President's Corner

The National Federation of the Blind intentionally created a strong executive function in the Office of the President.

The NFB's constitution requires the President to stand for election every two years and details the powers and duties of the President as:

The president is the principal administrative officer of the Federation. In this capacity his or her duties consist of carrying out the policies adopted by the Convention; conducting the day-to-day management of the affairs of the Federation; authorizing expenditures from the Federation treasury in accordance with and in implementation of the policies established by the Convention; appointing all committees of the Federation except the nominating committee; coordinating all activities of the Federation, including the work of other officers and of committees; hiring, supervising, and dismissing staff members and other employees of the Federation, and determining their numbers and compensation; taking all administrative actions necessary and proper to put into effect the programs and accomplish the purposes of the Federation. The implementation and administration of the interim policies adopted by the board of directors are the responsibility of the president as principal administrative officer of the Federation.

Our current President is Mark A. Riccobono who was first elected in 2014.

Since its founding in 1940, the NFB has had only eight Presidents. Three of those leaders—Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, and Dr. Marc Maurer—served for a total of sixty-eight years. 

All of our elected Presidents have historically been a source of stability, sound reasoning, and strength for our organization. They have pushed back firmly against the low expectations that society has created for us. They have also acted on strategic opportunities to work with partners who genuinely believe in the capacity of blind people. 

One of the President's many responsibilities is the hiring of paid staff who work out of our national headquarters. However, because the President is elected by our members, it is ultimately the members who can change the structure of the staff and the organization, either by asking the President to do so or voting for a new President that they feel better represents them and their concerns.

Every year our members review the performance of our President. We believe that the presence of a strong executive, responsible directly to the membership, is essential.