People With Disabilities - About

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strives to advance diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ensure that the civil rights of all employees are protected. The People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio is directed at ensuring that this community remains a successful part of a broader DEIA strategy for NIH. This Portfolio is federally mandated, its authority grounded in Presidential Executive Orders dating back to 1998.


We recognize the talent that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace and understand that by creating an inclusive environment for everyone, we provide a universal opportunity for success. Inclusion means we are committed to Equal Employment Opportunity, a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, and a workplace that supports  reasonable accommodations.

From recruitment to recognition, from training to promotion, we are dedicated to the oversight of disability employment and actively promote the universal thinking that attracts and retains a skilled and diverse workforce. EDI works in partnership with the Office of Human Resources, the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, and NIH leadership across NIH to support the People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio. Together, we develop collaborations to advance the representation of our employees with disabilities in all occupations of the NIH workforce and to support this community in achieving their fullest potential.

At NIH, we understand that our responsibility to diverse groups extends well beyond federal mandates. We define diversity broadly to include all elements of our human identities and encompass every aspect of difference. Within EDI, we are interested in leveraging the ideas of each NIH employee to fuel innovation and drive health discovery. The disability community is a critical piece of our overall diversity strategy.

“Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” – Stephan W. Hawking


headshot of Céline Dazé

Céline Dazé

Céline Dazé graduated in 2012 from Gallaudet University with a degree in Psychology. Céline started her government journey in 2015, working at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She transferred to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019. As a Project Specialist within FDA’s Division of User-Fee Management, Céline spent much of her time actively involved in the Advisory Committee with Employees with Disabilities (ACED).

As Céline became more involved with ACED, she transitioned into the role of chairperson for the Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations sub-committee (ARAS). The ARAS sub-committee helps overcome barriers that people with disabilities may face within the workplace. Some of Céline's accomplishments include meeting with the FDA commissioner; working on new documents such as developing a guide for new employees regarding accessibility and reasonable accommodations; and serving on several panels/providing presentations on the topic of employees with disabilities.

Céline loves giving back to her Deaf community youth by being a cheer coach to high school students in Washinton, DC. She is married to her high school sweetheart and is the fur mom of two sweet dogs and a cat.

> Contact Céline


The committee recommends strategies to eliminate barriers to the employment, promotion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Below are the members of the committee of the Portfolio for People with Disabilities.

Lisa Yuan, M.S.
Press Officer
Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease

Kimmo Virtaneva, Ph.D
Staff Scientist
Genomics Research Section
Research Technologies Branch
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National

Gary M. Morin
Section 508 Coordinator
National Cancer Institute

Anne E. Sumner
Section on Ethnicity and Health Diabetes
Endocrinology and Obesity Branch
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Susan Maier
Scientific Initiatives Manager
Office of Strategic Planning, Initiative Development, and Analysis
Office of Initiative Development
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Sujata Bardhan, PhD
Health Scientist Administrator
Intellectual and Disabilities Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Karen Nimerick
Technical Information Specialist
National Library of Medicine

Preethy Nayar, MBBS, PhD
Section Chief
Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Claudia Gonzalez, PhD
Management Analysis and Policy
Division of Management
National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Mary Harris
Management Analyst
Office of Travel and Conference Planning
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Susan Daniels, PhD
Office of Autism
National Institute of Mental Health

Rhonda Moore, PhD
Program Director
Genetic Counseling Resource All of Us Research Program

Professional Members

Linda Kiefe
Program Manager
Office of the Director
Office of Research Services

Moshfeq Rahman, RA, LEED-AP, PMP
Specialty Branch
Division of Facilities Stewardship

Kathy Mann Koepke, PhD
Chair, NIH ABILITIES Employee Resource Group
Math & Science Cognition, Reasoning, & Learning - Development & Disorders Program
Child Development and Behavior (CDB) Branch
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Antonio Haileselassie
Digital Accessibility (Section 508) Program Manager
Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
Office of the Director