Thomas Golden

Thomas Golden

Executive Director
Extension Faculty
201 Dolgen Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca,NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-2731
Fax: (607) 255-2763

Thomas P. Golden, Ed.D., CRC, is the Executive Director of the Yang-Tan Institute in the ILR School at Cornell with his practice, research and publication focused in four primary areas as they relate to individuals with disabilities: social insurance policy and its relation to return to work and greater economic independence and self-sufficiency; transition planning for youth to live, learn and earn in their communities; organizational behavior and systems change with an emphasis on facilitating inclusive communities and integrated service delivery options; and, workforce development and vocational rehabilitation.

As a faculty member he teaches in the disability studies sequence in the ILR School. Since joining faculty in 1991 he has managed over $250 million in federal and state-sponsored research, training and organizational development initiatives focused on community participation and inclusion of people with disabilities. Thomas actively works 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. His efforts have also 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. At the federal level he has conducted systems change work with the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, Department of Education, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) ranging from transition planning issues for youth with disabilities, redesign of the federal return-to-work programs, and innovative workforce development strategies.

On an international front, under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation and with the support of the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor, Thomas was a joint investigator on 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. Under sponsorship from the International Labor Organization (ILO), Thomas recently completed an international educational curriculum that is being used in 13 third-world countries to support the development of anti-discrimination legislation and policy impacting individuals with disabilities. Thomas also recently completed an international comparative study for the Government of Ireland’s Health Services Executive focused on person-centered planning innovations leading toward most integrated day services for individuals with disabilities.

Thomas completed three terms on the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel under appointment from both President William Jefferson Clinton and Senator Bill Frist. He was also a member of an Advisory Group established by the SSA to address adequacy of incentive issues under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program. Thomas is a foundation member and past-President of the National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists; member of the Guthrie Healthcare Systems Internal Review Board; member of the National Academy on Social Insurance; Board Member of the Global Applied Research Network (GLADNET); and, a Trustee at Eastern Nazarene College serving as Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. Thomas has served on the Board of the U.S. International Disability Council, Board of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, Past-President for the Association of Educators of Community Rehabilitation Personnel, and Chaired the NYS Rehabilitation Council for several years.


Ed.D. 2016 – The George Washington University
M.S. 1992 - Syracuse University, Rehabilitation Counseling
B.A. 1986 - Eastern Nazarene College, Clinical Psychology
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor -- #27926