Former Lighthouse President James M. Kesteloot Elected to Lead Presidentially-Appointed Commission

The Chicago Lighthouse - Sep 4th, 2015

James M. Kesteloot, immediate past president and current board member of The Chicago Lighthouse, has been elected Chairperson of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission®.

The Commission is responsible for administering the AbilityOne® Program, one of the largest employment sources for Americans who are blind or have significant disabilities. Providing more than 45,000 job opportunities nationwide in FY2014 alone, the AbilityOne Program delivers quality product and service solutions to Federal customers and is an important part of the U.S. military industrial base.

Kesteloot, who had a distinguished career of more than 40 years with The Lighthouse before his retirement in 2008, was first named to the Commission by President Obama in 2010.   He is widely respected as a national advocate in assisting people who are visually impaired in securing employment.

“I am honored to serve as the next Chairperson of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission,” he said. “I envision a strong team going forward as we work to find new and innovative ways to increase employment opportunities for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.”

Kesteloot has served as Vice Chairperson since July 2011, and is the Chair of the Employment Growth Subcommittee.

Among his many awards and citations is the prestigious Migel Medal, which Kesteloot received from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in 2014 for his “outstanding achievements in the fields of blindness and low vision.”

Back to top