Doreen Croser began her tenure as Executive Director of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) on February 1, 1988.

The AAIDD Web site includes the following introduction to Doreen, updated here:

Doreen Croser became interested in developmental disabilities many years ago when her younger brother John was diagnosed with multiple disabilities including mental retardation. Since that time, she has served in many professional and volunteer capacities in addition to remaining actively involved in John's life.

For the last 22 years, Doreen has served as the first woman Executive Director of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Joining the Association as a college student and remaining deeply committed to AAIDD, Doreen works with many national, regional and local AAIDD leaders in support of our critical mission.

Previous positions held by Ms. Croser include Assistant Director in the Developmental Disabilities Administration of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Associate Director of WRI, Inc., a human services consulting firm in New York City; Director of Region II Developmental Disabilities Training & Technical Resource Center; Director of Developmental Disabilities Services, City of Portsmouth, Virginia; Sheltered Workshop Director, Summer Camp Director, and Special Educator.

She serves on a variety of boards and is a member of many National and State committees including the Governor's Developmental Disabilities Council in Maryland.

Publications include her coeditorship of Embarking on a New Century: Mental Retardation at the End of the 20th Century, published in 2002. In the newly published Thicker Than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People With Disabilities, she wrote the chapter titled “Easier? No…The Issues Just Change!” She is acknowledged for her assistance in First Response to Victims of Crime published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Doreen has been involved in numerous coalition activities, including the Alliance for Full Participation and the Consortium for Disabilities. The Arc of the United States 2006 President's Award was awarded to her during the 2007 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC.

There is no greater tribute to Doreen's work than the remarks that follow, which were written by all of the AAIDD presidents during her 22 years at AAIDD.


Joanna Pierson served as AAIDD president from 2009–2010.

Author notes

Joanna Pierson, PhD (E-mail:, Executive Director, The Arc of Frederick County, 620-A Research Dr., Frederick, MD 21703.