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Taryn Mackenzie Williams Elected U.S. Access Board Chair
March 09, 2022
The U.S. Access Board elected Board Member Taryn Mackenzie Williams as its new Chair on March 7. Williams serves as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. In this position, she advises the Secretary of Labor on how the Department’s policies and programs impact the employment of people with disabilities and leads the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), which works with employers and all levels of government to promote evidence-based policy that improves employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities.
“The work of the Access Board is critically important in light of the President’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” Williams remarked. “I am honored to be selected as Chair and look forward to helping the Board achieve its ambitious equity and access goals in the coming year.”
Previously, Williams was the managing director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress, which works on progressive policies focused on a broad range of anti-poverty strategies. Before joining American Progress, she worked at ODEP on a variety of issues related to education, workforce policy, Social Security, Medicaid, and civil rights. Prior to joining the federal government, Williams worked as the research coordinator for leadership programs at the Institute for Educational Leadership and as the director of programs at the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues headquartered in Chicago.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Brown University and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.
Williams succeeds Gregory S. Fehribach who has also been elected Board Vice Chair. Fehribach is counsel to the Indianapolis law firm Tuohy Bailey & Moore LLP. He has been in private practice for over 35 years, and he counsels numerous clients at the national, state, and local level regarding the nuances of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A former Trustee at Ball State University, where he obtained his BS and MA degrees, Fehribach also was elected student body president in 1979, and he now serves as a Distinguished Fellow. In 1985, Fehribach obtained his law degree from Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law.
Fehribach currently is a Trustee of the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indianapolis, IN and continues to serve since 1988 as an Interim Bankruptcy Trustee for the Southern District of Indiana.
Board officers serve for a term of one year. The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Half of its members are representatives from most of the federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President.