NEW YORK, July 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association announced today that it has appointed Javier Robles, Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University; Dr. David Mann, Senior Researcher at Mathematica; Christopher Pangilinan, Head of Global Policy, Public Transportation at Uber; and Keaston White, Attorney-Advisor at Office of the Solicitor, the United States Department of Interior to its board of directors for a 3-year period.
"We are excited to welcome four new board members this year as we celebrate United Spinal's 75th Anniversary who exemplify our commitment to building an inclusive world and strengthening the voices of the underrepresented members of the disability community. It is vital that our Board of Directors represents the diverse population we support so that we can offer the best service possible," said Vincenzo Piscopo, president and CEO of United Spinal Association.
Javier Robles, a wheelchair user who is currently an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University, is also former president of Thisabled, LLC, an organization that provides support to persons with disabilities through self-empowerment and perseverance. Robles served as the Deputy Director of the NJ Division of Disability Services until 2010, which provides monthly services to over 19,000 people with disabilities. He worked as the Project Officer for the NJ Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, which sought to change employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Robles was a delegate and founding member of the Latino Leadership Alliance of NJ, a statewide umbrella organization for Hispanic agencies and businesses. He is a 1995 Juris Doctor graduate of Seton Hall Law School and graduated with a double degree in Sociology and Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies from Rutgers University in 1989.
Dr. David Mann, a wheelchair user who is Senior Researcher at Mathematica, focuses on programs that provide employment or income support to youth and working age adults with disabilities. Mann has helped evaluate Social Security Administration initiatives that promote employment for Supplemental Security Income recipients and Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries, including Ticket to Work, the Benefit Offset National Demonstration, and the Promoting Opportunity Demonstration. He has also played a key role in several projects examining the outcomes of vocational rehabilitation customers, including transition age youth with disabilities. Mann received a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
Christopher Pangilinan, a wheelchair user, professional transportation engineer and Head of Global Policy, Public Transportation, at Uber works to create safe, reliable, and sustainable urban transportation options. He is particularly interested in the use of data and new technologies to reshape today's transportation services. Pangilinan was a Transit Engineering Team Leader, Transportation Engineer, and Transit Planner for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency from 2010-2014 where he analyzed MetroCard swipe data of New York City Transit's 6 million daily riders over a 4-year period to understand changes in ridership patterns system. Christopher graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 with MS in Transportation. In 2004, he earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Portland State University.
Keaston White, a wheelchair user and voice actor, currently works as Attorney-Advisor at Office of the Solicitor, the United States Department of Interior. Despite living with a spinal cord injury, Keaston graduated from high school in the top of his class and earned a degree in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. He graduated from John Marshall Law School in 2012 and passed the bar on his first attempt. Keaston is also a motivational speaker and member of the Shepherd Center Peer Support Program mentoring others with spinal cord or brain injuries.
United Spinal's Board of Directors manages, supervises, and controls the business, property and affairs of the organization, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the Articles of Incorporation of the Corporation, or bylaws.
The full list of board members and officers is available on United Spinal's website at www.unitedspinal.org.
About United Spinal Association Formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans, United Spinal is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). Membership is free and open to all individuals with SCI/D, with over 53,000 members across 50 chapters nationwide. Known for its revolutionary advocacy efforts, United Spinal played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, provided important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, and was instrumental in attaining sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation in New York City, which created the standard accessibility model used in many United States cities.