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Emily Voorde
Founder and CEO

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Emily Voorde is the Founder and CEO of INTO Strategies, a disability-led inclusion consultancy committed to bringing people with disabilities into campaigns, moments, and movements. 

Emily most recently worked as an Associate Director with NEWCO Strategies, a majority-women, majority-LGBTQ progressive consulting firm. During her time with NEWCO, Emily led communications strategy, project management, and landscape research on a number of client accounts, including The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and EMILY's List. Following the tragic passing of Judy Heumann, Voorde spearheaded AAPD's response, including drafting of a press release, press pitching, digital engagement, rapid response, and coalition coordination.

Emily, a white woman with long blonde hair sits in her wheelchair outside in a grassy yard. She smiles for the camera.

Prior to joining NEWCO, Emily was a Presidentially-appointed Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. There she led the Biden-Harris’ Administration’s engagement with Disabled Americans and K-12 educators ‘from the tips to the tops’. Voorde managed relationships with senior leaders from 200+ organizations, including Teach for America, NEA, AFT, American Association of People with Disabilities, Special Olympics, The Disability Justice Initiative, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and more. Highlights from her White House tenure include:

  • Preparing the Second Gentleman to lead the United States’ delegation to Tokyo for the Paralympics

  • Convening Disabled voting rights activists for a roundtable with Vice President Harris

  • Welcoming Olympians and Paralympians to the White House

  • Overseeing the selection of the first-ever full-time, on-site American Sign Language Interpreters at the White House

Emily sits in her wheelchair, wearing a blue and orange floral dress. Behind her, the North Portico of the White House

The White House

Support for Disabled Students

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily served as an Associate Director with the University of Notre Dame’s Sara Bea Center for Students with Disabilities. In her role, she worked with over 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, many of whom were navigating the accommodations process for the first time. Emily also worked with students, faculty, and University leadership to develop a strategic plan for the creation of a more accessible and equitable environment for students with disabilities.

Emily sits with her back to the camera. She is seen taking a photo of Chasten Buttigieg and a man wearing a "Veterans for Pete" shirt.

2020 Presidential Campaign Trail

In the summer of 2019, Emily returned to her hometown of South Bend, Indiana to support her Mayor, Pete Buttigieg’s, run for President. On the campaign she served as Chasten Buttigieg’s Body Woman, then Trip Director, traveling coast-to-coast full time. By campaign’s end, Emily had supported travel to over 200 community organizations and more than 60 LGBTQ+ centers across 26 states. As the first visibly Disabled staffer in the 2020 Democratic Primary, and the first-ever to ‘Body’ for a candidate or their partner, Emily firmly believes in the importance of greater Disabled representation in campaign and advocacy work.

Classroom Teaching

Emily's career began as an AmeriCorps member and 2nd grade teacher in Pascagoula, Mississippi. On the weekends, Emily coached the elementary school’s first-ever girl’s basketball team and fell in love with Gulf Coast seafood.

Emily’s time in the classroom left her with more questions than answers about disparities in the American education system. While attending graduate school in Nashville, she worked at an education non-profit, Instruction Partners, where she worked alongside educators to support equitable access to high-quality instruction for students in Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, and California. 

Emily sits in her wheelchair with her back to the camera. She wears a red and white polka-dot dress. In the background, Team USA Olympians and Paralympians in front of the South Portico of the White House.

Advocacy and Education

In November 2022, Emily was appointed by President Biden as 1 of the 9 members of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency tasked with advising the President, Congress, and other agencies regarding policies, programs, and practices that affect Disabled Americans. Emily also serves in a voluntary capacity as the Communications Director for YoungND, a University of Notre Dame Alumni Association Affinity Board for graduates 32 years of age and younger. 

Emily, a wheelchair user, poses for a photo with Pete Buttigieg and Chasten Buttigieg against a brick wall backdrop.

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Constitutional Studies and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Emily spent a summer living in Dublin, Ireland completing research on the barriers to ratification of The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the United States and in Ireland. Emily also holds a Masters of Education from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Public Policy in Education from Vanderbilt University.

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