Davin Searls
Executive Director
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Searls, a Deaf person and native American Sign Language user, hails from Rochester, NY, from a culturally Deaf family. He is the Executive Director of Discovering Deaf Worlds (DDW) a non-profit organization that promotes the self-determination of signing Deaf communities through local capacity building in developing countries. Searls joined DDW in 2008 after spending nearly a year teaching at a deaf university in Changchun, China, and was the catalyst behind DDW’s move to non-profit status. He served as a full-time volunteer from 2008 until 2013, at which point he became a paid employee of DDW.

Under direction of DDW’s Board of Directors, Searls is responsible for leading DDW toward the realization of its vision and consistent achievement of its organizational mission, strategic goals and financial objectives. Searls has managed two federal grants with a cumulative budget of over $600,000.

Searls has given presentations on human rights, advocacy, and diversity within the global Deaf community to audiences from around the world. He has also conducted leadership, teambuilding, and organizational development training with Deaf community leaders in several regions of the Philippines and throughout five cities in India, including over 400 representatives at the National Association of the Deaf Grassroots Leadership Conference.

Since 2012, Searls has chaired the International Experts Group of the National Association of the Deaf, the premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the USA.

A lifelong advocate, perpetual traveler, and visionary, Searls holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College.