Sara Hart Weir, MS, has been named the new President of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), after previously serving as the Vice President of Advocacy & Affiliate Relations for NDSS since 2012. Weir is responsible for overseeing the mission and day-to-day administration of NDSS, which is the largest nonprofit in the United States dedicated to advocating for people with Down syndrome and their families.
“The NDSS Board of Directors has unanimously selected Ms. Weir to be our next President,” says NDSS Chairman Rob Taishoff. “In 2015, as NDSS celebrates its 36th year, we need a leader who has a vision for how NDSS will build upon and advance the years of leadership and advocacy on behalf of all individuals with Down syndrome and our families in the United States. Ms. Weir has a commitment to NDSS’ core values and mission; and a capacity to strategically guide our organization forward.”
Under Weir’s leadership, NDSS was at the forefront of the passage of the landmark and historical Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which establishes tax free savings accounts for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. This significant law is hailed as the most significant legislation for the disability community since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), over twenty-five years ago. For Weir, the advocacy surrounding the ABLE Act was a civil rights issue, as for the first-time ever, it puts a stake in the ground that individuals with disabilities can save money for the future, work, all while remaining on the necessary benefits that the Down syndrome community relies on.
“I am deeply humbled and proud to serve as the next President of NDSS. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead NDSS and oversee our mission to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome,” said Weir. “Our organization has a great history, over the last 35 years, of advocating for people with Down syndrome and our families in the United States, and I look forward to ensuring that we remain the leading advocacy organization in the country advocating for people with Down syndrome.”
Prior to joining NDSS, Weir was a Vice President at Faegre BD Consulting and worked for an international pharmaceutical company in Washington, DC. Prior to coming to Washington, Weir worked for a Congressman from Kansas. Ms. Weir has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Leadership from Westminster College (Fulton, Missouri) and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.
Weir's passion of advocating for all people with Down syndrome and their families stems from her friendship with a young woman from Kansas, Kasey, who happens to have Down syndrome. Sara first served as a mentor to Kasey over almost two decades ago.