Following Oliver Scicluna’s resignation from the post, in order for him to join the Maltese Parliament, Prime Minister Robert Abela following consultation with the Minister for Inclusion and Quality of Life Julia Farrugia Portelli, has appointed Samantha Pace Gasan as the new Commissioner of Persons with a Disability.
Aged 27, Samantha Pace Gasan is a Social Policy Graduate, and read for a Masters Degree in Creativity and Innovation.
Ms Pace Gasan previously worked at MEUSAC, assisting organisations to gain access to EU Funds, and at the Faculty for Social Wellbeing within the University of Malta, as a researcher and coordinator.
Apart from her full-time jobs, Ms Pace Gasan is also an activist, having formed part of the Malta Girl Guides, and the National Youth Council. She was also one of the founders of the Network of Young Women Leaders, which aimed at empowering young women and girls to become leaders in their own right.
In 2018, Samantha was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a condition that primarily affects the connective tissue in the human body. This led to Samantha undergoing a second urgent operation late last year, during which she, unfortunately, suffered a stroke, and, is now partially visually impaired.
Although this transition needed some adjusting to, Samantha looks at life quite positively, and accepts her disability as an integral part of her identity and has immediately sought to acquire assistive technology to help her carry on with her life in a normal manner. Apart from all this, Samantha has lived the disability sector closely since 2001, as her sister who has Down Syndrome, was born.
All of us at Bay would like to wish Samantha all the very best in this new role!