Dawn Cooper


Dawn CooperDirector, Diversity, Chapter Leadership, and Professional Development

Dawn Cooper, Director, Diversity, Chapter Leadership & Professional Development at The Arc of the United States, is responsible for developing and implementing The Arc’s strategic plan for creating greater diversity within our chapters to ensure we are effectively meeting the needs of a diverse I/DD community; developing tools and resources for building strong leaders and chapters; and supporting the ongoing professional development of staff in chapters of The Arc . Prior to joining the organization in March 2014, Dawn had spent her career confronting stereotypes and prejudices, and removing barriers to inclusion in the workplace, as well as in programs and services. Disability became a major focus for her when while volunteering with a disability organization in the 80’s, she became the reader-assistant to Eunice Fiorito, one of the early architects of the American’s with Disabilities Act. She later had the privilege of working for Eunice at the Rehabilitation Services Administration during Justin Dart’s tenure. This experience focused her passion on working with people with disabilities and ensuring their full participation in the workplace and in society as a whole.
As a professional diversity consultant with over 20 years’ experience, Dawn has consulted with organizations on ways to leverage diversity and build inclusion as an organizational imperative, and specializes in providing strategic and tactical direction to organizations looking to implement change and improve effectiveness. Previously, she has served in positions at the World Bank, AFSC, InterAction, Freddie Mac, and American Express, and has been faculty in Georgetown University’s Center for Continuing and Professional Education, Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management Certificate Program. In every position she has held, she has brought the needs of people with disabilities to the table, believing that a just society embraces all of its members justly, and no one should be excluded from a just society. It is a dream; a hope; a vision for the change.