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.