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Kelly Buckland Appointed NCIL's New Executive Director

This new year is a time of transition for our nation and for NCIL. In December, as President-Elect Barack Obama contemplated key appointments to the new administration, the NCIL Governing Board completed an exhaustive search and selection process in appointing Kelly Buckland to replace John Lancaster, who is retiring to his home in upstate New York.

Buckland will bring with him a career of experience in the independent living movement and the field of disability rights. He has matured in his career from his days as a social worker in Boise and an employee for Idaho's protection and advocacy system. He served for years as the executive director of the Boise CIL, Living Independence Network Corp. He currently heads the Idaho State Independent Living Council. He has served on the Idaho Developmental Disabilities Council, the State Employment and Training Council and the state's Help America Vote Act Steering Committee.

In 1978, Buckland graduated from Boise State University with a B.A. in social work; in 1988 he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drake University with a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling. In recent years, Buckland has been honored with numerous state and national awards, including the University of Idaho President's Medallion, the United Vision for Idaho Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Achievement in Human Rights Award, and induction into the National Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame.

Additionally, Buckland is no stranger to NCIL. He has served on numerous NCIL legislative and advocacy subcommittees and other standing NCIL committees, and the NCIL Governing Board since 1998. He was NCIL vice president from 2001-2005 and NCIL president from 2005 to the present. Buckland will officially take over as NCIL's executive director on May 15, 2009, and will serve as NCIL president until his term expires at NCIL's 2009 annual Meeting of the Members in early June. Lancaster and Buckland will be working closely together in the first 4½ months of 2009 to ensure a smooth and effective transition of executive directors.

Buckland, his wife, Merle, and their son Rodney will relocate to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area following the conclusion of Rodney's school year. Buckland's family has always been active supporters of and contributors to his many professional accomplishments.

The NCIL staff feels privileged to have Buckland as their new leader. His experience, insight, vision and proven leadership is what NCIL needs to direct its operations in this challenging time of national financial, political and cultural change. Please join us in welcoming NCIL's new executive director, Kelly J. Buckland!

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