NJCDD Members & Staff

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Council Members

Council members review the state’s service systems for people with developmental disabilities and advise policy makers on the best ways to change those systems to better serve the population. Members also review and award grants to spark innovative projects throughout New Jersey as well as advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families on an ongoing basis.


Paul Blaustein, Edison, NJ
Family Member Advocate

Vice Chair

Kevin Nunez, Willingboro, NJ

Self Advocate Members

Todd Emmons, Voorhees, NJ
Andrew McGeady, Jackson, NJ
Myrta Rosa, Elizabeth, NJ
Ryan Roy, Saddle Brook, NJ
Gary Rubin, Elizabeth, NJ
Kevin Nunez, Willingboro, NJ

Immediate Family or Guardian Members

Walter Fernandez, Barnegat, NJ
Michael J. McCarthy, Dumont, NJ
Safiyyah Muhammad, East Orange, NJ
Tara Montague, Burlington, NJ
Paul Blaustein, Edison, NJ
Margaret (Peg) Kinsell, Browns Mills, NJ
Elizabeth C. Dalzell, Haddonfield, NJ
Helen I. Steinberg, Plainsboro, NJ
Kara Kushnir, Pompton Lakes, NJ
Sarah Aziz CPA, Monroe Township, NJ

Federally Mandated Members

Federally mandated members of the Council serve in accordance with the federal Developmental Disabilities Bill of Rights and Assistance Act.

A.) State Agency Representatives

NJ Department of Health Division of Family Health Services
Lisa Asare, Assistant Commissioner
Dawn Mergen, Designee
PO Box 364, Trenton, NJ 08625
Email: dawn.mergen@doh.nj.gov

NJ Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Dispute Resolution
Kathy Ehling, Assistant Commissioner
Alexandra Pensiero, Designee
PO Box 500, Trenton, NJ 08625
Email: alexandra.pensiero@doe.nj.gov

NJ Department of Labor Div. of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Karen Carroll, Director
PO Box 398, Trenton, NJ 08625
Email: Karen.carroll@dol.state.nj.us

NJ Department of Human Services /Title XIX Social Security Act.
Div. of Medical Assistance & Health Services

Jennifer Langer-Jacobs, Director
Phyllis Napier Melendez, Designee
PO Box 712, Trenton, NJ 08625-0712
Email: phyllis.melendez@dhs.state.nj.us

Public Member

The Arc Ocean County
Laura Williams, Executive Director
815 Cedar Bridge Ave.
Lakewood, NJ 08701
Phone: 732-363-3335

B.) ADD Funded Agencies

Protection and Advocacy System – Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ)
Gwen Orlowski, Executive Director
Jill Hoegel (Designee)
210 S. Broad St., Trenton, NJ 08608
Email: gorlowski@disabilityrightsnj.org

University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service –
The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers University

Joyce Jelley, Training & Consultation Specialist
Liberty Plaza, 335 George Street | New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Email: joyse.jelley@rutgers.edu

C.) State Statute Mandated Members

NJ Department of Human Services – Div. of Developmental Disabilities
Jonathan Seifried, Assistant Commissioner
PO Box 726, Trenton, NJ 08625-0726
Email: jonathan.seifried@dhs.state.nj.us

NJ Department of Human Services Division of Disability Services
Peri Nearon, MPA, Executive Director
Jacqueline Moskowitz, Designee
PO Box 705, Trenton, NJ 08625-0705
Email: peri.neron@dhs.state.nj.us

Council Staff

Executive Director
Mercedes Witowsky

Administrative Assistant
Jacinta Williams

Coordinator of Regional Family Support Planning Councils
Kyoko Coco

Regional Family Support Planning Council Liason
Kerry McGrath

Chief Fiscal Officer
Jodi Fox

Public Policy Coordinator
Robert Titus

Youth Leadership Coordinator
Frank Latham

Communication Officer
Gary L. Brown

Graphic Designer/ Web Administrator
Maria Ali

Special Project Consultant
Maria Leary

Advocacy and Outreach Assistant
Jesse Schwartzman

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison
Jade Pollock

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