John Tschida begins role as Executive Director

September 1, 2020

To Our AUCD Community,

The Board of Directors and the Search Committee are pleased to announce, following a competitive national search, John Tschida is the Association's next Executive Director.  As you know, John has served as our Interim Director for the previous 9 months, and during his tenure, he led our organization through a series of important accomplishments, including:

  • Successfully transitioning the staff to a wholly virtual organization while seamlessly supporting network members.
  • Executing one of the first virtual fundraisers, "Celebrating Leadership in Arts & Culture", and exceeding our fundraising goal by $54K.
  • Competing for and securing the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration, in partnership with UCLA and 15 other AUCD network partners.
  • Finishing FY20 with an $80K surplus and presenting a balanced budget to the Board for FY21.
  • Based on strong internal relationships with the CDC, securing an additional $6.3 million in COVID-related funds, most of which will be awarded to network members.

John assumes the position, effective September 1, and we are eager to begin the next chapter of growth and impact for our organization.

Image of a white man with facial hair and glasess wearing a suit and smiling at the camera.John's Previous Experience
John Tschida, MPP, has spent more than 20 years using data and research to drive policy change and service development for individuals with disabilities. Before joining AUCD in February of 2017, he was appointed as director if the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. NIDILRR is the federal government's premier applied research agency impacting individuals with disabilities.

 Prior to joining NIDILRR in 2014, he served as director of public policy and innovation at Allina Health in Minnesota, where he helped integrate medical and community-based services for people with disabilities. At the Courage Center, Minnesota's leading nonprofit provider of rehabilitation services, Mr. Tschida was vice president of public affairs and research. There, he built and directed a public policy and research team that focused on defining and achieving better outcomes for people with disabilities. He also led a statewide, cross-disability legislative coalition of more than 100 provider and advocacy organizations.

Earlier in his career, Tschida served as a research fellow at the National Rehabilitation Hospital Center for Health and Disability Research, in Washington, D.C. He was also assistant director of the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Office.

Mr. Tschida has served on a number of public and private boards designing policy or governance solutions to further the independence of people with disabilities and he has written numerous articles on disability and public policy for national and local publications.

Mr. Tschida, who has lived with a spinal cord injury since 1993, has a master's degree in public policy and a health services research certificate from Georgetown University, and a bachelor of arts from Macalester College

Thank you to every member of the AUCD Network for the work you do to realize our mission and improve the lives of people with disabilities.


Sachin Pavithran

Sachin Dev Pavithran Ph.D.
Board President
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Phone: 1(435)797-6572
Website: Email: [email protected]