Executive Director at Disability Rights California
Andrew J. “Andy” Imparato began work in February of 2020 as the Executive Director of Disability Rights California (DRC) after a high-impact 26-year career in Washington, DC in disability advocacy and policy. DRC is a $41 million legal services agency with 330 staff and 26 offices that serve Californians with all types of disabilities across the age spectrum. Since joining DRC, Imparato has led advocacy efforts to protect the California disability community from health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; helped shape Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging as part of his Administration’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Implementing the Master Plan for Aging in California Together Advisory Committee; and worked to position California as a national leader is disability policy, equity and outcomes. From February until October of 2021, he served as an appointee of President Biden as one of 12 public members of a federal COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force that made recommendations to the President and his COVID-response team on how to advance health equity during the ongoing pandemic and during preparations for the next pandemic. In recent months, Imparato has helped DRC fight for self-determination for unhoused people with mental health disabilities in the context of Governor Newsom’s CARE Court proposal.
While in DC, Imparato served as the Disability Policy Director for Chairman Tom Harkin on the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; as President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities; as Executive Director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities; as General Counsel and Director of Policy at the National Council on Disability, and as an attorney advisor to Commissioner Paul Steven Miller at the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He was a key leader in the coalition that came together to support the ADA Amendments Act in 2008 and helped negotiate the disability provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014.
Imparato represented the disability rights community on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights from 2003-2010 and is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars. He has chaired the planning committee for 4 international summits on disability employment between 2016 and 2020, organized by Senator Harkin’s Institute at Drake University; is on the Centene National Disability Advisory Committee (Centene is a Fortune 100 Medicaid Managed Care Company based in St. Louis), and is on the Board of Directors of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
Imparato grew up in Southern California, received a B.A. in Humanities from Yale College in 1987, and is a 1990 graduate of Stanford Law School. Imparato is known for mentoring diverse emerging leaders with disabilities and likes to cultivate activism on social media. His perspective is informed by his lived experience with bipolar disorder. He has received a number of honors and awards, including the Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award from the US Junior Chamber of Commerce; the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award from the Viscardi Center in New York; the Corey Rowley National Advocacy Award from the National Council on Independent Living; and the Secretary’s Highest Achievement Award from Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt. He has received appointments to the Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council from Maryland Governors Ehrlich and O’Malley and to the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities from Governor Newsom. He was also appointed by US Senator Tom Daschle to the bipartisan Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel, where he helped develop new models for disability benefits that did not create barriers to employment. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Nix, and has two adult sons, one in Los Angeles and one in New Brunswick, New Jersey.