Position: U.S. AbilityOne Commission
Board of Directors
Bryan Bashin is a native Californian with longtime interests in journalism, public policy, blindness and disability advocacy. Since graduation from UC Berkeley with degrees in History and Journalism, Mr. Bashin has worked in television, radio and print journalism in San Francisco and Sacramento.
From 1998-2004, he was Executive Director at the Society for the Blind in Sacramento, California, where he quadrupled the size and effectiveness of the organization and began the effort which resulted in the dramatic acquisition and construction of the Society’s new midtown headquarters.
Mr. Bashin’s efforts were recognized in 2004 when he was appointed Regional Commissioner for Region IX of the US Department of Education, Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA). As Regional Commissioner he oversaw a team responsible for state and project grants exceeding $500 million in four western states.
In 2007 Mr. Bashin founded Id Pro Quo, an Oakland-based disability employment services firm specializing in a unique peer-mentored job development approach. Mr. Bashin subsequently has been an expert witness in the fields of disability employment and effective life care plans.
In 2010 Mr. Bashin was hired as CEO of the Lighthouse for the Blind, now a 120-year-old comprehensive agency for the blind with assets in excess of $200 million. There he led a staff of more than 140 employees who each year serve more than 3,000 blind individuals at four training offices, one manufacturing plant and a remarkable 311-acre retreat facility in Napa. During his time at the Lighthouse, he was the lead designer of that organization’s $48 million Market Street headquarters, it’s $14 million social enterprise in Alameda and its $52 million reimagination of its Enchanted Hills Camp.
In 2011 Mr. Bashin was elected Chairman of the Blind Advisory Committee for the California Department of Rehabilitation. The BAC is a statewide statutory body which provides policy and best practices advice to Department of Rehabilitation.
Mr. Bashin also serves on the advisory board of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, part of San Francisco State University. He has also held Board positions with the National Federation of the Blind of California and has been a Board member of the national VisionServe Alliance which gave him its national Excellence in Leadershipaward in 2019.
In 2011 President Biden appointed Mr. Bashin to be one of four private citizen members of the US AbilityOne Commission, an independent federal agency which leverages more than $4 billion in federal contracts to provide 40,000 jobs to people with disabilities through 450 nonprofit agencies. Modernizing that program to provide excellent jobs and move to fully integrated employment is the task ahead in the Commission’s new strategic plan.
Mr. Bashin lives in Berkeley and enjoys camping, building projects in his workshop and continuing to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.« Back to All Staff