Dialogue Leader: Susan Sygall
Susan Sygall is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of international exchange, international development and leadership training for people with disabilities. She is the CEO and co-founder of Mobility International USA (MIUSA), a national nonprofit organization, which empowers people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.
Ms. Sygall has developed international programs with the US Department of State since 1983 to increase the number of participants with disabilities in educational exchange programs. She also directs MIUSA’s Building an Inclusive Development Community project, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to ensure greater participation of people with disabilities in US-based international development programs in diverse countries.
During the course of her career Ms. Sygall has focused a spotlight on issues related to women with disabilities. She has spearheaded such gatherings as the 1995 International Symposium on Women with Disabilities in Beijing, the 1998 International Symposium on Microcredit for Women with Disabilities and the Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability in 1997, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Ms. Sygall has become a much sought-after consultant and speaker throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. She has co-authored and produced several publications and award-winning videos on a variety topics related to international development, international exchange and women with disabilities.
Ms. Sygall has received numerous awards in recognition of her commitment to the rights of people with disabilities. Among these awards, Ms. Sygall received the “President’s Award” from Bill Clinton in 1995 for her dynamic leadership in international exchange programs and international development for people with disabilities and for her mentorship of young people with disabilities. She is also a MacArthur Fellowship recipient. This prestigious, unrestricted fellowship is awarded to a small number of talented individuals each year who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.