Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, wearing a red turtleneck sweater and a colorful print sleeveless dress over it.


Member, Board of Trustees


  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, Gallaudet University, 2009
  • M.A., Social Work, Gallaudet University, 2005
  • B.A., Social Work, Gallaudet University, 1992

Short Biography

The Honorable Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, '92, G-'05 & H-'09, is a South African politican and an African National Congress (ANC) representative in the National Assembly, the upper house of the South African Parliament.

Ms. Newhoudt-Druchen was the first deaf woman elected to serve in the Republic of South Africa's parliament. She is currently serving her fifth term, which runs through 2020. She is a former party whip and chair of the body's Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Children, Youth, and Disabled Persons.

Ms. Newhoudt-Druchen served on the board of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) from 2007 to 2015, notably as vice president from 2011 to 2015 and as chair of the WFD Congress Organizing Committee from 2007 to 2011.

Prior to that, Ms. Newhoudt-Druchen worked as a social worker for the deaf community of Cape Town, South Africa, and then as the provincial director for the Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA). She was chair of DeafSA from 2004 to 2012. 

Ms. Newhoudt-Druchen is married to Peter Bruno Druchen and has two children, Antonio and Nicole. During her free time she loves reading, taking walks and watching captioned movies.

Learn more about Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen
Visionary Leader - November 2013