A new Disability Advisor has arrived at the White House. Taryn Mackenzie Williams began as a liaison between the disability community and the president as an associate director in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement on July 14, 2014.
She is filling a role left vacant by Claudia Gordon who had the position for less than a year. Williams is said to be a short term appointment, much like Claudia Gordon. She is essentially “being loaned” from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy where she worked as senior policy advisor. As the senior advisor, Williams provided expertise in several disability policy areas such as workforce development, education, Medicaid and social security.
The National Council on Disability is excited for William’s appointment to the position saying, “She brings a tireless commitment to the disability community and the issues that affect our lives.” Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Brown University and a master’s degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard. She has worked with the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee where she contributed to a report on the ADA Generation (people who have come of age after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act).
The NCD said it best: “Her presence in the Executive Branch is a testament to the Administration’s recognition that disability ‘puts the d in diversity’ and to keeping real world concerns of both communities of color and the disability community front and center in the public policy arena.”