Keynote 10

"Where to from here in research, policy, & practice?"

John Tschida

John Tschida, MPP, is the executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). He has dedicated over 20 years to leveraging data and research to advocate for policy changes and service improvements for individuals with disabilities. Before joining AUCD in February 2017 as the associate executive director, Tschida was the director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. NIDILRR is renowned as the federal government’s premier applied research agency for individuals with disabilities.

Prior to his tenure at NIDILRR in 2014, Tschida held the position of director of public policy and innovation at Allina Health in Minnesota, where he played a crucial role in integrating medical and community-based services for people with disabilities. At the Courage Center, Minnesota's leading nonprofit provider of rehabilitation services, he was the vice president of public affairs and research. In this role, he established and led a team focused on public policy and research, aiming to achieve better outcomes for people with disabilities. He also spearheaded a statewide, cross-disability legislative coalition comprising over 100 provider and advocacy organizations.

Tschida has contributed to numerous public and private boards focused on creating policy or governance solutions to enhance the independence of people with disabilities. He has also authored numerous articles on disability and public policy for national and local publications. Living with a spinal cord injury since 1993, Tschida holds a master's degree in public policy and a health services research certificate from Georgetown University, and a bachelor of arts from Macalester College.