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Obama Appoints Georgetown Professor to Intellectual Disabilities Committee

December 7, 2016 – President Obama has appointed Tawara Goode, assistant professor of pediatrics at Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development, to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID).

“I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles,” Obama said in an Oct. 21 announcement about Goode's and other pending appointments. “I look forward to working with them.”

The committee advises the president on policies and initiatives that support the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in all aspects of community life.

Her two-year term on the committee began in November 2016.

A Unique Opportunity

“I am honored to have been selected by the President to serve in this role," said Goode, who also serves as director of the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) and deputy director of the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. "It offers a unique opportunity to influence public policy that positively affects people with intellectual disabilities across all cultural groups.”

She previously received a grant from Georgetown’s Office of the President to lead a series of Truth and Reconciliation community forums designed to acknowledge and apologize for past injustices committed in the course of research. The series also aimed to build trust and increase the participation of culturally diverse populations often underrepresented in research, including individuals with disabilities.

Goode’s work on behalf of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities recently resulted in her receiving two grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

A five-year, $1.7 million grant from HHS to NCCC will support the development of a community of practice intended to increase the number, diversity and capacity of formal and informal leaders to transform developmental disabilities systems.

Using its Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence as a starting point, she said the NCCC will use the award to assist states and territories to be well positioned to address the growing diversity in America and advance cultural and linguistic competence in developmental disability systems.

Unprecedented Investment

Goode also received a one-year grant for the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) to develop a diversity and inclusion training action plan.

The grant is a collaborative effort with the UCEDD, Georgia State University and the University of Southern California, and is designed to create core curricula content on cultural and linguistic competence that will be used by 67 university programs nationwide.

"The HHS Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has made an unprecedented investment to ensure the programs it funds have the capacity to respond effectively to the interests and needs of the diverse population of people who experience developmental disabilities in the U.S., its territories and in tribal communities,” Goode said.