Rebecca Cokley

Program Officer in the President’s Office, The Ford Foundation

Rebecca Cokley is a program officer in the President’s Office, developing the U.S. disability rights program strategy, the first of its kind at the Ford Foundation.

Prior to joining Ford, Rebecca was the co-founder and director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where she built out a progressive disability policy platform that both protected rights and services disabled people and their families depend on for survival, but also developed innovative solutions for the future. She was responsible for organizing a campaign that resulted in an unprecedented 12 Presidential candidates developing disability policy platforms. Prior to her work at CAP, she served as the executive director for the National Council on Disability where she worked on sexual violence on college campuses, policing reform, and the civil rights of disabled parents. A three-time Presidential Appointee, Rebecca served in key policy roles at the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a successful stint at the White House where she oversaw diversity and inclusion efforts for the Obama Administration.

Rebecca is a frequent speaker and contributor on issues of public policy and disability inclusion in the media and at major national conferences. She’s a frequent contributor on “American Voices with Alicia Menendez;” has written for CNN, the Washington Post, and Rewire; and has appeared on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  She was the 2020 Richman Distinguished Fellow in Public Life from Brandeis University. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she was a Pister Scholar.

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