A graphic displaying a headshot of Michelle Cline, with the text "Congratulations to the new RICDHH Executive Director!" accompanied by the logos of the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Innivee Strategies.

Michelle Cline hired as Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Executive Director

The Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (RICDHH) is pleased to announce the selection of Michelle Cline as its next Executive Director. Michelle Cline is expected to begin her role on June 5, 2023. Michelle Cline (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers) has a versatile skill set of experiences in counseling, education, policy work, advocacy, and legislative work. Michelle obtained her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Social Work from Syracuse University. Currently, she is working as a Research Assistant for the Rochester Institute of Technology on the topic of how the COVID-19 Pandemic impacts Deaf Education and does consulting work with a variety of organizations. Michelle is dedicated to her work in elevating the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and signing communities because she believes in making a difference. She has won several awards through her mantra of continuing to BE MAD – Be Empowered to Make a Difference.

Michelle’s advocacy work ranges from early language acquisition to accessible services and addressing gaps in the system. This includes in legislative work for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of hearing to ensure their educational rights and access to a foundational language to arrive at Kindergarten ready to learn. Her career experiences are dedicated to her commitment through work and volunteering with several non-profit organizations focusing on enhancing the lives of the Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened communities. Michelle is the first female Treasurer of the National Association for the Deaf. Michelle currently resides in Massachusetts and is married to William Cline and has three beautiful children together. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and spending quality time with her 3 pups.

The search for the next RICDHH Executive Director began in August 2023, with community focus groups and surveys conducted throughout the state of Rhode Island to develop a leader profile to guide the Board of Directors in the decision-making process. The search committee, comprised of community members, interviewed the candidates and selected two finalists. The search process concluded with the finalists visiting Rhode Island, for the opportunity to do an interview in person, and to meet the community.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the next Executive Director of RICDHH and look forward to being a part of the Rhode Island community to elevate all Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and signing communities.

Through the hard work of the Rhode Island communities, they have developed a vision of what the next leader will be. I am pleased to be chosen based on these expectations set forth by Rhode Island and am able to bring knowledge and skill set in all areas including but not limited to policy work, advocacy, legislation, as well as accessibility to be able to enrich and elevate every citizen of Rhode Island.

I look forward to working with the Rhode Island Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and signing communities to put forth a healthy organization with services currently provided and seek ways in which collaboration with other programs/services to develop a robust vision for the future of Rhode Island citizens,” said Michelle Cline.

Innivee Strategies, Inc. wishes to thank the RICDHH community for participating in the search process, especially those who provided support as staff and volunteers. We also wish to thank the RICDHH for entrusting our company with facilitating the Executive Director search process. We look forward to the future of RICDHH under Michelle Cline’s leadership!

About Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (RICDHH) is an advocating, coordinating, and service-providing entity committed to promoting an environment in which deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Rhode Island are afforded equal opportunity in all aspects of their lives. For more information about the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, please visit www.cdhh.ri.gov.

About Innivee Strategies, Inc.

Innivee Strategies, Inc. is an organizational and leadership development company. We believe that communities are only as strong as the organizations that serve them. We consult with organizations and leaders to create and achieve goals, manage change, obtain and utilize data, cultivate community buy-in, and nurture and retain inspiring and transformative leaders.