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NCDDD has a large impact in advocating for DDS needs with top leadership in SSA. I’m thankful for the NCDDD Presidents that preceded me, Liz McLaren who worked very hard to obtain reasonable hiring practices which were acted upon by SSA and Leon Scales who provided strong leadership and advocacy to receive permission for DDSs to telework during the pandemic and receive laptop computers. In the collective work of NCDDD Officers and Committee members, our support and customer service for claimants is stronger. Please take some time to navigate through our website and learn more about the work we're dedicated to.

Jacqueline Russell, NCDDD President

About the President

Jacqueline Russell is the North Carolina Disability Determination Services (NCDDS) Director.  The NCDDS is a division of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  The NCDDS division has approximately 600 staff, responsible for accurate and timely medical determinations for Social Security and Medicaid disability applicants.


Jacki shares she is thankful for the opportunity to serve, work with and work for North Carolinians and the NCDDS staff in her role as NCDDS Director for 4+ years. She previously served more than 20 years leading and managing organizational change, strategic planning, program design/improvement, professional development, and utilization of data to support equity in services and advocating for people with disabilities. She started her career in 1993 as a Speech Pathologist, providing services in homes, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and schools. She later worked with the Wake County Public School System in several roles, including Speech Pathologist, Assistive Technology Specialist, Senior Administrator, Director of Policy, and Senior Director of Policy and Fiscal Compliance. Utilizing her experiences as a service provider, educational and organizational leader, fiscal manager, data driven decision maker, and advocate for people with disabilities, has focused on cultivating and strengthening the NC Division of Disability Determination Services.

Jacki has a Master’s in Administration from North Carolina State University, a Master’s in Speech Pathology from North Carolina Central University, and a Bachelor of Science from Ball State University. Jacki has earned recognition for her contributions, including the NC Governor’s Award of Excellence, DHHS Award of Excellence, WCPSS Employee of Excellence, and NCACA Honors of the Association. Jacki is a member of National Association of Disability Examiners (NADE) and President of the National Council of Disability Determination Directors (NCDDD).

Jacki loves living in North Carolina where she resides with her husband Sean and dog Mimi. She enjoys the peace that comes from watching the ocean roll in at the beach, walking trails in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, cooking family dinners and traveling with her family which includes her son Garrett (24) and daughter Maggie (21). Jacki is active in the community through mentoring and her church. When Jacki is not spending time with family she enjoys reading, learning, and walking the many greenway trails in Raleigh. Jacki encourages anyone considering a move to North Carolina to make it happen, the NCDDS is always looking for strong contributors!

How can I help?

I can be reached via email or phone, should there be any Social Security disability advocacy issues you would like my assistance with.


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