Victor Pineda

Victor Pineda is Senior Research Fellow and visiting scholar at the Haas Institute of the University of California, Berkeley. His expertise lies in the areas of disability rights, urban planning and human rights.

Pineda is the President of World Enabled, a non-profit organization that promotes the rights and dignities of persons with disabilities. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) innovative research grant, a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the Thomas Jefferson Award, the Tom Clausen Fellowship for Business and Policy, and the Paul G. Hearne Award.

He is also Adjunct Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.


Areas of Expertise: Disability rights, urban planning, human rights

Location: Berkeley, California

Contact Info:


     Phone: (310) 467-4556

He can be heard here:

Dior Vargas

Dior Vargas is an activist and spokesperson with expertise in mental health in communities of color. She is the creator of the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project, a venture that aims to address the invisibility of people of color in media representations of mental illness. Vargas was the recipient of The White House Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy Across Generations award. She is located in New York, New York.


Activist, Spokesperson and Creator of the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project 

Location: New York, New York

Contact Information:


Phone: 646-238-0447

Twitter: @DiorVargas


Listen to Dior Vargas here:

Derrick Cogburn

Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn is an Associate Professor of International Relations at American University. His current research includes global information and communication technology, socio-economic development, and institutional mechanisms for global governance of ICTs (information and communications technology).

Dr. Cogburn is executive director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP), a “think tank” on disability policy that prepares transformative disability policy leaders for the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region with over 20 leading universities and partners. He is also the editor of the Palgrave Macmillan book series on Information Technology and Global Governance, and past president of the Information Technology and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

Derrick L. Cogburn.jpgAssociate Professor of International Relations, American University

Areas of Expertise: International communication, global disability policy, global information and communication technology and policy, transnational nongovernmental organizations and global civil society, cyberinfrastructure, accessible cyberlearning, geographically distributed collaborative learning, big data

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:


Mobile: 202-255-3991

Twitter: @derrickcogburn

Maya Aguilar, Communications Director


Mobile: 949-291-3091

Twitter: @maya_aguilar

Heard on BFM 88.9: Moving Beyond the Social Stigma Attached to Disability

Added September 2015

Last Verified: September 2015

Kathy Martinez

Kathy Martinez is senior vice president of Disability Market Segment & Strategy for Wells Fargo where she works to expand the company’s capabilities and programs dedicated to serving customers with disabilities and their families.

Martinez is the former assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) for the U.S. Department of Labor. She led ODEP in putting policy priorities into practice through several innovative grant programs. These include Add Us In, through which a nationwide consortia worked to increase the capacity of small businesses to employ people with disabilities. The grant program also included the Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program, through which several states received support to promote community-based, integrated employment as the primary outcome for people with significant disabilities.

A graduate of San Francisco State University, Martinez speaks and publishes on a wide array of topics related to disability employment, including the emergence of disability as an essential component of workplace diversity and inclusion and the importance of expectation in ensuring youth with disabilities grow up with an assumption of work—a topic on which Martinez, who herself was born blind, offers compelling and personal perspective.

Kathy Martinez

Senior Vice President, Disability Market Segment & Strategy, Enterprise Marketing Wells Fargo & Company

Areas of Expertise: Disability Employment, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Youth with Disabilities, Expectations and Job Skills of People with Disabilities

Location: San Francisco, CA

Contact Information:


Heard on It’s Our Story: “The Silent Revolution Will Pick Up”

Added August 2015

Last Verified: August 2015

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams is the James L. Dohr professor of law at Columbia University, where she teaches in the areas of contract law, bioethics (particularly issues involving property in bodies and body parts), and civil and human rights (including issues of race, gender, disability and mental health). In 2000 she received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in law and social justice.

Williams began her law career as a consumer advocate and freelance journalist; she continues to write a monthly column, “Diary of a Mad Law Professor,” for The Nation magazine (and blogs at, is a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper. She is the author of several books, including “The Alchemy of Race and Rights,” “The Rooster’s Egg” and “Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race.”

Williams has appeared on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and NPR’s Tell Me More.

James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University

Areas of Expertise: Contract Law, Bioethics, Civil and Human Rights (Race, Gender, Disability and Mental Health), Social Justice

Location: Boston, MA and New York City, NY (France and Seattle, WA, during academic breaks)

Contact Information:
Phone: (617) 524-3192

You can also contact Williams’ assistant, Nersa Miller
Phone: (212) 854-8385

Heard on NPR: For a full list, click here.

Tell Me More: Will Obama’s Presidency Change Perceptions Among Blacks?