The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017


Board Chair: Captain Robert P. Taishoff, JAGC, USN (ret) 

Captain Robert P. Taishoff, JAGC, USN (ret) is the CEO of Annapolis Yacht Sales and Service.  Before this he served on active duty as the Director of the Appellate Defense Division for Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Review Activity, managing Navy and Marine Corps attorneys and civilians who represent service members with cases on appeal at the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States Supreme Court.

Full Bio of Captain Robert P. Taishoff, JAGC, USN (ret) 

President: Sara Hart Weir

Sara Hart Weir, MS, serves as the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) President. Ms. Weir leads the organization's Washington, DC office and oversees the organization’s work on Capitol Hill, its legislative agenda, and leads NDSS’ advocacy, affiliate, and educational programs. Ms. Weir was recently appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland to Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Full Bio of Sara Hart Weir

Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy: Heather Sachs

Heather Sachs is the Vice President of Advocacy & Public Policy for the National Down Syndrome Society. She spearheads all federal, state and local policy initiatives on behalf of NDSS. Heather has been one of the national leaders in coordinating the passage of state Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act bills to establish a savings mechanism for people with disabilities, and is now working with legislators, financial industry leaders and state treasurer’s offices on ABLE program design.

Full Bio of Heather Sachs

Director of National Buddy Walk® Program: Becky Switalski

Rebecca Switalski has been a part of the National Down Syndrome Society team for 13 years and is the Director of the National Buddy Walk® Program.  Prior to joining NDSS, Rebecca worked as Director of Admission at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY. During her time at Concordia College, they experienced increases in enrollment, retention and test scores.

Full Bio of Becky Switalski

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors