Kristen Cox (they/them) is the Executive Assistant for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). In this role, they support AAPD’s operational priorities and the President & CEO. They act as an integral part to help drive leadership’s goals to fulfill the mission of the organization.
Kristen is a neurodivergent chronically ill person who is passionate about advancing inclusion and advocacy for disability and LGBTQ+ issues and advocacy, particularly where they intersect.
Kristen was an AAPD Federal IT intern in 2019 and had the opportunity to intern at the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of the Chief Information Officer as a part of the Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS) branch to analyze and help streamline workflows to better preserve digital works and metadata. Kristen is grateful for their internship experience at AAPD for connecting them with the disability community, as well as for the opportunity to get to see behind-the-scenes at the Smithsonian.
Prior to their employment at AAPD, Kristen worked as an Administrative Assistant at Association Headquarters (AH), where they first got their start in association management. At AH they supported multiple associations and assisted with educational programs, membership, volunteer coordination, and hybrid event management. Kristen also held a position on both AH’s DEI Advisory Council and their DEI Hiring Task Force, advocating for disability inclusion in the workplace.
Kristen holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, where they graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Artistry, Contributions, and Academic Achievement. Kristen’s emphasis was technical theatre, and they have credits in various roles including stage management, lighting design, carpentry, tailoring, and technical direction.
In their free time, Kristen continues their work as an artist and enjoys trying spicy foods, getting to know their local community’s dogs, going to art museums, creating niche music playlists, and learning new tricks in Excel.