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The Arc Announces Acting CEO Named Amidst Leadership Transition

The Arc’s Board of Directors has named Ruben Rodriguez, the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, as Acting CEO while it undertakes a national search for new leadership.

Rodriguez joined The Arc in 2019, with nearly four decades of experience in operations and finance. He has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Pace University, an MBA in Finance and Investments from the George Washington University, he is a Certified Professional Coach, and is currently working on a Masters in Disability Studies at City University of New York.

Rodriguez works closely with the organization’s leadership to support the mission, providing day-to-day strategic financial and operational management and planning to meet the organization’s short term and long term objectives. Included in his portfolio is oversight and hands-on leadership of finance, human resources, information technology, risk management, and broad program support. Rodriguez worked hand in hand with the staff and volunteer leadership teams to successfully steer The Arc through the COVID-19 pandemic, managing major changes in how the organization operated day-to-day, coupled with the financial uncertainty in the non-profit sector.

The Arc’s Board of Directors recently announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Berns, would be leaving the organization upon expiration of his contract in February. Since 2008, Berns has been at the helm of The Arc, the world’s largest community-based organization of and for people with IDD and their families. Under his leadership, the organization has charted an ambitious path of growth and modernization as it carries out its mission of “promoting and protecting the human rights of people with IDD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.”

Rodriguez will work alongside an established leadership team while the search for a new CEO is conducted. Meanwhile, the Board of Directors has put together a committee comprised of board members, chapter and disability community leaders, and national office staff and self-advocate representation to conduct a sweeping national search. Soon, they will be selecting a professional search agency to work with them.