Security Operations in the North Arabian Gulf, and Counter-piracy efforts in Gulf of Aden/Somalia Basin. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998. Howard was the Shapiro Visiting Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University from 2018 to 2020. She is on the board of directors for IBM, the Stimson Center, and on an advisory panel to the United States Institute of Peace.
Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain IV, Member
Lt. Cmdr. John “Jack” McCain is a reserve Naval Aviator for Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85, and graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He has deployed five times in the Pacific, Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan where, as an Afghan Hand, he flew alongside Afghan pilots in the Blackhawk, throughout Kandahar and Helmand. Prior to that he was a leadership instructor at the Naval Academy and a search and rescue pilot in Guam. He is currently working as American Airlines’ Director for State and Local Government Affairs for the Western United States.
Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath, Member
Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, USMC (ret.) is a US Naval Academy graduate who served as a Marine F/A-18 pilot and weapons systems officer with three combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. After her operational flying tours, she served as a Congressional Fellow and in the Pentagon as Marine Corps’ liaison to the State Department and a tour teaching political science at USNA. In 2018 and 2020, she ran U.S. House and Senate races in Kentucky. More recently she founded Honor Bound, Inc. a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan organization committed to leadership development for women with a service background and encouraging those women to run for elected office.