The Harkin Summit: Innovating for Inclusion

Doubling Disability Employment In A Changing Landscape

On November 2, 2017 Harkin Summit attendees broke off by their sector to discuss issues that directly pertain to their industry focus. Each sector shared their major takeaways with the assembly to find further points of collaboration.



Ford Foundation President Darren Walker sat down with Sen. Harkin (Ret.) on November 3, 2017. Walker openly discussed the way the Ford Foundation has started to more deliberately integrate individuals with disabilities as a priority within their conversations on diversity.

Video (with captions) of Senator Hassan's remarks.

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) gave opening remarks at the Harkin Summit on November 2, 2017. She shared her family’s involvement with individuals with disabilities as her son has cerebral palsy. This helped to develop Hassan’s passion for public service, which eventually lead to her drive to become a legislator.

Thursday-Friday, November 2-3

The Harkin Summit convenes high-level representatives and grassroots implementers from around the world - all working to increase the employment of people with disabilities. This running blog is your resource for the latest information from the summit. Check back often!


Senator Tom Harkin (retired) speaks during the 2017 Harkin Summit

Senator Tom Harkin (Retired) opened the second annual Second Harkin Summit on Global Disability Employment with remarks on cooperation between business sectors to aid in the employment of people with disabilities.

United States Senator Maggie Hassan is committed to working with members of both parties to represent New Hampshire values and to solve problems in order to expand middle class opportunity, support small businesses, and keep America safe, secure, and free.

Mike is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin, and was first elected in 2006. After his re-election in October, 2008, Mike was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, a position to which he was re-appointed after the May 2011 election. 

Jenny Lay-Flurrie has a passion to see people reach their full potential including people with disabilities. Jenny is Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft leading our efforts to drive great products, services and websites that empower people and organisations to achieve more.

Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole is a Principal Consultant with Cook Ross. Before assuming her current position, she served for eight years as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

Handicap International is pleased to invite Harkin Summit attendees to raise a glass together on Wednesday evening, November 1. The reception marks the international NGO’s 35 years of action in more than 60 countries.


Zero Project Logo

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.

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. 

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.

Panel of speakers addressing disability employment.

On 23-24 May, the Embassy of Afghanistan, the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) (a Harkin Summit plannning committee member), the U.S. Afghan Women's Council, and Georgetown University's Center for Child and Human Development partnered to hold a disability rights conference on at Georgetown University and at the USICD.  His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Hamdullah Mohib and his spouse, Mrs. Lael Mohib, welcomed participants. Mrs. Mohib attended the 2016 Harkin Summit.