AUCD Welcomes White House Disability Liaison Taryn Williams

July 15, 2014

Photo via LinkedIn
Photo via LinkedIn

AUCD welcomes Taryn Mackenzie Williams to her new role as Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Williams joins the White House on detail from the U.S. Department of Labor, where she served as a Senior Policy Advisor with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).  At ODEP, she delivered expertise on disability policy issues including workforce development, education, Medicaid and social security.  She also led work that enhances transition outcomes of youth with significant disabilities. Prior to joining ODEP, Williams worked as the Research Coordinator for Leadership Programs at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) and as the Director of Programs at the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) headquartered in Chicago.

Williams holds a bachelor's degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Education from Brown University and a master's degree in Education with a concentration in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.  She participated in the Education Policy Fellowship Program at IEL in 2006-2007. In 2012-2013, she completed a detail to the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP), which is chaired by Senator Tom Harkin.  Williams, who has lived with ulcerative colitis since the age of 5, is a proud supporter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. 

"I had the pleasure of working with Taryn Williams when she was detailed from the Department of Labor to Senator Harkin's HELP Committee staff," said Andrew Imparato, AUCD Executive Director and former Disability Policy Director for the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.  "She is brilliant, passionate, and outcome-oriented.  I cannot imagine a better person to help the White House engage with the disability community as they pursue President Obama's robust agenda.  Coming after Claudia Gordon's highly successful detail, Taryn is well-positioned to hit the ground running."

AUCD looks forward to working with Williams and her colleagues in the months to come.

About AUCD

AUCD is a national network of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs); 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs; and 15 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs). Together, these programs have a national impact through direct services, the development of new professionals, and the application of new knowledge generated from research. For a national directory of Centers, see AUCD's website at