Dr. Mary Van Haneghan has dedicated her life’s work to closing the equity gap for chronically underrepresented disability groups by creating transformative opportunities for access and inclusion. She has served as a nonprofit executive for over a decade, working closely and collaboratively with boards, constituents, and stakeholders to set strategic direction, achieve financial stability, and increase impact.
Before serving as the WSA’s Executive Director, she was the Chief Executive Officer for chapters of The Arc, which is the country’s largest organization advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and as a leader at Western New York’s largest nonprofit health and human service agency creating systemic change across the state. Mary began her career as a direct service professional working in residential programming; during her tenure, she worked in various capacities, including day habilitation, residential habilitation, post-secondary education, transitional services, case management, supported employment, behavioral health, nursing, and early intervention.
Her academic research has focused on individuals who experience I/DD and ranges from historical institutional models to the benefits of post-secondary education. In addition, she also serves on the National Partnership for Pediatric to Adult Care Transition (NPPACT) Steering Committee, the Think College's National Coordinating Center Project Advisory Committee (NCC PAC), the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware, the University of Pennsylvania Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome Advisory Board and the Williams Syndrome National Research & Clinical Consortium.
Dr. Van Haneghan earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Buffalo, a master’s degree in adult education and literacy from Buffalo State College, and a doctorate in education from Walden University. Her academic research has focused on individuals who experience intellectual or developmental disabilities and ranges from historical institutional models to the benefits of post-secondary education.