Acting Assistant Secretary for Aging and Acting Administrator, Administration for Community Living
Edwin Walker currently serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Aging and Acting Administrator of ACL, assuming both roles in July 2016.
The Administration for Community Living was created in 2012, bringing together the federal government's work on behalf of older adults and people with disabilities. From the beginning, ACL was based on a commitment to one fundamental principle – that people with disabilities and older adults should be able to live independently and participate fully in their communities. ACL works with states, tribes, community providers, researchers, universities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and families to achieve that vision.
ACL's programs work collaboratively to enhance access to health care and long-term services and supports, while also promoting inclusive community living policies, such as livable communities and competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities.
In addition, Edwin continues to directly lead the Administration on Aging within ACL. In that capacity, he guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life. This includes the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness.
Prior to federal service, Mr. Walker served as the director of the Missouri Division of Aging, responsible for administering a comprehensive set of human service programs for older persons and adults with disabilities. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass media arts from Hampton University.
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James David Toews
Acting Principal Deputy Administrator, Administration for Community Living
James David Toews joined the Office on Disabilities as a Senior Policy Analyst in November of 2011. By April of 2012, he was a Senior Advisor in the newly created Administration for Community Living. He did a detail from December of 2013 to December 2014 at the Department of Labor, where he worked on new Fair Labor Standard Rules that affect home care and consumer-directed programs for seniors and people with disabilities. He has been a part-time consultant to the Department of Justice on Olmstead cases, and has been “on loan” to CMS, where he assisted in implementing the new regulation on home and community-based settings funded by Medicaid. In January of 2016 he was appointed Acting Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living.
His apropos skills and experience began in Oregon where, for 27 years, Mr. Toews worked in the state Department of Human Services, administering several state systems for long-term services and support (LTSS). Initially he was Director of the Office of Developmental Disability Services, and then served for 10 years as the Director of the Seniors and People with Disabilities Division. This division had responsibility and oversight for all LTSS services, including community residential care, assisted living, adult foster care, in-home care, employment programs, nursing homes, family support, Older Americans Act services, and others. Division responsibility also included all LTSS policy, budget, Medicaid LTSS budget, and operations, licensing and regulatory oversight (including Survey and Certification), disability determination services and, through its field offices, eligibility and case management for LTSS, food stamps and access to health plans.
During his tenure, Oregon continued its dramatic reduction in reliance on institutional care models and saw a continued development of a wide network of home and community services. Oregon still leads the nation in the percentage of its overall LTSS budget it spends on home and community based services.
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Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities
Commissioner Aaron Bishop leads the Administration on Disabilities. Prior to the creation of this federal office, Mr. Bishop served for two years as the Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Throughout his career, Mr. Bishop has fought for the civil rights of persons with disabilities, both as a direct service provider in his home state of Wisconsin and as a policy advisor on Capitol Hill. As a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Mr. Bishop was instrumental in the creation of the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 and the Traumatic Brain Injury Act. In addition, he led efforts for the inclusion of provisions to support communications access for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
In 2010, Mr. Bishop was appointed Executive Director of the National Council on Disability, advising the President, Congress, and other federal officials on policies, programs and practices affecting people with disabilities. Previously, Mr. Bishop has served as the Project Coordinator for the Waisman Center University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and as the Director of Technical Assistance for the National Service Inclusion Project for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Bishop holds a Master of Science degree in social work with an emphasis in public policy, and two Bachelor of Science degrees in natural sciences. In 2003, he was the recipient of a Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Fellowship.
A committed advocate for inclusion and diversity, Mr. Bishop looks forward to combining the resources and expertise of multiple sectors of the disability networks and self-advocacy communities for the benefit of all people with disabilities.
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Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities
Director, Independent Living Administration
Bob Williams joined ACL in January 2016 to serve in the dual roles of Deputy Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities and Director of the Independent Living Administration.
Active in disability rights since high school, Williams came to Washington, DC to go to college and has lived and worked here for over three decades. Most recently, he served as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration. In that role, he led several interagency initiatives to create greater opportunities in career paths, employment, and economic mobility for people with significant disabilities. He continues to advance those goals here at ACL.
