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Staff of the Board

Claire Green, Director (10/12 – Present)

Claire Green joined the Board staff in October 2012 as Deputy Staff Director and was named Staff Director in September 2013.  Before that Ms. Green spent two and a half years on Capitol Hill as a congressional fellow through Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.  Ms. Green worked for the Senate Finance Committee Majority on the Social Security/Budget Team on issues involving oversight of SSA, trust fund solvency, budget, debt limit and deficit reduction issues and a comparison of public and private sector group disability policies (covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act).  Ms. Green worked in the disability component for SSA for 18 years earning over a dozen performance and team awards.  She started as a decision writer and worked in progressively more responsible positions, most recently as Attorney Advisor to the Chief Judge where she worked on complex policy issues, the electronic business process, bias and misconduct complaints against Administrative Law Judges, and employee and labor relation issues.  Ms. Green has a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law; she completed the coursework for a Masters of Fine Arts in professional writing and publishing from Emerson College; and graduated with honors from Assumption College with a double major in English and sociology.


Diane Brandt, PhD, Research Director (09/17 – Present)

Dr. Diane Brandt joined the Board staff in September 2017 as a senior advisor. Dr. Brandt began her career with the Federal Government in 2008 as a protocol manager for the National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Section. She worked principally on an interagency agreement with the Social Security Administration in support of the agency disability programs. In addition to a diverse clinical background, Dr. Brandt's research interests include public policy/health policy and implications for vulnerable populations; and, the geospatial implications of policy outcomes. She served as the designee liaison to the American Physical Therapy Association for the Mobility Chapter of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) clinical manual. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Science in gerontology and neurorehabilitation from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and a Master of Arts and PhD from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in political science, specializing in public/health policy.


Pamela Crawford, PhD,  Senior Advisor (06/18 – Present)

Dr. Pamela Crawford joined the Board staff in June 2018 as a senior advisor. Dr. Crawford's federal service experience includes: the Social Security Administration (as a STEM presidential management fellow & social insurance specialist), Health & Human Services (Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response, Division of International Health Security), Department of Defense (Defense Health Agency, J-5 & the Department of the Army), the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health & the National Library of Medicine - Informatics) and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Office of the Director. Whilst on a Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Crawford partnered with the U.S. Indian Health Service and Health Canada, creating an international collaboration on telemedicine to improve remote tribes' health outcomes. She worked directly with the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation, Frog Clan, and the San Carlos & White Mountain Apache Tribes, to ensure their voices and perspectives were included in the project.

Professional experience in academia includes working at Harvard University, including Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins University, specifically at the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, the Johns Hopkins Evidence-based Policy Center, and the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. Dr. Crawford also served as a director of a non-profit organization providing literacy, job training and health education to those in need in California. Some international work includes service at Mexico's National Institute of Public Health, the World Bank Institute and the World Health Organization (Pan American Health Organization). Her education includes graduate degrees from Harvard University (SM), Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (MS), Johns Hopkins University (PhD) and Cambridge University in English (MPhil). Dr. Crawford also worked and/or studied in Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Northern Canada and Southeast Asia, and spent three months sailing around the world. 


Bethel Dejene, Management Analyst (06/14 – Present)

Bethel Dejene joined the Board staff in June 2014 as research analyst, and currently serves as management analyst. Prior to joining the Board, Ms. Dejene completed an internship at the Ethiopian Community Development Council in Arlington, Virginia. She was also a participant in Capital Area REACH, job-readiness and community service program. Ms. Dejene earned a BS in psychology from George Mason University.





Joel A. Feinleib, Staff Economist (06/05 – Present)

Joel Feinleib joined the Board staff in 2005 as a staff economist focusing on trust fund financing, OASDI reform proposals, empirical research and managing the quadrennial Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods. He previously worked as a research consultant and policy analyst in Washington D.C. and Chicago specializing in the economic, demographic and statistical analysis of social policy issues. Mr. Feinleib holds a BS in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in public policy studies from the University of Chicago.



Anita Grant, Senior Advisor (09/15 – Present)

Anita Grant joined the Board staff in 2016. Ms. Grant began her career with SSA in 1992, when she was hired as teleservice representative. Ms. Grant spent 23 years in SSA Operations, working in the Dallas Region, the Seattle Region, and SSA Headquarters in Baltimore. She rose through the ranks as a service representative; claims representative (specializing in Title II); budget analyst; security analyst; management analyst; team leader; deputy division director; executive officer; and division director. She also worked with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the Department of Education. She was selected as the lead project manager for the Ready Retirement Team, where she oversaw and coordinated the rollout of SSA’s online benefits application, iClaim, in 2009, and all subsequent releases of iClaim, which included the Medicare Only application in 2010.  She was instrumental in creating policy changes that simplified the process for filing for benefits that resulted in significant savings to both the agency and the public. Ms. Grant was selected for the Seattle Regional Leadership and Management Development Program 2006 and was a graduate of SSA’s National Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) in 2008.  In 2012, Ms. Grant was selected for the Asian American Government Executive Network’s inaugural Senior Executive Service Career Develop Program. She has received numerous Deputy Commissioner and Associate Commissioner Citation awards and was honored with a Commissioner’s Team Award Citation.  She was also the recipient of the Nextgov Award in 2010 for her work on the Ready Retirement Initiative. Ms. Grant has a BA in psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington and a MS in management from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.  


Conway Reinders, Lead Policy Analyst (05/17 – Present)

Conway Reinders joined the Board staff in May 2017 as a policy analyst.  Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Reinders was a research consultant to the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative, an economic research center that advances a framework for reducing multidimensional poverty, grounded in people’s experiences and values.  Previously, he served as a special assistant to The Hamilton Project, a domestic economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution.  In 2016, Mr. Reinders earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the George Washington University, graduating with special honors in economics and international affairs. 


Jenn Rigger,  Senior Advisor (09/15 – Present)

In a 25-year career in Washington, DC, Jenn Rigger has built an expertise in the area of employment for people with disabilities, particularly social security beneficiaries’ return-to-work efforts. She came to the Board as a Social Security Administration (SSA) detailee in March, 2015, but her career began on Capitol Hill and in presidential primary campaigns. She spent eight years at the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration, managing a broad portfolio of policy issues. Her 9-year tenure at SSA began as staff to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel in 2006 and transitioned to SSA’s employment support component after that. At the Board, Ms. Rigger focuses on disability policy and administrative issues. 


Emma Tatem, Policy Analyst (08/18 – Present)

Emma Tatem joined the Board staff in August 2018 as a policy analyst. Prior to joining the Board, Ms. Tatem was a research assistant at the Latin American Public Opinion Project, a survey research institute housed at Vanderbilt University. Previously, she completed an internship in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution. In 2017, Ms. Tatem earned a BA in political science with high honors from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

James Owens, Policy Analyst (07/18 – Present)

James Owens joined the Board staff in July 2018 as a policy analyst. Prior to joining the board, Mr. Owens completed an internship with the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, where he worked on an initiative designed to help low- and moderate-income Americans connect to, and thrive in, an ever-changing economy. Previously, Mr. Owens served as a research assistant for Dr. Saul Newman where they studied the relationship between political ideologies and religiosity. He also has research experience from his time working for the Washington Memorial Library in Macon, Georgia. In 2014, Mr. Owens earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from Emory University. He is currently working toward his Master’s degree in Public Policy at American University.