(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announces the appointment of Andrew Reese as Director of the DC Department on Disability Services (DDS) effective September 2, 2016. The Washington, DC native was appointed Interim Director of DDS – the District’s central hub for information, oversight and coordination of services for people with disabilities and those who support them – on April 2, 2016.
“Andrew Reese has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to serving District residents with disabilities and their caretakers with a high level of respect and understanding of their needs,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “He will lead the agency in delivering quality services and supports to residents with disabilities in all eight wards through strong community partnerships.”
Prior to being appointed Interim Director of DDS in April, Reese served as the Deputy Director of DDS, responsible for the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) since December, 2012. RSA is the District agency responsible for vocational rehabilitation services in the District. These services help people with disabilities obtain, retain, regain or advance in employment.
Prior to being appointed as the Deputy Director for DDS, Reese served as the Deputy General Counsel for DDS, primarily responsible for RSA legal matters. He worked with the DC Office of the Attorney General (OAG) from 2003 to 2004 in the Child Protection Section. He returned to the Office of the Attorney General in 2008 as the Deputy Attorney General for the Family Services Division, which is responsible for the Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Child Protection Litigation Sections.
An attorney admitted to the bar in DC in 2003 and in Maryland in 2002, Reese has been a licensed social worker since 1988. He has worked in both the public and nonprofit sectors; served 10 years as a clinical instructor on the faculty of the University of MD at Baltimore – in the School of Social Work and the Law School; and as a sole practitioner in the District, representing parents and acting as a Guardian ad litem for child in the foster care system. While on the faculty at the University of Maryland, Reese served as the Chair of the AIDS Legislative Committee, a disability advocacy organization, from 1996 through 2002.
Fluent in Spanish, Reese began his social work career in 1984 working with refugee and immigrant families from Vietnam, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Central America. He has extensive child welfare experience working in foster care and child protection. He has also advised attorneys on depositions involving mental health or child welfare issues, served as an expert witness, conducted interviews of victims of child abuse, prepared clients to testify, and provided mental health evaluations.
Reese received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, his Masters in Social Work from Howard University and his Bachelor of Science in Family Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.