Board Members

Peter BlanckPeter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D. - Chairman, GUDC

Dr. Blanck is University Professor at Syracuse University, which is the highest faculty rank granted to eight prior individuals in the history of the University. He is Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University. Blanck is Honorary Professor, Centre for Disability Law & Policy, at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Blanck received a Juris Doctorate from Stanford University, where he was President of the Stanford Law Review, and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University.

Blanck has written articles and books on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws, and received grants to study disability law and policy. [Click here for a full listing] Blanck is President of Raising the Floor (RtF) USA. He is a former member of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and a former Senior Fellow of the Annenberg Washington Program. Prior to teaching, Blanck practiced law at the Washington D.C. firm Covington & Burling, and served as law clerk to the late Honorable Carl McGowan of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Read Peter Blanck's Full Bio


Luis GallegosAmbassador Luis Gallegos, Honorary Chairman , GUDC

Ambassador Luis Gallegos is the former Ambassador from Ecuador to the United States. Ambassador Gallegos is Chairman of the Global UN Partnership for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies and President of the International Rehabilitation Foundation. The Congress of Ecuador has honored him twice, in 1999 for his work in Human Rights and for his leadership in the promotion and protection of Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ambassador Gallegos is also a recipient of the “Justice for All Disabilities Rights Award”.
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Board of Directors

Derrick CogburnDerrick L. Cogburn, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Director, Institute on Disability and Public Policy, American University

Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn is Professor of International Communication and Development in the School of International Service and Professor of Information Technology & Analytics in the Kogod School of Business at American University. He is also Founding Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) and the Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (COTELCO: The Collaboration Laboratory). COTELCO is an award-winning social science research center investigating the social and technical factors that influence geographically distributed collaborative knowledge work, particularly between developed and developing countries. His research and teaching includes: global information and communication technology and socio-economic development; multistakeholder institutional mechanisms for Internet governance; transnational policy networks and epistemic communities; and the socio-technical infrastructure for geographically distributed collaboration in knowledge work. Dr. Cogburn received his Ph.D. in political science from Howard University, where he was a W.K. Kellogg doctoral fellow at the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center.
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Berthy De La Rosa-AponteBerthy De La Rosa-Aponte

Berthy De La Rosa-Aponte has been a disability advocate for over 30 years. Her professional experiences has centered on administering services and programs to the disability and/or the Hispanic communities in the US in the educational and social service fields. Mrs. De La Rosa-Aponte has served in numerous local, state and national boards including gubernatorial, congressional and presidential appointments. In 2003 the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives appointed her to be a member of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel. In 2004 President George W. Bush appointed Mrs. De La Rosa-Aponte to be the Chair of the national Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel. Mrs. De La Rosa-Aponte was recently appointed by President Bush to a two-year term beginning May 12, 2008, as a Member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.


Colette FransoletColette Fransolet, President UD Inclusive Design, South Africa

Colette’s expertise is in the application of Universal Design within areas of the built environment and transport and in accordance with International Standards. Her work areas of proficiency related to Universal Design include research, legislative assistance, guideline and standard development, implementation plans, onsite access auditing, plan reviews, training/training material development and specialist consulting. Since 2015, Colette has been the South African Representative for SC4A (SmartCities4All) which is a leading international organization dedicated to the promotion of inclusivity in both the built and virtual environments. Colette was among the first of international applicants to receive the highest echelon of accreditation, Level 3 Advanced Accessibility Consultant for the Certification of Professionals in Accessible Built Environments (CPABE) Program by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), for which she now serves as an Expert Panel member, along with other international experts in Universal Access. Colette is also currently involved in reviewing local standards in South Africa, she is a welcomed annual guest lecturer on Universal Access at numerous local Universities and she is a founding member and Acting CEO of the AAAP (African Association of Access Professionals). Read Colette Fransolet's Full Bio


Anthony GiannoumisG. Anthony Giannoumis, Professor, Researcher, and Entrepreneur in Oslo, Norway

Anthony's research focuses on technology law, policy and practice. He is currently researching the implementation of laws and policies aimed at ensuring equal access to technology for everyone including persons with disabilities. His research interests include universal design, political participation, social innovation, participatory design, international governance, sustainable development, social regulation, standardization, assistive technology, and intellectual property.
Read Anthony Giannoumis' Full Bio


