Judith Heumann
Special Advisor for International Disability Rights


  • History of education
  • Special education and learning disabilities

Judith Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She has been appointed special advisor for international disability rights at the U.S. Department of State. She previously served as the director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia, where she was responsible for the Developmental Disability Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Heumann graduated from Long Island University in 1969 and received her master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. She has received numerous awards, including being the first recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award in recognition of efforts to significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. She has received honorary doctorates from Long Island University in Brooklyn, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Toledo.