The Harkin International Disability Employment Summit

Creating Careers and Professions for People with Disabilities


Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street NW, Washington D.C.

About the Summit

In its first year, the Harkin International Disability Employment Summit convened 180+ attendees from 30 countries over 1.5 days. The Summit was an invitation-only event of select stakeholders who had been successful at employing people with all types of disabilities, or adapting policies and practices that encourage others to do so.


Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin

“The unemployment rate among adult Americans with disabilities who want to work and can work is over 60%! That is a blot on our national character.”

Sen. Harkin’s farewell speech
to the Senate


Zero Project Logo

Innovative Practices and Policies in Disability-Inclusive Employment

We revisited the theme of disability-inclusive employment, work, and vocational education and training. The first time we addressed the theme was back in 2013, at the start of our previous four-year research cycle.

2017 Keynote Speaker- Darren Walker

Darren Walker is President of the Ford Foundation, the nation’s second largest philanthropy, and for two decades has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. He led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and chairs the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. 

2017 Keynote Speaker- Dr. Jim Yong Kim

Jim Yong Kim (@JimYongKim), M.D., Ph.D., is the 12th President of the World Bank Group. Soon after he assumed his position in July 2012, the organization established two goals to guide its work: to end extreme poverty by 2030; and to boost shared prosperity, focusing on the bottom 40% of the population in developing countries.