Kandi is the President & CEO of NDSS, working in close coordination with the NDSS team. Kandi oversees the philanthropy strategies with a donor-centered philosophy to ensure a sustainable portfolio to support NDSS’ mission. Kandi, along with the rest of the team, is dedicated to the long-term goals, achievements and successes of both NDSS and the Down syndrome community.
Keisha serves as the Chief of Staff for NDSS. In addition to working in tandem with the president and CEO, Keisha works closely with the leadership team and all programs within the organization to ensure continuity of messaging and outreach.
Keisha recently moved to DC from Oklahoma City. She enjoys being a tourist in her new city – exploring new districts, trying new restaurants – but remains a dedicated OKC Thunder fan!
Sydney Aulffo Executive Assistant to the President and CEO & Manager of Special Projects E-mail
Executive Assistant to the President and CEO & Manager of Special Projects
Sydney Aulffo is the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO & Manager of Special Projects at NDSS. She works closely with the Chief of Staff and leadership team to enable a smooth process for programs and events. Sydney is a graduate of George Mason University holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Fitness & Recreation Resources. Her passion for disabilities stems from her Great Uncle Johnny.
Fun Fact: Sydney has been a classically trained dancer since the age of three.
Ashley is the Director of Government Relations. She works with members of Congress and their staff, federal agencies and state and local leaders to help pass legislation that is beneficial to the Down syndrome community.
While spending time in Poland, Ashley accidentally ate cow tongue soup. She does NOT recommend it.
Sara serves as the Senior Director of Development, providing direction and strategic vision for fundraising and philanthropy at NDSS. She works closely with staff and volunteer leadership, as well as program staff, to develop rewarding and impactful engagement opportunities and giving experiences in support of our community.
During her last job, Sara travelled to Laos and got to help blow up cluster bombs along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Vincent has a long track record of executing public policy strategies that produce results. At Capitol Knowledge, he empowers his clients with excellent strategic planning and communications skills, out of the box thinking, and political savvy to help them respond to their government affairs challenges and objectives.
Senior Advisor, National Inclusive Health & Sports Program Email Michelle
Michelle is the Senior Advisor to the National Inclusive Health & Sports Program, overseeing the National Buddy Walk Program, Athlete Ambassador Program, Charity Racing Teams and Our Healthy Community.
Michelle is passionate about health and fitness, and combines her passion and her advocacy experience in the disability community in making health, an important human right, a priority for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
Colleen is the Community Outreach and Engagement Mangager with the National Down Syndrome Society. She works with self-advocates, families and affiliates across the country to ensure they are provided with the most up-to-date resources on Down syndrome.
Colleen is an ice cream fanatic! She has stood in line for almost 2 hours waiting for ice cream.
Michelle is the Buddy Walk® Program Manager who works with Buddy Walk® organizers to help kick start, maintain and grow Walks across the country. She also helps plan the annual NYC Buddy Walk® and Buddy Walk® Conference.
Michelle was born in Colombia, South America, and is fluent in Spanish!
In his role, Matteo develops training resources, works with NDSS’ CEO Commission and other corporate partnerships, manages data collection, and works on employment policy issues for the Down syndrome community.
He joins us after having worked for over four years at a Washington, DC behavioral health organization where he worked on employment initiatives.
Matteo speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.
Jennifer serves as the Office Assistant and Job Coach for NDSS. She supports the Manager of Operations on administrative duties organization-wide and works with NDSS self-advocates Jamie, Carson, and Luke in the New York office. She assists the self-advocates in improving and expanding their work and social skills; including preparation for special events and general office skills.
Jennifer has lived in five states – she was raised in Maryland, and has also lived in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. Jennifer was actually born in Long Island, NY, and returned to New York in 2017!
David is the Public Outreach Associate. In his role, he serves as a face for NDSS at various functions and events. David is an inspirational speaker and an actor and is thrilled to be able to use his talents to raise awareness for NDSS and Down syndrome!
If the Medicaid law gets cut, I will not be able to live the life I’m presently living.
Charlotte is a Community Outreach Associate at NDSS. She is very passionate about advocating for all individuals with disabilities. She hopes to pursue a career as an author, a professional baker, event planner and motivational speaker. Charlotte is determined to do her best to help ALL people with special needs!
Charlotte wants to be the first individual with Down syndrome to be President!
Assistant Information and Referral Specialist Email Jamie
Jamie is an Assistant Information and Referral Specialist preparing information kits about the needs and abilities of people with Down syndrome. Jamie has also had the opportunity to represent NDSS at the United Nations for the 2016 World Down Syndrome Day.
Jamie is very outdoorsy! He loves Italy and Peanut butter cups!
As the Special Events Assistant, Luke aids in production and distribution of event promotional materials and favors, manages incoming Gala items/packages, provides support to IHS team including New York City Buddy Walk® and other special events. He also assists in the planning, preparation, and presentation of sponsorship and operational logistical meetings.
Luke is 21 and he likes to get hamburgers and french fries, with a soda on the side!
We are thrilled to announce a new addition to the NDSS team! We are excited that Lin Rubright is joining our team as the Inclusive Education Program Specialist of the Inclusive Education Program!
Lin will be supporting families, self-advocates and educators during Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development and meetings, assisting in organization and management of the NDSS’ National Inclusive Education Taskforce, and doing research and data collection for the Down syndrome community.
Lin has participated in many NDSS events including the NDSS Adult Summit, Buddy Walk on Washington, and the annual Gala. We look forward to expanding our Inclusive Education Program services with Lin’s dedication and work for NDSS families!
Meet a DS-AMBASSADOR®
Being an Ambassador helps me to understand other people with disabilities and how I can help get more rights for people with Down Syndrome. I like to speak for others who don’t have a voice.