Starting this week, there is a new adviser at the White House focusing specifically on disability issues.
Claudia Gordon will serve as a liaison between the Obama administration and the disability community as associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, an administration official told Disability Scoop. Her first day was Monday.
Gordon replaces Kareem Dale who was the first-ever special assistant to the president for disability policy. Dale, who was hired early in President Barack Obama’s first term, left the post earlier this year.
Gordon comes to the White House from the U.S. Department of Labor where she worked to ensure that federal contractors were not discriminating against their employees.
Prior to that, Gordon, who is deaf, held positions at the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center and at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where she was the primary author of an executive order on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
Officials at the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency charged with advising Congress and the president on disability issues, praised Gordon’s appointment.
“Her vast experience and the relationships she brings to the table bolsters the president and his administration’s continued and ongoing commitment to issues important to the disability community,” said Jeff Rosen, the council’s chairperson.