Member, Board of Directors
After a combat wound resulted in the loss of his right leg in Vietnam, Sergeant Ron Drach left the US Army in 1967. The medically retired sergeant soon found a new purpose for his life as he began working to help his fellow disabled veterans, just nine months after his injury.
Following two and a half years with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Mr. Drach joined the staff of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in 1970. Starting in DAV’s Pittsburgh office, Mr. Drach rapidly rose to become the organization’s national employment director in 1975. He was the first Vietnam veteran to be appointed to director at DAV. In this post, he established the reputation he maintains today as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on employment issues affecting veterans and others whose lives have been affected by disabilities.
In 2003, Mr. Drach became a founding board member of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). He has been serving on the WWP board of directors ever since and served as board president from 2007 to 2011. Mr. Drach explains his involvement with WWP saying, “It’s just one more opportunity to give back and make a positive impact on the lives of this generation of Wounded Warriors.“
Mr. Drach’s experience and expertise has enabled him to provide significant input into America’s response to the needs of veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, racial and gender discrimination, and other socio-economic issues. He became a leading voice on questions involving Social Security disability benefits, as well as efforts to remove barriers that impede the lives and employment of persons with disabilities. Many times throughout his career, Mr. Drach has appeared before congressional committees, offering expertise and recommendations for legislative change.
After leaving DAV, Mr. Drach was employed by the Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). Most recently, he worked as director of government and legislative affairs, responsible for working with congressional staff, the department’s Office of the Solicitor, and others within the Department of Labor on all legislative employment issues that affect the Departments of Labor, Veterans Affairs, and Defense.
Over the years, Mr. Drach has served on many commissions established by the VA, Department of Labor, congressional committees, and others involved in enhancing the lives of disabled veterans and people with disabilities. He has also served on many governing boards, including the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans. Mr. Drach's high-profile volunteer activity has included service as a team leader for the US Paralympics Sitting Volleyball Team that competed in the 2000 International Paralympics Competition in Sydney, Australia.
In 2011, Mr. Drach retired from his extensive career and now works as a consultant. He lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC with his wife, Carolyn, a financial analyst for the Federal Reserve. They have two adult daughters, Tiffany and Amber.