Two New Staff Members Join the NAD!

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to announce the addition of two staff members that will join us at our headquarters office in Silver Spring, Maryland! We welcome Thinaja Nadarajah and Kriston Lee Pumphrey to the NAD. Beginning this summer, these two additional staff members will enhance the experience of the NAD’s front desk and overall operations at Headquarters.

Just before summer started, two great people have gone on to new opportunities and are no longer with the NAD office.  Violet Blake, the NAD Front Desk Receptionist from 2016-2017, left to travel North America. Jazzy Jones, the NAD Communication Specialist from 2014-2017, went on to work with Outreach programs at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID). We miss Violet and Jazzy greatly and look forward to crossing paths with them again soon.

Thinaja is the NAD’s new Office Manager. She will oversee all Front Desk operations and ensure smooth operations at the NAD Headquarters. She will work closely with Kriston Lee as well as all staff members. Kriston Lee will be working part-time as the NAD Front Desk Receptionist. Kriston Lee will support Thinaja and ensure flawless communications between the Front Desk and the NAD.

Photo description: Thinaja on the left and Kriston Lee on the right are standing together,
smiling towards the camera, in front of the Front Desk. The NAD logo appears in the background.


Thinaja Nadarajah
Thinaja is a first-generation college graduate from Gallaudet University with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology along with two minors in Communication Studies and Deaf Studies. She expanded her paraprofessional experiences at Gallaudet University working with several organizations: Campus Activities as a front desk assistant; Youth Programs as a student ambassador; and at the NAD as an intern. Thinaja grew up in one of the most diversity cities, Toronto, Canada, with two deaf siblings. Her deaf parents migrated from Sri Lanka. Thinaja is a “Do-It-Yourself” junkie, a foodie, and a cat lover. She also enjoys traveling to new places to learn and experience unique cultures.


Kriston Lee Pumphrey
Kriston Lee is a DTV News Anchor, performing artist, deaf community organizer, and curator.  Kriston Lee graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2009 with a degree in business and communications. Since then, Kriston Lee co-founded Colorfest, a deaf LGBT leadership conference for college students hosted at Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Kriston Lee also co-founded a Washington, D.C. community-based ASL trivia fostering fellowship and knowledge of the world in ASL. Kriston Lee continues to immerse himself in various community related advocacy work, such as having assisted DAWN, a D.C. based non-profit organization that strives to end sexual assault and domestic violence within the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Welcome to the NAD family, Thinaja and Kriston Lee!


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.