Founding Executive Director
Diana Samarasan, Founding Executive Director of DRF and DRAF, has over two decades of experience in disability, international health, and human rights. Previously, Diana directed the Mental Disability Advocacy Center, a legal advocacy organization in Budapest, Hungary, which litigates abuses of rights of persons with mental disabilities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia including cases of rights abuses against women and girls with disabilities, primarily cases of violence and abuse both in and out of residential institutions. She also worked with the American Refugee Committee and Doctors of the World, addressing issues such as access of vulnerable populations, including women with disabilities, to reproductive health services, tuberculosis control, and deinstitutionalization. A graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Diana has advanced degrees in Public Administration and Psychology. Diana is a Board member of the United States International Council on Disability (USCID) and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) and on the Steering Committees of the International Human Rights Funders' Group (IHRFG) and Opportunity Collaboration.
Photo: Diana Samarasan is pictured with young leaders from the disability movement in Uganda.