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Cindy Smith, MS, CAS, JD

Director, Public Policy

Policy and Advocacy

Cindy Smith serves as the Director of Public Policy for AUCD, Cindy works with Congress and the Administration to improve policies for persons with disabilities.

Cindy began her career as a Research Coordinator and Database Manager at the Institute for Community Inclusion, one of the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities in Massachusetts. Since 2010, Cindy has worked in federal and state public policy and advocacy for the partners included the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Assistance Act.

Prior to joining AUCD, Cindy worked as the Deputy Director for Policy and Public Affairs at the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. In this role, Cindy advised the Executive Director, staff and Governor-appointed Councilmembers on policy priorities and led the Council's advocacy with the California State Legislature.

For ten years, prior to her move to California, Cindy was employed in policy and advocacy positions in Washington, DC including as Director of Public Policy at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) and Senior Policy Counsel at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). As she made her return to DC, Cindy served as a Legislative Affairs Advisor on contract with the National Council on Disability. Cindy began her career in direct service working in education and recreation programs for people with disabilities.

Cindy has deep content knowledge in several policy areas that align well with the goals of AUCD including education, employment, healthcare, emergency management and community living. Cindy also has significant expertise in advocating for increased funding for programs for people with disabilities as part of the yearly budget and appropriations process.

Cindy was one of the first students admitted to and earned her Juris Doctor with a concentration in Disability Law and Policy and Master of Science in Cultural Foundations of Education in Disability Studies from Syracuse University. She also has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Legal Studies from Ithaca College.

Image Description: Cindy is a white woman with short brown hair and brown eyes.

  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Funding for Disability Programs
  • Meeting with Members of Congress and their staff