Rebecca Cokley is the program officer for the foundation's first-ever U.S. Disability Rights program, which is focused on strengthening the field, building a pipeline of diverse leadership, promoting disability pride, and mobilizing resources toward disability rights work. She also serves as the foundation's liaison to the President’s Council for Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy.
Prior to joining Ford, Rebecca was the cofounder and director of the Disability Justice initiative at the Center for American Progress, where she built out a progressive policy platform that protected the rights and services disabled people depend on for survival and also developed innovative solutions like a proposed disabled worker tax credit and increased access to capital for disability-owned small businesses. She also stewarded a campaign that resulted in an unprecedented 12 presidential candidates developing disability policy platforms.
Prior to her work at American Progress, 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 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 has a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.