Kelly Buckland, executive director of the Idaho State Independent Living Council, has become a well-known presence in the Statehouse for the past 14 years, lobbying for the rights of individuals with disabilities. But this is his last legislative session - in May, he'll start a new job as executive director of the National Council on Independent Living, and he'll be lobbying Congress in Washington, D.C. Buckland has been president of the national council for the past four years, and vice president for four years before that, and with the council's current executive director retiring, "a lot of the members were encouraging me to apply and recruiting me. So I decided it was a great opportunity and I would always regret it if I didn't do it. I talked it over with the family, and we decided to go."
Buckland will be advocating for organizations like the one he now heads from every state, and also for 600 centers for independent living nationwide. "The issues are the same," he said. "It's about rights of people with disabilities, and it's about people being able to live independently in their community." Click below to read the full announcement from the national council.
Kelly Buckland Appointed as NCIL’s New Executive Director
This New Year is a time of transition for our Nation and a time of transition for NCIL. In December, as President-Elect Barack Obama contemplated key appointments to the new Administration, the NCIL Governing Board completed an exhaustive search and selection process in appointing Kelly Buckland to replace John Lancaster, who is retiring to his home in upstate New York.
Kelly will bring to NCIL a career of experience in the Independent Living Movement and disability rights. He has matured in his career from his days as a social worker in Boise and an employee for Idaho’s Protection and Advocacy system. He served for years as the Executive Director of the Boise CIL, Living Independence Network Corp. He currently heads the Idaho State Independent Living Council. He has served on the Idaho Developmental Disabilities Council, the State Employment and Training Council, and the State Help America Vote Act Steering Committee.
In 1978, Kelly graduated from Boise State University with a B.A. in Social Work and in 1988 Summa Cum Laude from Drake University with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling. In recent years, Kelly has been honored with numerous state and national awards, including the University of Idaho President’s Medallion, the United Vision for Idaho Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Achievement in Human Rights Award, and induction into the National Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame.
Additionally, Kelly is no stranger to NCIL. He has served on numerous NCIL Legislative and Advocacy Subcommittees and other standing NCIL committees, the NCIL Governing Board since 1998, as NCIL Vice-President from 2001-2005, and as NCIL President from 2005 to the present. Kelly will officially take over as NCIL’s Executive Director from John on May 15, 2009 and will continue to serve as NCIL President until his term expires at NCIL’s 2009 Annual Meeting of the Members in early June. John and Kelly will be working closely together in the first 4 ½ months of 2009 to insure a smooth and effective transition of Executive Directors.
Kelly, his wife Merle and their son Rodney will relocate to the Washington Metropolitan Area following the conclusion of Rodney’s school year. Kelly’s family have always been active supporters and contributors to Kelly’s many professional accomplishments.
The NCIL staff feels privileged to have Kelly as their new leader. His experience, insight, vision and proven leadership is what NCIL needs to direct our operations in this challenging time of National financial, political and cultural change. Please join us in welcoming NCIL’s new Executive Director, Kelly J. Buckland!
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