<h2>Topic at the <a href=”https://deafmediasummit.org/2018-dc-summit/2018-dc-summit-topics/”>2018 DC Summit</a></h2> Leah Katz-Hernandez will share insights she gained by working with some of today’s most dynamic, media-focused leaders; the President of the United States Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and the President of Gallaudet University, Bobbi Cordano. Lisi Whitworth will be asking questions on behalf of entrepreneurs and tech-geeks, while Deborah Nathanson will ask questions with government offices in mind. The audience will also have an opportunity to ask questions.

Leah Katz-Hernandez

Manager of Special Projects at Gallaudet University President’s Office

Leah Katz Hernandez in white blouse and smiling


Leah Katz-Hernandez is a leading expert on disability and diversity issues, public communication strategy, and civil rights.

Currently serving as Manager of Special Projects at Gallaudet University President’s Office, Leah is arguably best known as the celebrated ROTUS, Receptionist of the United States, for President Obama. The first ever deaf person to hold the position, Leah was appointed to the West Wing after serving in First Lady Michelle Obama’s communications office and for the Obama campaign during the 2012 election cycle. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Leah’s groundbreaking grassroots digital communications resulted in an award-winning blog and international attention. Throughout her career at the White House, in the non-profit sector, political campaigns, and on Capitol Hill, Leah has consistently used her specialty knowledge to urge equal access for the deaf, disability and Latina communities.

With more than a decade’s worth of experience to share, Leah is a dynamic contributor to the U.S. Speaker Program vis the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs. In 2017, Leah joined as a Board Member to the American Association of People with Disabilities and as an advisor with the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Advisory Committee.

Leah earned her MA in Strategic Communication from American University and a BA in Government from Gallaudet University. In addition to being bilingual in written English and American Sign Language, Leah enjoys learning new sign languages and is conversant in Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM) as well as International Sign (IS).