Thursday, February 8, 2018
Joe Caldwell (PhD ’05) credits his time at DHD with helping him understand how “to apply research to make a difference in people’s lives.” He is well-positioned to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families in his current role as the Director of Long-Term Services and Supports Policy at the National Council on Aging (a national non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of older adults). As part of his job, Joe partners with multiple universities to conduct research related to home and community-based services and family caregiver supports, provides his expert perspective on the intersection of disability and aging, and works in coalition with other national aging and disability organizations to advance federal policy on these issues.
While completing his graduate work at DHD, Joe’s passion for policymaking took root after pursuing Washington-based fellowships, including time spent as a Disability Policy Fellow at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. He then received the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Fellowship, where he worked for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee during the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Throughout his career, Joe has used his background in Disability Studies to critically examine policy through a disability lens and explore how policies communicate underlying societal values, meanings, and messages about disability. Joe’s work directly impacts the lives of people with disabilities and their families at every level, whether he is advocating for policies, facilitating national research projects, or providing technical assistance to other aging and disability organizations.