The NAD Welcomes Two New Attorneys

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to announce the addition of two deaf attorneys to the Law and Advocacy Center (LAC) at our headquarters office in Silver Spring, Maryland! We welcome Zainab Alkebsi and Anna Bitencourt to the NAD legal staff. Beginning in July 2015, these two additional attorneys will enhance the NAD’s efforts in achieving equality for all deaf and hard of hearing people.

Last month, Andrew Phillips, the NAD Policy Counsel from 2011-2015, left the NAD to pursue a master’s degree in Deaf Education. We know he will contribute greatly to the field of Deaf Education and look forward to seeing his achievements in this capacity.

Zainab Alkebsi will be the new Policy Counsel for the NAD. In this position, Ms. Alkebsi will be responsible for providing analysis, recommendations, and counsel to the NAD on federal policy issues affecting people who are deaf and hard of hearing. She will represent the NAD at policy level meetings such as at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Prior to joining the NAD, Ms. Alkebsi served as Deputy Director at the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing where she coordinated the office’s legislative and policy efforts. Licensed to practice law in Maryland, she is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association. She received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She also has a B.A. in Political Science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Ms. Alkebsi exclaims, “I am excited to reach full-circle in my path as a Deaf attorney since my very first policy internship was at the NAD and I am looking forward to serving the NAD as its Policy Counsel.”

The NAD is also adding Anna Bitencourt who will join as a staff attorney. Ms. Bitencourt’s duties include handling inquiries from consumers seeking legal or advocacy assistance and engaging in litigation and administrative advocacy on behalf of the deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Prior to joining the NAD, she was an associate attorney for Dansie & Dansie, LLP representing clients in a variety of civil and criminal matters before administrative agencies, and state and federal judges and juries. Ms. Bitencourt is a graduate of University of Maryland – College Park (B.S.) and the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (J.D.). She also served as judicial intern to Special Master Golkiewicz of the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Ms. Bitencourt shares, “I am thrilled to be joining a distinguished legal team and for the opportunity to continue the NAD’s legacy of advocating for the deaf and hard of hearing community.”

“The NAD is delighted to have two new deaf attorneys as part of our excellent legal team as we continue our efforts to achieving our mission,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD CEO and Director of Legal Services.  “Ms. Alkebsi and Ms. Bitencourt are talented lawyers who share our commitment to serving all deaf and hard of hearing consumers and their families in eradicating discrimination and achieving full equality. We are all excited about what policy changes and litigation results our combined skills can bring.”

Please join us in welcoming both Zainab Alkebsi and Anna Bitencourt to the NAD family!


The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.