Mary Fetchet, LCSW, is the Founding Director and driving force behind VOICES of September 11th. A professional social worker and former educator, Ms. Fetchet co-founded the 9/11 advocacy organization in 2001 following the death of her 24-year-old son, Brad, in the attacks on the World Trade Center. With offices in New Canaan, CT, New Brunswick, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., VOICES has grown to over 11,000 members living in the US and abroad.
Ms. Fetchet’s mission: to create an organization that provides information and a wide range of support services that address the long-term, intergenerational needs of the families of the nearly 3,000 victims, rescue workers and survivors, while promoting awareness for prevention, preparedness and response related to terrorism. Her firsthand experience as a social worker and victims’ advocate has uniquely influenced the organizations ability to anticipate the needs of the 9/11 community and develop programs that promote resiliency.
Committed to commemorating the lives and stories of 9/11, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial Project in 2006. Under Ms. Fetchet’s guidance VOICES created an innovative approach to assisting families through the emotional but healing process of honoring the nearly 3,000 lives lost and documenting the personal stories of survivors at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and Shanksville, PA. Today, the Living Memorial is an extensive collection of over 60,000 photographs, written materials and personal keepsakes.
Ms. Fetchet has achieved significant national praise for her advocacy work, promoting best practices that address the long-term issues of victim’s families and others impacted by traumatic events. She campaigned for the creation of the independent 9/11 Commission and continues to promote the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations for government reforms. Ms. Fetchet testified before the 9/11 Commission, and the United States Senate and House of Representatives on five occasions.
Ms. Fetchet has served on a number of advisory boards including: The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission, the National Homeland Defense Foundation, the National Traumatic Stress Network, the Coalition of 9/11 Families, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) Family Advisory Committee, Columbia’s WTC Evacuation Study as well as the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Homeland Security Advisory System.
Ms. Fetchet’s work has brought her substantial recognition including the National Justice Award in 2003, the ‘Connecticut Hero’ award by Senator Joseph Lieberman in 2004, Red Cross Award and Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellowship in 2005 and “Connecticut’s Most Uncommon Women” Award in 2006. Ms. Fetchet was named ABC News Person of the Year in 2004, featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Making a Difference and recognized as a Hometown Heroes on DIRECTTV Hometown Heroes Production. Ms. Fetchet has made countless appearances on national television programs, and frequently contributes to print and radio.
A graduate of Columbia University with an M.S. degree, Ms. Fetchet worked as a clinical social worker at Bridges, an outpatient mental health clinic in Milford, CT. She lives in New Canaan with her husband Frank, and has two surviving sons, Chris, age 23, and Wes, age 30.