The Administration

Key Disability-related Positions in the Obama Administration

The White House

Kareem Dale, Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement & Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. The White House's Office of Public Engagement’s (OPE) goal is to making government inclusive, transparent, accountable and responsible. OPE creates and coordinates opportunities for direct dialogue between the Obama Administration and the American public, The disability policy of the Obama administration includes strengthening access to and improving the quality of health care, promoting access to community living services, protecting civil rights, expanding educational opportunities, and increasing access to employment.

Department of Justice

Tom Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice & Samuel R. Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice is committed to upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes designed to protect the civil rights of all individuals and prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, and national origin.

Department of Education

Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). OSERS is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. OSERS works to ensure that individuals are not left behind ... in school, in employment, in life.

Lynnae M. Ruttledge, Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The RSA is established by Congress as the principal federal agency authorized to carry out select portions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. RSA oversees grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services.

Sue Swenson, Acting Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) & Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSERS. NIDRR provides leadership and support for a comprehensive program of research related to the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. NIDRR generates new knowledge and promotes its effective use to improve the abilities of people with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community, and also to expand society's capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities.

Melody Musgrove, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). OSEP is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.

Department of Labor

Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). ODEP provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities.

Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCC). OFCC enforces, for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners, the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the Federal government.

Department of Health & Human Services

Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). CMS administers Medicaid, the nation’s primary health insurance program for persons with disabilities and low-income populations. Medicaid currently covers 60 million low-income Americans including nearly 30 million low-income children, 15 million adults and 8 million non-elderly people with disabilities.

Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging. The Administration on Aging's (AoA) mission is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of home and community-based services that helps elderly individuals maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.

Henry Claypool, Director of the Office of Disability (OD). OD oversees the implementation and coordination of programs and policies that enhance the health and well-being of people with disabilities across all ages, races, and ethnicities.

Sharon Lewis, Commissioner of the Administration on IIntellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). AIDD is the U.S. Government organization responsible for implementation of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, known as the DD Act.

Department of Homeland Security

Marcie Roth, Senior Advisor on Disability Issues and Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC), Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). ODIC is responsible for Integrating and coordinating emergency preparedness, response and recovery for children and adults with disabilities and others with access and functional needs before, during and after a disaster.

Department of State

Judith E. Heumann, Special Advisor on International Disability Rights.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Jacqueline Berrian, Chair; Chai Feldblum, Commissioner; Victoria Lipnic, Commissioner; P. David Lopez, General Counsel. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

Social Security Administration

Michael Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA administers the country’s social insurance program, consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits. In addition , SSA administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.