Experience: 30+ years
Education: B.A. in Philosophy
Robert Goldstraw is a disability policy and communications consultant with more than 20 years of federal government service and 10 years of private sector experience. He has expertise in communications, intergovernmental affairs and policy analysis, as well as website content management and strategy development. In addition, Robert has in-depth knowledge of federal and state government health and disability policies, programs, laws and regulations that affect the employment, independence and community integration of people with disabilities.
In January 2017 Robert became a member of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC). In that capacity he provides communications support to advance NDMC’s goal of growing mentoring opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities in order to improve their employment and independent living outcomes.
Since 2004, Robert has contributed to a variety of Concepts’ projects, most recently the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion program. In that capacity, he guided ongoing improvements to the content and function of the site through regular communications with disability-related social media contacts, as well as representatives from federal and state government agencies. Robert has also consulted on a variety of other policy and communications projects, including DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Disability.gov, the HIV/AIDS Employment Initiative and the National Resource Directory. Much of Robert’s work on those projects centered on developing content and strategies that promote self-employment. As part of Disability.gov’s content development strategy, he contributed to a series of informational guides including “Disability.gov’s Guide to Self-Employment & Entrepreneurship”.
In previous years, Robert was a staff member on the former Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, serving on the Task Force’s Interagency Committee on Economic Incentives & Entrepreneurship. During his tenure, he performed both policy and public affairs functions and contributed to the preparation of four annual reports to the President. Robert’s contributions to these reports included sections devoted to strategies to promote entrepreneurship as a path to economic independence. In addition, Robert was a presenter at a series of nationwide workshops in coordination with local VR offices, SCORE and SBDCs on available resources that can help finance small businesses.
Robert’s prior federal government service includes several positions with the Social Security Administration (SSA). As a public affairs specialist in SSA’s Office of Communications, he conducted workshops and trainings and developed public information materials on the agency’s retirement and disability programs. Since his communications efforts focused on people living with HIV/AIDS, Robert also performed outreach to hundreds of national and local HIV/AIDS organizations, including the National Minority AIDS Council, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. As a result of his contributions in this area, Robert was awarded the SSA Deputy Commissioner’s Citation for Outstanding Public Service to People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Robert received his bachelor of arts in philosophy from the University of Dayton and later performed graduate work in applied behavioral science at Johns Hopkins University. He is a former Peace Corp volunteer (Morocco ’74) and has served as an after-school tutor for middle school students in Washington, D.C.