Executive Director

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Richard Allen Simms

ras2Richard Allen Simms is the Executive Director of the District of Columbia Center for Independent Living, Inc. Mr. Simms is a native of Elkins, West Virginia where he attended public schools and undergraduate school. Prior to assuming the leadership role at the Center, Mr. Simms had a long and successful career in non-profit management in the disability field, and in private sector business management.

Mr. Simms received a Bachelor of Arts from Davis and Elkins College; Elkins, WV, a Master of Arts from California State University at Los Angeles and a Master of Public Administration from New York University; NY, NY.

Mr. Simms began professional his career at the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in Washington, DC as a Mobility Instructor and Director of Rehabilitation Services. After graduate school, he worked at The Stockton Community Center for the Blind as a Community Mobility Specialist and later at the New York Association for the Blind as Supervisor of the O&M Department and Supervisor of All Instructional Services. He moved downtown to the American Foundation for the Blind to become a Community Organizer and Director of the Northeast Regional Office serving New England, New York and New Jersey. He worked in the restaurant industry as regional manager and as an owner/operator.

Mr. Simms’ affiliations over the past decade include:
1. Treasurer of the National Board of Directors for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
2. American Society for Public Administrators (ASPA)
3. Council of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA)
4. NYU Alumni Association
5. Cal State University @ L.A. Alumni Association
6. D.C. State Rehabilitation Council
7. DC RSA Medical Advisory Committee
8. DC State Independent Living Council
9. DC Building Codes and Advisory Committee
10. Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities
11. President of the DC/MD Chapter of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
12. Fort Stevens Lion’s Club

Mr. Simms is also serves as church treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees at Fellowship Baptist Church, Washington, DC. He is a member of The United States Tennis Association enjoys reading non-fiction, playing tennis and studying chess. Mr. Simms is committed to the belief that: no one should be denied opportunity; everyone should be given the chance to either fail or succeed.

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