Julie Hocker

Former U.S. Commissioner on Disabilities

Julie Hocker is a national labor and health policy expert and consultant.  She works to protect the human dignity and unleash the potential of all people, most especially individuals with disabilities.  Ms. Hocker served as the United States Commissioner on Disabilities from 2018 – 2021.  She was nominated by President Trump as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy on January 28, 2020.

As Commissioner, Ms. Hocker directed the nation’s leading agency, the Administration on Disabilities at the Department of Health and Human Services, charged with executing a $375 million budget and ensuring the nation’s 60 million Americans with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to live in their communities and fully pursue the freedoms and rights we all enjoy.  Ms. Hocker established the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, affirming the innate value of every life.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Hocker oversaw the deployment of $85 million in CARES Act funds to more than 280 nonprofits nationwide to provide employment support, food, personal protective equipment, transportation, and community referrals.  She led the national effort to save lives through eliminating outdated and discriminatory public health protocols that jeopardized access to life-saving testing and treatment.

In 2019, Ms. Hocker launched the nation’s first prize competition aimed at private sector innovation in career advancement for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Nearly 60 firms nationwide competed to disrupt low expectations and instead create meaningful, well-paying career pathways.  In 2020, she launched a national training and technical assistance center to replicate these models through public-private partnerships in every state and territory.

Prior to serving as Commissioner, Ms. Hocker held several leaderships positions at the Vanguard Group in her home state of Pennsylvania.  She began her career at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after earning her undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  She served as a Senior Policy Fellow for the Center for Human Dignity at the American Conservative Union Foundation and has appeared at multiple national conferences and in several publications; she testified before the New York State Senate on the discrimination of people with disabilities.

Ms. Hocker earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and resides in Arlington, Virginia.