Brett appointed chair of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

President Biden announced this week that James T. Brett has been appointed to serve as the Chairman of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID).

The mission of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities aims to provide advice and assistance to the President of the U.S. and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities as well as the field of intellectual disabilities. The foundation of this mission is a goal to improve the quality of life experienced by people with intellectual disabilities by upholding their full citizenship rights, independence, self-determination, and lifelong participation in their communities.

"I am honored and humbled to have been selected by President Biden to Chair the President's Committee for people with Intellectual Disabilities," Brett said. "Advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with other members of the committee to offer guidance and advice to the President on how we can best support people with Intellectual Disabilities."

Brett, a Dorchester resident, has served as the president and CEO of the New England Council, a non-partisan business organization representing businesses throughout the six New England States since 1996. Prior to joining the Council, Brett served for more than 15 years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Throughout his career, he has been an outspoken advocate for people with Intellectual Disabilities. He currently serves as the chairman of the Governor's Commission on Intellectual Disability and the chairperson of the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission. He is a past president of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. He was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the National Council on Disability, where he is currently serving as their vice chair.

Over the years, he as numerous awards and honors for his work on behalf of the physically and mentally disabled.

In the past decade, Brett introduced a proposal to the White House for a savings plan for families of individuals with disabilities to save for the future. After moving through the legislative process, the Federal Government passed the Able Act creating a savings plan for people with disabilities for future education, training, living expenses, and other supports.

Brett has been awarded with Papal Honors as being named a Knight of Malta and Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He is the recipient of 16 Honorary Degrees. Brett and his wife Patricia are active parishioners of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Dorchester.