Joshua H. HeintzJoshua H. Heintz, Esq., Treasurer, GUDC Board of Directors

Joshua H. Heintz has retired from the law firm of Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C., in Syracuse, New York, where he practiced for 31 years concentrating on a wide variety of energy, commercial and industrial development projects, including brownfield redevelopment, power generation, solid waste management and surface mining facilities. Mr. Heintz also serves as a trustee to Syracuse University, co-Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, member of the Board of Directors of the Robert H. Jackson Center, and is the former Chair of the Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors.
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Graham HillGraham Hill, CEO - Ice Miller Strategies LLC

Graham Hill provides direct counsel and government affairs services to clients on legislative and regulatory issues. He previously served as the Staff Director and Senior Counsel to the United States House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways, Transit and Pipelines where he was responsible for managing, drafting and negotiating the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act – a Legacy for Users, "The Highway Bill." Graham also was recently nominated by President George W. Bush, and confirmed by the United States Senate, to serve on the National Council for Disability (NCD), an independent federal body with jurisdiction over all matters affecting those with disabilities. The NCD was the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Andrew HoughtonAndrew Houghton, President - Disability Inclusion Solutions, Inc.

Mr. Houghton's broad leadership and experience in the disability arena includes presidential and gubernatorial appointments and business consulting for Fortune 500 companies as well as nonprofit organizations. His accomplishments include the development of domestic and international programs that promote full inclusion for people with disabilities through sports and recreation. Mr. Houghton was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (Committee) in February 2003, as a private citizen representing the interests of nonprofit agency employees with disabilities. In May 2006, Mr. Houghton was reappointed to serve a second term, in July 2006, he was unanimously elected by his peers as Committee Chairperson. In its 70-year history, he is the first private citizen and the first person with a disability to chair the Committee.


Mike PerryMichael Perry, Executive Vice President of Progressive AE

Michael Perry is the Executive Vice President of Progressive AE, a full-service architectural firm with offices in Grand Rapids MI, and Charlotte NC. Michael served as the Principal Architect on the Mary Free Bed YMCA, the first building to be certified by the Global Universal Design Commission for its implementation of Universal Design standards. The new facility, which has experienced exceptional member growth and national recognition, allows people of all abilities the opportunity to participate in health and wellness activities. Through Michael’s leadership, Progressive AE has become a leader in the application of Universal Design in built environments. In his position, his responsibilities are centered on providing principal level leadership to clients, driving new business innovation activities, providing strategic advice across projects and team-wide guidance.


Rosemarie RossettiRosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., President of Rossetti Enterprises Inc. and Co-Founder of the Universal Design Living Laboratory

Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. is an internationally known speaker, author, consultant, and president of Rossetti Enterprises Inc. She is a keynote speaker at national conferences and events. Her presentations and consulting help people integrate universal design, accessible design, and green building features and products in home designs. Rossetti is an entrepreneur who is rethinking design and building by spearheading discussions and experiments around re-imagined living spaces. She and her husband, Mark Leder, led the team that designed and built their home, the nationally-acclaimed Universal Design Living Laboratory, the demonstration home and garden in Columbus, Ohio. The home received a Silver rating certification on the LEED for Homes program from the U. S. Green Building Council, and earned a Gold rating certification on the National Green Building Standard program. The home is certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
Read Rosemarie Rossetti's Full Bio


Shelley SiegelShelley Siegel, President of Universal Design & Education Network

Shelley Siegel, FASID is founder of Universal Design & Education Network, a Universal Design focused interior design firm, as well as a consulting designer with Siegel Design Group, Inc., a design-build company she owns with her husband, Roy Siegel. Siegel has over 30 years of experience in the interior design industry and a nuanced understanding of “beyond compliance” accessibility goals as evidenced in Universal Design, aging in place, and more. She is an educator and lecturer, has ADA expertise. Siegel has broad expertise in Universal Design in residential, commercial, and healthcare environments.


John LancasterJohn Lancaster, GUDC Founding Board Member Emeritus
Former Executive Director - National Council on Independent Living

John A. Lancaster previously served as the Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), which is the oldest disability grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. NCIL advances the independent living philosophy and advocates for the full integration and participation of people with disabilities in society.

Since 1974, he has worked as a civil rights attorney working on issues related to the integration and empowerment of people with disabilities. He has served in government from 1981-1987 for Governor Harry Hughes of Maryland as the Director of the Office for Individuals with Disabilities and again from 1991-2000 with the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. From 1995-2000, he distinguished himself in the Clinton Administration in the formulation of disability employment policy as the President’s Committee’s Executive Director.