Working as Interim Executive Director of Paxton Campus since late January, Melisa Heifetz has now permanently taken over the role.
The Leesburg-based nonprofit’s Board of Directors unanimously appointed Heifetz as its new Executive Director May 19. As Interim Executive Director, Heifetz has worked on local and state-wide legislative advocacy issues with the Self-Advocates program. She also coordinates the Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement initiative (PILE) and does trainings, advocacy, and outreach on various issues affecting the disability community including special education, employment, housing and public benefits.
A long time disability advocate, Heifetz has been with The Arc of Loudoun since 2014, previously serving as the Administrative Director of the ALLY Advocacy Center. During her tenure at ALLY, she grew its advocacy and supported employment and law enforcement interaction training programs.
“The Board recognized Melissa’s outstanding performance as interim Executive Director and believes that her successful experience working with the disability community, her business acumen and leadership traits will lead our organization as we embark on a plan to improve and grow the programs at Paxton campus,” said Board of Directors President George Pellicano in a release.
Heifetz received her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. After graduation she worked as a Staff Attorney in New York City’s Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, where she advocated for children in Bronx Family Court. She later received a fellowship to work in New York University School of Law’s Public Interest Law Center.
She has previously served as the Vice Chair of Communication for the Loudoun County Special Education Advisory Committee and is a member of the Virginia Ability Alliance and the Loudoun County Human Services Board. She also Chairs Loudoun’s Disability Response Team, a collaboration with law enforcement.
The Arc of Loudoun on Paxton Campus is a non-profit organization that provides advocacy and services to adults and children with disabilities, their families and caretakers.