Lydia X. Z. Brown is NDI’s Director of Public Policy. They bring nearly 15 years of experience as a committed advocate, community organizer and policy expert at the nexus of disability rights and disability justice. Lydia has spoken and consulted internationally and throughout the U.S. on a range of topics at the intersections of disability, race, class, gender and sexuality, and has published in numerous scholarly and community publications. Their work has often focused on interpersonal, state and corporate violence, deprivation and exploitation targeting disabled people at the margins. Previously, Lydia served as Policy Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, focusing on disability rights and algorithmic bias; Director of Policy, Advocacy, & External Affairs at the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network; Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; and Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.
Outside of their work at NDI, Lydia teaches at Georgetown University and serves as Co-President of the Disability Rights Bar Association, board member of the National Lawyers Guild and founding board member of the Alliance for Self-Direction and Disability Rights. They also serve as an advisor for the Transgender Law Center’s Disability Project, the Nonbinary & Intersex Recognition Project and Disability Rights Maryland. Lydia is the founder of the Autistic People of Color Fund, which advocates for disability, racial and economic justice with a focus on building generative economies and just transition.
Lydia is a lover of all cats, chronic autodidact and polyglot, and deeply proud of their diverse culinary creations (which friends and family have described as “better than restaurants”).