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Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council announces Dr. Yasmina Bouraoui as new executive director

The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MiDDC), part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Yasmina Bouraoui as its new executive director. Bouraoui replaces Vendella Collins who retired this summer.

“Dr. Bouraoui’s extensive public health experience and passion for advocacy, capacity-building and systems changes makes her the perfect fit to lead MiDDC as it supports people with developmental disabilities to live lives to their full potential,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. 

Since 2007, Bouraoui has served as MiDDC’s deputy director. She has a proven track record leading the Employment First Initiative in Michigan to increase competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Before working at MiDDC, she served over 15 years at the city, county and state levels in the planning and delivery of maternal, infant and child health services. Bouraoui has also made numerous contributions to public health, including co-authoring several Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientific briefs on breastfeeding, infant mortality and infant safe sleep.

“I am honored to lead an organization dedicated to advocacy and the advancement of disability rights to improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Bouraoui. “My passion for disability rights and advocacy is a direct extension of my lifelong commitment to human rights and justice, and my goal is to make MiDDC a trailblazer across the state, nation and the world.”

Bouraoui will oversee the strategic direction of MiDDC, including fulfilling mandates under the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 and Michigan’s Executive Order 20 of 2016. As executive director, she also serves as the chief advisor to the council to ensure it develops policies and advocacy priorities to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Bouraoui as our new executive director,” said MiDDC chairperson Jeremy Murphy. “We conducted a thorough search and Dr. Bouraoui’s extensive public health experience and passion for improving the lives of underserved individuals stood out as a tremendous benefit to creating a more accessible and inclusive Michigan for residents with disabilities.”

In addition to her professional experience, Bouraoui’s passion for human rights and justice also impacts her personal life. Since 2001, she and her daughter have served as a foster family to eight different refugee youth from across the globe. This experience led to involvement as a founding board member for the Global Institute of Lansing, a high school completion program for immigrant youth and adults. She also serves on boards for the Greater Lansing United Nations Association and the Alliance Francaise of Lansing.

Bouraoui holds a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in public health policy from the University of Michigan.

Bouraoui officially began this role on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

For more information about MiDDC and its initiatives, please visit




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