|From left to right: Weyman Johnson, Rob Engel, Dr. Mary Hughes, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Joyce Nelson, Dan Watkins, and David Chatel|
Coupling Perspective with Experience
Rob Engel is coupling his professional background with his personal experiences and strengthening relationships among state and federal public policy officials to create a world free of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Shortly after he was diagnosed with MS in 2002, this former executive director of the Democratic National Committee and adviser to multiple congressional and presidential campaigns became an MS activist.
“I think when you’re diagnosed with MS, you have responsibility… to yourself, to your family, and to the next generation. You have a responsibility to remain as healthy as you can, for as long as you can, and you have a responsibility to the next generation… to do everything you can, so that others will not live with the same devastating affects that we do,” Rob recently said.
In the last few months alone, Rob has kept appointments with members of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia congressional delegation and with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to advocate for the interests of those affected by MS.
He “always finds time from his schedule to lend a hand to the Society’s advocacy efforts,” says Shawn O’Neail, vice president of federal government relations for the National MS Society. Shawn continued, “Rob’s political savvy and government know how are unmatched, except by his modesty.”
Shawn calls Rob, “an exemplary volunteer activist… front and center in helping move policy that benefits people living with MS” and “one of the most modest people you’ll ever meet who knows everyone in Washington, D.C.”
Rob is not only engaged at the national level, but also at the state and local level. “Whether it’s testifying before the FDA or recruiting other volunteer activists at National Capital Chapter events, Rob knows the importance of advocacy and is always willing to make the commitment,” said Kevin Dougherty of the National Capital Chapter.
“No matter what I do, I feel I can never do enough,” Rob recently reflected.