Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi is the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Prior to her appointment as Acting Commissioner under the Social Security Act, Dr. Kijakazi served as the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at SSA from January 2021- July 2021. During her time as Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Kijakazi advised the Commissioner on policy issues and was responsible for planning and managing the development of program policy, policy research and evaluation, and statistical programs to inform programs administered by SSA. These programs include Retirement and Survivors Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income.
From 2014 - 2021, Dr. Kijakazi served as an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute where she developed collaborative partnerships to expand and strengthen Urban’s rigorous research agenda, effectively communicate findings to diverse audiences, and recruit and retain a diverse research staff at all levels. Dr. Kijakazi also conducted research in the areas of economic security, structural racism, and the racial wealth gap.
Dr. Kijakazi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York, Binghamton, a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University, and a PhD in public policy from the George Washington University.
Additional accomplishments and experiences are as follows:
- Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, focusing on building economic security and incorporating the expertise of people of color into all aspects of the work.
- Senior Policy Analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, focusing on Social Security and SSI.
- Program Analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
- Policy Analyst for the National Urban League.
- Board member of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; the National Academy of Social Insurance, and its Study Panel on Economic Security; The Policy Academies; and Liberation in a Generation.
- Member of the Washington, DC Equitable Recovery Advisory Group.
- Founding advisor for the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative.
- Co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Eliminating the Black-White Wealth Gap.
- Member of the Bipartisan Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings.