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LEAD PEOPLE Rebecca Salon, Project Director, LEAD Center

December 23, 2013

On October 1, 2013, Rebecca Salon joined the LEAD Center as Project Director. The LEAD Center is pleased that Karen McCulloh, who served as Project Director for the LEAD Center’s inaugural year, is continuing as Director of Special Projects, following a year of extraordinary accomplishments. 

Dr. Salon is a recognized national leader in policy, program development and advocacy with an emphasis on cutting-edge demonstrations that promote employment and economic self- sufficiency for people with significant disabilities. She has more than 20 years of experience with management of federally funded projects and has more than 35 years of experience working with people across the spectrum of disabilities. Salon also is working at the District of Columbia Department on Disability Services (DDS), where she is the lead for D.C.’s Employment First program initiatives.

Over the past six years, Salon has worked in D.C. government focusing on program, policy and partnership development to promote Employment First systems change, in addition to other initiatives through DDS’s developmental disabilities and vocational rehabilitation administrations. This work has included creating and supporting Communities of Practice to promote and implement customized employment; coordinating Project SEARCH partnerships and programs within the federal government; overseeing and coordinating the activities of DDS’s Medicaid infrastructure grant (MIG); fostering a collaboration between the workforce and vocational rehabilitation system on universal design practices in their respective roles; and working on multiple partnerships designed to promote employment for youth and young adults with disabilities. Almost all of her energies have been focused on creating opportunities for employment, community inclusion and economic self-sufficiency for youth and adults in the District of Columbia.  She is actively engaged with the State Employment Leadership Network’s work in D.C. and was instrumental in creating an Administrative Employment Network (EN) at DDS to expand the job retention support that can be available to people with disabilities through the Ticket to Work program.

Salon previously was Executive Director of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, where she worked for 20 years in positions that spanned all of its programs and projects. Since 1988, Salon has been an advisor to Project ACTION!, a D.C.-based state-wide self-advocacy coalition run by adults with developmental disabilities, and has worked with a number of family advocacy coalitions in D.C. and Maryland.  Her Master’s and Doctorate degrees are from Syracuse University. Her doctorate degree is in special education with an emphasis on disability policy studies, advocacy and program quality.  She also previously worked at Syracuse’s Center on Human Policy and in a number of other non-profit management positions.