In earlier roles, Williams headed SSA’s Office of Employment Support Programs and has advised the Kaiser Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and other organizations on policy issues affecting the health, independence and economic well-being of people of all ages with disabilities. He also served as the Commissioner on Developmental Disabilities and then as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Disability, Aging and Long-term Care Policy at HHS. He also helped gain the passage of the ADA and to create community living services and supports to children and adults once consigned to Forest Haven, the District of Columbia’s institution for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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Deputy Administrator, Center for Integrated Programs
As the Deputy Administrator for the Center for Integrated Programs within the Administration for Community Living, John Wren oversees ACL’s administration of programs and initiatives that serve both older adults and people with disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers, including consumer access and protection programs, as well as programs and initiatives that promote the use of self-directed and person-centered service models.
Mr. Wren previously served as the Deputy Administrator for ACL’s Center for Disability and Aging Policy and, prior to that, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Evaluation at the Administration on Aging (AoA). Prior to joining AoA in 2000, Mr. Wren served as Vice President for the National Council on the Aging and the Director of the National Aging Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts. From 1976 to 1995, Mr. Wren worked for the New York State Office for the Aging, where he designed and implemented several major statewide programs for the elderly, including the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program, the State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistant Program, and the State Family Caregivers Assistance Program. He also served as lead staff directed to the Governor’s Policy Coordinating Council on Long Term Care.
Mr. Wren has served on the Board of Directors for the National Senior Citizen’s Law Center and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He received his Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and received advanced training in policy analysis and public management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
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Deputy Administrator, Center for Management and Budget
As the Deputy Administrator of the Center for Management and Budget (CMB) within the Administration for Community Living, Dan Berger serves as the Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and advises the Administrator for Community Living on all matters related to resource management and internal administration.
In this capacity, Mr. Berger oversees the administration of ACL’s financial resources; discretionary and mandatory grants; information technology and telecommunications; procurement and facilities services; personnel and human capital development; and internal control activities. Under his leadership, the Center is responsible for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ACL’s operations and providing effective administrative services to support ACL’s programs.
Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Berger served in a variety of budget and management positions in the Department. Management positions at AoA included Director of the Center for Management and Budget, Director of the Office of Management Analysis and Resources, and Director of the Office of Information Resources Management. He entered Federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1997 and spent 8 years as a budget analyst in the Office of the Secretary and AoA.
He received a Master of Public Administration degree from Northeastern University and bachelor’s degrees in history and politics from Brandeis University. He resides in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife and three children.
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Director, Center for Policy and Evaluation
As the Director of the Center for Policy and Evaluation (CPE), Vicki Gottlich oversees the coordination of effort across ACL program offices to manage the evaluation of, and reporting on, the performance of ACL programs; the provision of technical assistance on performance measurement to ACL grantees; and assisting ACL’s organizational units in developing operational plans that include measurable objectives and performance indicators.
Prior to serving as the Director of CPE, Ms. Gottlich served as a senior advisor to Sharon Lewis, Principal Deputy Administrator (ACL), focusing on policy issues involving health insurance and Long-Term Social Services (LTSS). Ms. Gottlich came to ACL from the Centers for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where she headed the Consumer Support Group (CSG). CSG certified assistance counselor programs for the private Marketplaces; implemented and oversaw external appeals procedures; and implemented and oversaw the summary of benefits and coverage, which provides consumers with standardized information about private health insurance plans.
Before joining HHS in 2011, Ms. Gottlich worked as an attorney and beneficiary advocate for older people and people with disabilities, engaging in policy work, litigation, and administrative advocacy. She focused on issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, LTSS, adult guardianship and end-of-life decision making. Ms. Gottlich is the author of numerous articles regarding Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and private health insurance.
Ms. Gottlich has a Juris Doctor degree from New York University and a Master of Laws in urban legal studies from George Washington University Law School.
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Director, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research
Mr. Tschida serves as the Director of National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, and has spent the last 15 years using data and research to drive policy change and service development for individuals for disabilities.
Before joining NIDILRR in 2014, Mr. Tschida served as Director of Public Policy and Innovation at Allina Health in Minnesota, where he developed integrated health delivery systems and financing models 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, directing a policy and research team that focused on defining and achieving better outcomes for complex populations. His team received one of the first Health Care Innovation Awards from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Prior to joining Courage Center, Tschida served as a research fellow at the National Rehabilitation Hospital Center for Health and Disability Research. Earlier in his career, he served as 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 has a master’s degree in public policy and a health services research certificate from Georgetown University.
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