ICI Announces New Director

Cindy Thomas (MS, CRC) has been selected to serve as the director of the Institute for Community Inclusion.

Cindy Thomas (MS, CRC) has been selected to serve as the director of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI). Ms. Thomas has been an integral part of the ICI for over 30 years, significantly contributing to its growth during that time. Prior to this appointment, she held the role of associate director and then of interim director, while leading the employment services and capacity building teams.

Dr. Sheila Fesko, associate dean and director of the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at UMass Boston, led the national search. Describing the search, Dr. Fesko said, “Cindy was simply the best candidate for this position. Her strengths are many — she is a skilled consensus builder, a great listener, an able problem solver, fair, talented, detailed, and passionate about our mission.”

Ms. Thomas has extensive experience working with and for individuals with disabilities, providing employment services, training, and technical assistance. Additionally, she has worked with state agencies serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the vocational rehabilitation system, community rehabilitation providers, and the workforce development system. She has served as the principal investigator for multiple federal and state grants and contracts, and has presented nationally on employment issues and community inclusion. Currently, Ms. Thomas is working on initiatives in the areas of state-level systems change and provider capacity building and transformation.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead ICI,” said Ms. Thomas. “This is an amazing organization, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and our many partners to continue to advance our mission of inclusion.”