Obama Announces Intent to Appoint NEC’s Jim Brett to Disabilities Committee

BOSTON (July 7, 2014) – President Barack Obama has announced his intent to appoint James T. Brett, the President & CEO of the New England Council, to serve on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID).  Mr. Brett previously served on PCIPD from 2002 to 2006 and served a two-year terms as the Committee’s Chairman from 2011 to 2013.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by President Obama to once again serve on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities,” Mr. Brett said.  “Advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with other members of the committee to offer guidance and advice to the President how we can continue to create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.”

Mr. Brett, a Dorchester resident, has served as the President & CEO of the New England Council, a non-partisan business organization representing businesses throughout the six New England states, since 1996.  Prior to joining the Council, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for over 15 years.  Throughout his career, Mr. Brett has been an outspoken and tireless advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.  He currently serves as the Chairman of the Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability, and President of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. Mr. Brett is a member of the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Rodman Ride for Kids. Mr. Brett serves as a member of the Home Base Program’s Leadership Council, Bay Cove Human Services, Inc.’s Board of Advocates, and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester’s Advisory Board..

Mr. Brett’s humanitarian work has been recognized by a number of organizations, including Easter Seals, the Disability Law Center, The Price Center, Bridgewell, Action for Boston Community Development, Massachusetts Special Olympics, and Community Resources for Justice.  In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults “Brett House” in named his honor. In 2009 and 2011, the Boston Red Sox invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park in recognition of his national contributions in support of people with intellectual disabilities. Last year, the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed chair in disability and workforce development

The mission of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities is to provide advice and assistance to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities and the field of Intellectual Disabilities.  The Committee’s goal is to improve the quality of life that is experienced by people with intellectual disabilities, by upholding their full citizenship rights, independence, self-determination, and life-long participation in their respective communities.

The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region.  The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England.  The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange.  For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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