Maria Town

Maria Town is the President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities.  In this role, she works to increase the political and economic power of people with disabilities. Prior to this she served as the Director of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities where she advocated for the rights and needs of citizens with disabilities, served as a liaison between the mayor, city council, city departments and other public and private entities on matters pertaining to people with disabilities in Houston, and established local and national partnerships to advance inclusion. Town is the former Senior Associate Director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement where she managed the White House’s engagement with the disability community and older Americans. She also managed the place-based portfolio and coordinated engagement across federal agencies. Town also worked as policy advisor at the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Town led and coordinated numerous efforts to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities. She has particular expertise in areas of youth development and leadership and promoting college and career readiness for all youth. Town is a member of the board of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and is a part of the inaugural class of Ford Foundation Global Fellows