The Honorable Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen

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 a representative and party whip in the National Assembly, the upper house of the African National Congress (ANC).

Newhoudt-Druchen was the first deaf woman elected to serve in the Republic of South Africa's parliament. She served for three terms, from 1999 to 2014. During her tenure, she chaired the body's Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Children, Youth, and Disabled Persons.

Newhoudt-Druchen served as vice president of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) from 2011 to 2015.

Prior to that, 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. She was a WFD board member from 2007 to 2011 and served as the president of the WFD World Congress Organizing Committee during that time.

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