National Officers



Liz Mclaren - Iowa


Disability Determination Services

535 SW 7th

Des Moines, Iowa 50309



Leon Scales - Virginia



Joanna Fischer – South Dakota



Sally Fitzer - Wisconsin


Past President

Sheri Seil, ND


Regional Representatives

Region I (Boston)

Trudy Lyon-Hart, VT


Region II (New York)

Caroline Stout, NJ


Region III (Philadelphia)

Ian Harlow, PA


Region IV (Atlanta)

Brian Garber, FL


Region V (Chicago)

Frank Gilbertson, MN


Region VI (Dallas)

Chris Kirby, LA


Region VII (Kansas City)

Jeff Ripley, MO


Region VIII (Denver)

Jeff Graham, WY


Region IX (San Francisco)

Judy Speer, CA


Region X (Seattle)

Patty Trott, AK


Mission Statement

The mission of the NCDDD is to provide the highest possible level of service to persons with disabilities, to promote the interests of the state operated Disability Determination Services and to represent DDS Directors, their management teams and staffs.


The NCDDD provides leadership in accomplishing the mission by: 


Establishing effective, timely and meaningful dialogue between NCDDD and SSA;


Working cooperatively with the Congress, the Administration, The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), National Association of Disability Examiners (NADE), National Council of Social Security Managers Association (NCSSMA), and other organizations interested in protecting the rights of the disabled.


Encouraging the establishment of policies that best serve the public interest in accomplishing the mission of the disability program.


Fostering the highest standards of professionalism.

Our Programs and Administration

DDSs work with SSA in administering two disability programs which have the same medical/vocational criteria for determining eligibility for benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible individuals who cannot work due to a serious physical or mental disability. The SSDI program provides disability benefits to insured individuals who become unable to work because of illness or injury which is expected to last at least 12 continuous months or which may be expected to result in death. Nationwide, over 6.9 million people receive $59.6 billion in yearly disability SSDI payments from SSA trust funds.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program that provides coverage for adults and children in households whose income and resources are below a certain level. There is no requirement for prior employment. Applicants for SSI must meet the same definition of disability described above. Eligible children under age 18 are considered disabled if they are unable to function in a manner similar to children of the same age group. There are more than 5.1 million disabled SSI recipients receiving approximately $23.7 billion per year in benefits from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.

Our Purpose

While promoting the interests of the state DDS’s and providing the highest possible level of service to the disabled, we are also working cooperatively with Congress and professional organizations interested in protecting the rights of the disabled.

As administrators who run the disability programs for SSA on a day-to-day basis, we have the capacity to provide what we believe to be invaluable insights on the effective operation of those programs and their continuing challenges. Given our role in the federal-state partnership, and with concern for the most efficient public service possible, we are constitutionally committed to the following purposes:


To give meaning and effectiveness to the concepts of consultation and partnership between the State Disability Determination Services (DDS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) through establishing effective, timely and meaningful dialogue between the Council and SSA.


To cooperate constructively with SSA to encourage the establishment of policies that best serve the public interest in accomplishing the mission of the disability program.

Charter History


Our President


Liz McLaren is the current National Council of Disability Directors (NCDDD) President as well as the Administrator for the Iowa Disability Determination Services.  Liz began her role as Administrator in October 2010, but has spent her entire 26-year career at the Iowa DDS, serving as a disability examiner, training coordinator and business process and policy expert.


In addition to directing the operation of the DDS, Liz has devoted time to national workgroups and committees, including the National Disability Issues Group.  Liz began her service with NCDDD in 2010 serving on the Board of Trustees and then as Secretary in 2014 and NCDDD President-Elect in October 2016.  She enjoys networking with colleagues and working collaboratively to solve the challenges facing the DDS community.


Liz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simpson College in history and political science and a Certified Public Manager designation from Drake University in Des Moines.

Past Presidents

The President of NCDDD is the principal officer, leading the organization in operations and by representing the members.


It is a four year commitment, as they first serve two years as President-Elect.  We have a long tenure of distinguished and talented DDS Administrators who have served in this demanding position.  This is our thank you to them for serving us with integrity and effectuating positive change for the disability program and claimants.


Below is a list of our past presidents in reverse order:


Stan Kress, ID

Jerry Thomas, GA

Chuck Jones, MI

Doug Willman, NE

Mike Brennan, DC

Tommy Warren, AL

Linda Dorn, MI

Sheila Everett, MS

Andy Marioni, DE

Kay Hoffpauir, LA

Robbie Watts, VA

Vicki Johnson, CO

Trudy Lyon-Hart, VT

Erik Williamson, OH

Sheri Seil, ND

© 2014 by National  Council of Disability Determination Directors.

This website is owned and operated entirely and solely by the National Council of Disability Determination Directors (NCDDD).  NCDDD is an independent non-profit organization and the statements expressed within this website do not represent the views or opinions of the Social Security Administration. Any communication intended for the Social Security Administration must be submitted directly to that agency. No portion of this website may be reproduced or used without the expressed written consent of the NCDDD.

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