Disability Rights Activist Sara Minkara Named U.S. Special Advisor for International Disability Rights

We are so proud to congratulate Vital Voices Global Leadership Network member Sara Minkara on her appointment as U.S. Special Advisor for International Disability Rights. Sara will join the Biden-Harris administration at the State Department, where she will guide the nation’s strategy to protect and promote disability rights internationally and throughout the Department.

“‘Nothing about us without us’ is a common phrase in the disability world. We need to be in the room if it’s about us. The powerful people in the room need to find a way to bring in the voices of everyone involved.”

Sara is a Lebanese-American who became legally blind at age seven. Ever since, she’s overcome barriers and challenged social and cultural stigmas surrounding disability. She has been actively building a more inclusive society through her global advocacy and the nonprofit she created while still in college—Empowerment Through Integration—which enables blind youth in Lebanon and the States to be their own advocates.

I think that my blindness is one of my greatest blessings. You are forced to become creative and resilient; to think of innovative ways to deal with this world.”

We couldn’t be more excited for Sara and know that she will be a powerful voice and fierce advocate for people with disabilities in this new role.

You can hear more from Sara in this episode of our Power to Empower podcast and learn more about Sara and her work here. Sara was one of 100 trailblazing women featured in our latest book, Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower.