Marcie Roth

Marcie Roth
Marcie Roth at United Nations 2019

Marcie Roth is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for the World Institute on Disability, one of the first global disability rights organizations founded and continually led by people with disabilities. WID works to advance the rights and opportunities of over 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide,

Active in the Independent Living movement since 1982, Marcie has served in senior and executive leadership roles for national and global disability advocacy and public policy organizations since 1995, establishing and leading coalitions committed to operationalizing disability inclusion as an intersectional imperative for global social justice.

Marcie is a global expert on Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction. Her focus on improving emergency preparedness and disaster outcomes for people with disabilities and building accessible disaster-resilient communities began in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks while advising the White House on the rights and urgent needs of people with disabilities living in the area around ground zero. Appointed by President Obama to the U.S Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency from 2009 to 2017, she served as Senior Advisor to the Administrator, establishing and directing the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination.

Charged with establishing and building FEMA’s Disability Integration Cadre to ultimately include 285 deployable disability integration specialists, Ms. Roth managed over 400 disaster deployments, frequently serving as lead advisor to the presidentially appointed Federal Coordinating Officer and collaborating with affected state and local emergency management leadership and stakeholder groups.  She also led the work of the Department of Homeland Security Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities, established through a presidential executive order in 2004.

Ms. Roth represented the U.S. government internationally as an expert on whole community inclusive global public health preparedness and disaster risk reduction from 2012- 2017, serving as a leader throughout the development and implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

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In 2017, Ms. Roth established the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, bringing stakeholders together daily in disasters and weekly during steady state. The Partnership hosted several state and national Getting It Right Conferences in 2017 and 2018, launched the Disaster Hotline on the day Hurricane Harvey made landfall in TX, authored the National Council on Disability report, Preserving Our Freedom: Ending Institutionalization of People with Disabilities During and After Disasters. and published Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters She led national development and support for the 2019 introduction of the REAADI for Disasters Act (HR. 3208 and S.1755) and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (HR 3215 & S. 1754).

Marcie assumed the role of Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for WID in 2019.  After leading a comprehensive strategic realignment, WID now focuses on bringing research and policy into action and operationalizing inclusion. WID’s work centers around Digital Tools for Optimizing Community Living and Employment; Accessibility Solutions; and Excellence in Disability Inclusive Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Climate Resilience. Marcie Roth

Under Marcie’s leadership, WID launched the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration in July 2020, bringing disability-led organizations, corporations and foundations together, to accelerate solutions for people, organizations and communities impacted by public health emergencies and disasters by connecting disability-led organizations with corporate and foundation allies to jointly drive immediate impact.

Marcie is a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellow with a BS in Public Safety Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She maintains offices at WID’s global headquarters located on the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA, and in Washington, DC.

In partnership with Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed.
Author: Beyond Awareness: Bringing Disability into Diversity Work in K-12 Schools & Communities, and children’s book Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights, ADA 30th Anniversary Edition

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