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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Reyma McCoy McDeid Selected as NCIL Executive Director

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) board of directors is pleased to announce that it has named Reyma McCoy McDeid (she / her) as its new Executive Director, effective June 28, 2021. McCoy McDeid, a leading voice in the Independent Living (IL) movement, will bring both a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for disability justice to this role. Additionally, her assuming this role is historic because she will be the first ever Black executive director of a national disability organization in the US. She will succeed Kelly Buckland, who is retiring after 12 years.

“Our board of directors is thrilled that a visionary leader like Reyma will join NCIL as its next Executive Director to support the organization – and the IL movement – to evolve,” said board chair Sarah Launderville. “Reyma possesses the qualifications and expertise to nurture NCIL into becoming an intersectional, and therefore more successful, organization to create lasting impact for disabled people in the US – and beyond.”

McCoy McDeid is the former treasurer for NCIL and has been instrumental in engaging the organization tackling racial equity issues in the organization. Additionally, she has provided training and technical assistance to countless stakeholders in IL throughout the US. Prior to her appointment to the Biden / Harris administration as Commissioner for the Administration on Disabilities (AoD) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), she served for over five years as Executive Director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living (CICIL), winner of the 2018 City of Des Moines Organization of the Year award. She is the first openly autistic person to run for state legislature in US history, is an AT&T Humanity of Connection award-winning activist, and speaks regularly about the intersection of race and disability at universities, organizations like the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and corporations like Microsoft.

McCoy McDeid holds a M.A. degree in Nonprofit Administration from Lindenwood University.

“I could not be more thrilled to accept the position as Executive Director to this organization at this particular moment in history. NCIL is privileged to have an extremely talented team and a dedicated membership base,” says McCoy McDeid. “My goal in leading this organization is to build on the achievements of the past as we grapple with critical conversations regarding where we, both as an organization and a key stakeholder in the IL movement, go from here. My assuming this role is bittersweet, because my mentors, Deidre Davis Butler and Stanley Holbrook, are no longer here to participate in this historic moment in IL history, but I am fully committed to honoring their legacy in everything I do, moving forward. Let’s get to work!”

McCoy McDeid’s appointment concludes a six-month national search process completed by NCIL’s succession planning committee, led by Sarah Launderville. “It has truly been a learning experience for NCIL to conduct this process as our country, and IL, on the whole, grapple with the systemic gaps created by racial inequity,” Launderville says. “We emerge from the candidate selection process both with the candidate we are confident will take IL to the next level and with a deeper understanding of the subtle, yet profound, barriers racially marginalized people face to assuming leadership roles in our movement. We look forward to sharing our lessons learned in the interest of supporting CILs and SILCs throughout our network to overcome these barriers to ensure the vital and necessary inclusion of racially marginalized colleagues in decision making roles, which we recognize is absolutely essential to ensuring the sustainability of IL as we know it.”

Please join the board of directors of NCIL in congratulating Reyma as she works with Kelly Buckland to ensure a smooth transition. 

Reyma McCoy McDeid, a light-complected Black woman in her early forties. Ms. McCoy McDeid has long curly brown hair and glasses. She is seated in front of a black background on a stool. She is wearing a short, form-fitted dress that features a watercolor pattern. Photo by Urban Couture Photography, Des Moines, IA.

Image is of McCoy McDeid, a light-complected Black woman in her early forties with long curly brown hair and glasses. She is seated in front of a black background on a stool and is wearing a short, form-fitted dress that features a watercolor pattern. Photo by Urban Couture Photography, Des Moines, IA.

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