Cornell University

Thomas Golden : Biography

Thomas P. Golden, M.S., C.R.C.  is the Associate Director of the Employment and Disability Institute in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and has been on faculty since 1991.  As a faculty member he has been a contributor to the NIDRR-sponsored Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Economic Research on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities and the Disability STATS RRTC at Cornell.  In addition, he directs the Center for Educational Achievement and Training, the Work Incentives Support Center and several other state initiatives focusing on community participation and inclusion of people with disabilities.  Thomas has directed several national, regional, and state projects focusing on SSA disability, work incentive, and return-to-work programs.  These currently include the Work Incentives Support Center, the National Training and Materials Dissemination Project on Work Incentives and several state-specific initiatives focusing on development of in-state cadres of SSA disability and work incentive resource persons to assist SSA beneficiaries and recipients in returning to work.  Thomas has worked in the past with the Social Security Administration on transition issues and was a guest speaker at the "Youth Preparing for Tomorrow" series of conferences conducted by the SSA.  In addition to this work, he has provided extensive training for SSA central and regional office personnel on the Plan for Achieving Self-Support work incentive and others since 1996.  He designed an in-service continuing education program for SSA PASS Specialists across the United States sponsored by the Central SSA Office with a particular emphasis on expanding the usefulness of existing work incentive programs and collaborating more effectively with the current federal/state and private vocational rehabilitation community.  He also was involved in the design and implementation of a month-long training program for Employment Support Representatives as part of SSA's early design around creating an internal core of work incentive specialists. 
 
In addition, Thomas has actively worked with the private proprietary and not-for-profit service delivery sector expanding community-based vocational rehabilitation services and supports and supporting conversion planning to integrated service delivery models.  Further, of recent, his efforts have focused on improving vocational rehabilitation outcomes of American Indians through provision of training and technical support around work incentive utilization among tribal peoples and in collaboration with the Council of Administrators of Native American Rehabilitation and Section 121 Vocational Rehabilitation Programs.  Finally, under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation and with the support of the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor, Thomas worked with Dr. Susanne Bruyere and Dr. Ilene Zeitzer to do a comparative analysis of return to work policy and practice in the United Kingdom and United States which culminated in an International Symposium hosted by the White House. 
 
Finally, Thomas has served on the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel since its inception under appointment from President William Jefferson Clinton and Senator Bill Frist and is currently completing a four-year term as a U.S. Senate appointment.  He was also a member of  an Advisory Group established by the Social Security Administration to address adequacy of incentive issues under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.  Thomas is a member of the National Academy on Social Insurance and has published extensively on issues pertaining to transition and employment issues with a focus on decreasing reliance and dependence on federal benefit programs.  As a Guest Editor, he recently finished a special issue of the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling focusing on SSA’s disability and work incentive programs.  He holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Syracuse University, is a certified rehabilitation counselor.