Changes in NOSSCR Staff

It’s time to wish a happy retirement to NOSSCR’s longtime Director of Government Affairs, Ethel Zelenske. Ethel has been a longtime advocate for people with disabilities for the last 35 years. She began her legal career at the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., in Baltimore, MD (now Maryland Legal Aid), where she represented individuals in disability claims and worked on class action litigation. She then worked at National Senior Citizens Law Center (now Justice in Aging), focusing on administrative and legislative policy issues related to the Social Security and SSI disability programs. She has been NOSSCR’s Director of Government Affairs since 1999. Her work with SSA, Congress, and other disability and legal services advocates has had an impact on the Social Security and SSI disability programs and has given NOSSCR a voice in Washington. We all thank Ethel for her years of work with NOSSCR.

While we will miss Ethel, we are pleased to announce that Lisa Ekman will be joining us as Director of Government Affairs in our Washington, D.C. office. Lisa has more than 16 years of experience working to improve economic security for people with disabilities, focusing on SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare and Medicaid, employment programs, and long-term services and supports. Lisa started her disability policy career as a Presidential Management Intern at the Social Security Administration, where she worked on the development and implementation of the Ticket to Work Program. She has worked as a staff member to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel, and as disability policy advisor to Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Tom Harkin, and James Jeffords on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. After her time on Capitol Hill, she served as a Senior Policy Analyst in Legislative Affairs for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities before returning to school to earn her law degree. Directly prior to joining NOSSCR, she served as the Director of Federal Policy for Health & Disability Advocates. She has also provided disability policy consulting services to NOSSCR, the American Association of People with Disabilities, Axiom Resource Management, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Lisa received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University, her Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver, and a Bachelors in Communications from Northwestern University.

Stacy Cloyd remains in the NOSSCR Washington, D.C., office as our Deputy Director of Government Affairs. Beginning January 4, 2016 Lisa can be reached at or 202-550-9996. Stacy can be reached at or 202-457-7775.

For more information about this transition, contact Maria Myotte at or 720-352-6153.

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