History &

The ANCOR Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)3 education and research organization in 2000 based on four pillars: LeadershipInnovationInclusionCelebration.

In realizing its vision of exceptional leaders supporting inclusive communities, the ANCOR Foundation recognizes current and past leaders through its Legacy Leaders Circle and President’s Award. It is committed to developing future leaders through dynamic education opportunities like its own Leadership Academy, and as a founding sponsor of the semiannual Leadership Institutes offered by the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware.

Here are highlights of how the Foundation has supported exceptional leaders and celebrated inclusive communities throughout its history.


The ANCOR Foundation’s Leadership Academy graduates its second cohort and welcomes the Class of 2024 at the 2022 ANCOR Annual Conference in Miami.


The Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary—a year late, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic—with a “gala in a box” and a special video message from Tony Coelho.


ANCOR Foundation sponsors the public television broadcast of Hearts of Glass, a documentary film about the benefits of inclusive hiring.


For the first time, the ANCOR Foundation joined United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) in releasing the Case for Inclusion, a comprehensive tool published annually that evaluates all 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well state programs are serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be included, supported and empowered in the community.


Included. Supported. Empowered. a three-year public awareness campaign, formally kicks off at the 2018 ANCOR Annual Conference in New Orleans.


The Foundation welcomes its first cohort of the Leadership Academy, a two-year, intensive program designed to transform emerging professionals into industry leaders.

Clarence J. Sundram, JD, is named the third recipient of the President’s Award.


The Foundation begins its Emerging Leaders program, a predecessor of the Leadership Academy which would eventually welcome its first class in 2017.

Charlie Lakin, Ph.D., becomes the second person to be honored with a President’s Award.


The Foundation introduces its President’s Award to recognize individuals whose contributions are widely recognized globally as having uniquely led to leading practices and profound innovation in the field of disability services. David Braddock is named the first-ever President’s Award recipient.


Five provider organizations are supported by the ANCOR Foundation to enter a Lighthouse Leader pilot program aimed at transforming organizational culture to shared leadership innovation based on Franklin Covey’s “The Leader in Me.”


The inaugural class of 25 visionary leaders are inducted into the Legacy Leaders Circle at ANCOR’s 40th Anniversary celebration, which took place at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.


The Foundation creates the CARES Fund, a charitable fund created for the express purpose of assisting agencies supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that have experienced urgent needs as a result of natural disasters.


The Foundation becomes a founding sponsor in the launch of the Leadership Institutes offered by the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware.


The ANCOR Foundation bestowed the first Community Builder Award in recognition of exemplary efforts to create inclusive communities that support the people they serve to live as respected, contributing and valued members of their local communities.

The Foundation publishes Advocacy for Change: A Manual for Organizing.


Thirty years after the founding of ANCOR, the ANCOR Foundation is officially formed, beginning its 20-year history of supporting inclusive communities and building exceptional leaders.