National Federation of the Blind Elects Mark Riccobono President

Baltimore, Maryland (July 11, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s largest organization of blind Americans, has elected Mark Anthony Riccobono as its new President, the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. The election took place on July 5 at the national convention of the NFB, held in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Riccobono succeeds longtime President Marc Maurer, who announced last fall that he would not be seeking the office of President again. First elected to the presidency in 1986, Dr. Maurer has been reelected every two years and his twenty-eight years in office make him the longest serving President in the seventy-four year history of the organization.

Since 2007, Mr. Riccobono has served as executive director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the research and training arm of the NFB. Prior to assuming that position, he served as the Jernigan Institute’s director of education, where he pioneered its innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs such as the summer Science Academies and the Youth Slam. He is also a past president of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin.

In his acceptance remarks to the convention, Mr. Riccobono said in part: “The presidency of the Federation demands commitment, sacrifice, strength, energy, imagination, insight, and above all, love; and I pledge to give each of those fully. In this moment, the only way that I know to appropriately thank Dr. Maurer, Mrs. Maurer, and the thousands of other members of the Federation who have built this foundation we stand on and who have given of themselves to make our lives better, is to build our Federation with the same love and determination that they have demonstrated. With my pledge of commitment, I invite each of you to express your gratitude to Dr. Maurer by being an active contributor to the next great phase of our movement and by answering the call to help me to fulfill the promise we make to each other: Together with love, hope, and determination we will transform dreams into reality.”

With the election of Mr. Riccobono, Anil Lewis will assume the position of executive director of the NFB Jernigan Institute. Mr. Lewis is a past president of the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia and past member of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind. He was most recently deputy executive director of the Jernigan Institute.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Source: National Federation of the Blind, Contact: Chris Danielson, (410) 659-9314, x-2330,

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