Marlene Sallo is the first woman, first Latina, and first person with a disability to lead NDRN. She believes that amplifying where disability intersects with other identities such as LGBTQIA+, non-native English speakers, and Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color is critical component of successful advocacy.
Before joining NDRN, Sallo served as Director of Preventing Targeted Violence at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. She previously served for almost four years as executive director of the Massachusetts Disability Law Center (DLC), the federally designated Protection and Advocacy agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Earlier in her career, Sallo was an education attorney with Disability Rights Florida, providing protection and advocacy to students with disabilities and children in the state’s child welfare system.
Sallo was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2013. She later worked for the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service as chief of staff and senior counsel. Sallo has a B.A. from Manhattanville College and a J.D. from Florida State University.