Robin Troutman, the Interim Executive Director of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), brings over a decade of nonprofit expertise to her role, focusing on advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. With a background in operations management, strategic planning, and a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from the University of Central Florida, Robin is dedicated to impactful change and empowerment in the field. Motivated by learning from diverse perspectives, Robin is committed to expanding her advocacy through understanding privilege and fostering inclusivity within the international association space.

Robin Troutman
Interim Executive Director, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

Robin’s Story: Discovering My Passion for Associations

My inspiration comes from learning from people with different life experiences, different world views, and different expectations. I joined the association world to do mission-driven work and to expand my own knowledge and resources to be a more effective advocate. I think it is important for people to understand their privilege, and working in the international association space is vital to changing perspectives.

Robin’s Approach: How to #InspireInclusion through Our Work and Actions

I try to lead by example, fostering a culture where everyone feels empowered and safe to share their views. This translates into creating awareness of DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) by providing education and training, being open to any suggestions to advance the DEI agenda within the organization, and celebrating it. Concretely, this also means promoting diversity within association bodies and staff serving said associations.

Robin’s Perspective: On the Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Associations

Associations can leverage their collective voice and influence to advocate for policies and legislation that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion both within their respective industries and at broader societal levels. By lobbying for systemic changes and supporting initiatives that address barriers to equity and inclusion, associations can drive meaningful progress in advancing DEI agendas. Associations can serve as hubs for sharing resources, best practices, and tools related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration among their members, associations can help organizations learn from each other’s successes and challenges, accelerating the adoption of effective DEI strategies and initiatives.

Robin’s Initiatives: Actions and Inspirations for Fellow Association Leaders

Empowering Self-Advocacy: Central to our mission is empowering individuals with IDD to become leaders in their own right. We establish mentorship programs, leadership training workshops, and platforms for self-advocacy, ensuring that their voices are heard and respected within NACDD and beyond. By amplifying their narratives and experiences, we can reshape policies and practices to better serve their needs.

Building Collaborative Partnerships: True inclusivity thrives on collaboration. We forge alliances with other disability advocacy organizations, government agencies, and stakeholders to amplify our advocacy efforts. By fostering meaningful partnerships, we leverage collective expertise and resources to drive systemic change and advance the rights of individuals with IDD on a national scale.