Advocating and advancing the human, civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities


Board and Advisory Councils

People with disabilities and family members comprise the majority of each advisory and the agency's Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

DRNJ is governed by a Board of Directors, the majority of whom are individuals with disabilities or family members of an individual with a disability. The governing board includes representatives from each of the agency's consumer advisory councils and is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity and geography.

To be considered for the Board of Directors, please complete the Board Application.

The current members of the Board of Directors are:

  • Mitch Friedman (Chair)
  • Daniel Florio (Vice Chair)
  • Carolyn Hayer (Treasurer)
  • Hazeline C. Pilgrim (Secretary)
  • Edward L. Allison
  • Beth Barnhard
  • Elaine Buchsbaum
  • Ellie Byra
  • Nadia Hussain
  • Tasha Jones
  • Heather Simms
  • Linda Soley
  • Laurie Townsend
  • Stephen Way

DRNJ Presidents Emeriti

Sarah W. Mitchell, Founder and President Emeritus, 1994 to 2008

Joseph B. Young, President Emeritus, 2009 to 2018

Advisory Councils

To ensure consumer input and participation, DRNJ has three advisory councils: PADD Advisory; PAIMI Advisory; and ATAC Advisory.

To be considered for an Advisory Council, please complete the Advisory Council Application.

PADD Advisory

  • Thomas Baffuto
  • Dr. Suzanne Buchanan
  • Elaine Buchsbaum
  • Ellie Byra
  • Cathy Chin
  • Liza Gundell
  • Carolyn D. Hayer
  • Tasha H. Jones
  • Nancy G. Richardson
  • Ashley Ritchey
  • Valerie Sellers
  • Dr. Deborah M. Spitalnik
  • Mercedes Witowski

PAIMI Advisory

  • Heather Simms (Chair)
  • Lee Ginsburg
  • Marshall Roundtree
  • Ryann Siclari
  • Jessica Whaley
  • Jay M. Yudof
  • Leah Ziskin

ATAC Advisory

  • R. Scott Elliott
  • Bob Haugh
  • Ira Hock
  • Paulette Knarr
  • Kirk Lew
  • Ines Matos
  • Colleen A. McLaughling
  • Javier Robles


Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

Grievance and Appeal Policy





New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities

Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
1.800.922.7233 (in NJ only) • 1.609.292.9742 (Voice)
1.609.777.0187 (Fax) • 1.609.633.7106 (TTY)
Email Us

Legal Disclaimer

DRNJ is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides services to all persons with disabilities regardless of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual or affectional orientation, ancestry or disability. Any concerns regarding the agency’s compliance with these non-discrimination efforts may be brought to the attention of the Executive Director.

Viewers are encouraged to download and reproduce content from this website. When doing so, it is requested that you give appropriate credit to DRNJ.