March 26, 2019
Disability Law Center Appoints Marlene Sallo as Next Exec. Dir.

Marlene Sallo
February 27, 2018 — The Disability Law Center, a Boston-based nonprofit that advocates for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities, today announced it has appointed Marlene Sallo as its next executive director.

Sallo succeeds Christine Griffin, who recently retired after serving as executive director of the Disability Law Center (DLC) for four years. Griffin had previously served in the position from 1996 – 2005. Sallo will start in the job on March 1.

“We are very pleased to make this announcement and welcome Marlene to the law center,” said Joseph Ambash, DLC board chair. “Marlene will bring leadership and a breadth of legal and management experience to the Law Center with a deep sense of commitment to the disability community of Massachusetts.

Sallo most recently served as chief of staff and senior counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, which addresses community conflicts and tensions arising from conflicts based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability.

Earlier, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. While at the commission, Sallo directed several fact-finding public hearings and reports investigating civil rights violations based on gender, religion, national origin, or in the administration of justice.

Previously, she worked at UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, where she developed issue awareness campaigns to educate UnidosUS affiliates, state, and federal government officials, and the public on national and state level policies and initiatives that disparately and/or disproportionately impact Latino youth.

“I look forward to this opportunity to serve the disability community in Massachusetts and partner with the area’s disability organizations as the new executive director of this well respected law center,” Sallo said. “As a woman with a disability and lawyer who has worked on disability rights and civil rights for many years, I am eager to work with the law center’s talented staff to provide the protection and advocacy this community deserves."

Sallo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Manhattanville College and a Juris Doctorate degree from Florida State University College of Law. She is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Manhattanville College.

Sallo serves as co-chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Litigation, Children’s Rights Litigation Committee, and previously served as both a Commissioner with the ABA’s Commission for Youth at Risk and as a member of the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on the Legal Needs of Children.

DLC traces its origins to 1978 when Developmental Disability Law Center was established as a joint project of the Massachusetts Association for Retarded Citizens and the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee following passage of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. It assumed its current name in 1986 to reflect its expanded mandate.

Among other activities, DLC monitors places where people with disabilities live or receive services, including public, private, therapeutic and residential schools serving students with disabilities, and investigates specific reports of abuse, neglect, and/or death.

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