Sara Hart Weir’s life has been about leading differently, serving others and delivering results. Most recently, Weir was the President & C.E.O. of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) where she drove the organization’s financial growth, strategic decisions and managed the overall operations. Sara has always deployed an “in the trenches” leadership style by engaging directly with her constituents - meeting with families in their local communities, in classrooms, visiting their places of employment and around their kitchen tables.
Growing up in Olathe, Kansas and a proud product of the Olathe Public School District, Weir, also a college soccer player, understands that Kansas values, teamwork and a deep commitment to service is what it will take to represent all constituents of Kansas’ Third District in Congress as well as establish a new generation and squad of conservative leaders in Congress.
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Weir has a demonstrated track record of delivering results and outcomes for those she’s served. Her proudest achievement to date remains leading the advocacy effort behind the passage of the landmark, historical Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014 by garnering the support of 85% of the entire US Congress on a conservative tax solution for American families caregiving for an individual with a disability by amending the tax code to create the 529A program. The effort also included the state advocacy effort to enact 49 state ABLE laws, played a significant role in launching over 40 state ABLE plans including the Kansas ABLE Savings Program, and leading on two important provisions in the President’s Tax Reform Package in 2017.
Over the years, Weir has also led a number of unique public-private partnerships (across multiple sectors) to mobilize stakeholders from the private sector to play a larger role in driving change:
Workforce Development: Established the “CEO Commission for the Future of Work” with like-minded companies like Voya Financial and Society for Human Resource Management to lift people with disabilities out of poverty and move then to work through the private sector.
Healthcare Quality & Access: Established and led the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), and launched The One & Only Campaign is a public health effort to eliminate unsafe medical injections, with the CDC and CDC Foundation to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices, which are critical to the overall safety of healthcare delivery across all healthcare settings.
Government Openness & Transparency: Ensure Federal Science departments and agencies, researchers and publishers make tax-payer funded information publicly available to tax-payers to meet needs the growing public need for high-quality health information and promotes accelerated scientific advancement in the biomedical field.
PASSION & PURPOSE IN THE WEIR FAMILY
Growing up in Kansas, the Ewing Kauffman “entrepreneurial spirit” was around the Weir kitchen table. Sara’s dad, a scientist, who at the time worked at Marion Labs, inspired their family each day to have your life’s passion and career to come together. Sara’s passion of fighting for the human rights of all people with Down syndrome stems from her experience as a peer-mentor and friend to Kasey, from Lenexa. The two met almost two decades ago while Kasey was a student at Shawnee Mission West High School.
Sara quickly realized that the disability community did not have high-powered lobbyists, wealthy corporations or influential political action committees working for them - they relied on the strength of passionate voices outside the political spectrum who were willing to speak up for them.
Weir went on to change that, and dedicated her career and service to allow everyone to have a fair shot at the “American Dream” by promoting conservative solutions that give individuals with Down syndrome and all Americans with disabilities access to a better life.
Sara’s life work was fashioned from her family and their deep commitment to community, hard work and a passion for improving Kansas. Her father, Dr. Scott Weir, serves as the Director for the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation at the University of Kansas Cancer Center, her mom, Lucy, is a successful realtor at Better Homes & Gardens in the Kansas City metro, her brother, Nate, is an athletic trainer for the Green Bay Packers and her youngest brother, Dr. Josh Weir, is a Radiation Oncologist at the University of West Virginia.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Political Leadership, Westminster College (Fulton, Missouri), 2004
Master of Science in Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, 2006
Certificate of Completion, Emerging Leaders Program, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in Executive Education, 2017
“Leadership Olathe” Graduate of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, 1999
Olathe South High School Principal’s Senior Leadership of the Year Award, 2000
Westminster College Senior of the Year, 2004
Winston Churchill Award for Leadership & Service, 2004
Westminster College Young Alumni Achievement Award, 2014