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Virginia Reno

Social Security Distinguished Honoree - NASI at 25: Celebrating Milestones and Envisioning the Future of Social Insurance

Virginia Reno is Vice President for Income Security at the National Academy of Social Insurance. She is known for her expertise on Social Security, retirement policy, private pensions, the income of the elderly, and disability policy. As Janice Gregory, NASI’s President and Founding Member, notes, "Virginia appreciates the artful design of Social Security like few others who have labored in the details.  The depth and breadth of her knowledge of the program's history is amazing.  She is a great educator, always persistent, but ever patient and ready for dialogue."

A founding member of NASI, Reno has worked tirelessly at NASI for nearly 20 years. She plans and directs NASI’s work on retirement income, workers’ compensation, disability insurance and related programs. Her insight, dedication, and leadership have been instrumental in shaping NASI’s research and helping NASI become known for objective, thorough analysis of significant issues. Her research on the Social Security program’s solvency and on benefit adequacy has helped to broaden the policy discussion around Social Security. She has also made significant contributions towards enhancing public understanding of the program by implementing targeted educational outreach to help current and future recipients better understand the role of Social Security for income and retirement security.

Reno directed NASI’s landmark study, Uncharted Waters: Paying Benefits from Individual Accounts in Federal Retirement Policy, which was highly acclaimed by individuals on all sides of the Social Security debate.  She also directed NASI’s study of the Social Security disability programs, culminating in a final report that became the blueprint for many of the changes enacted in the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999.

Before coming to NASI, Reno held research and policy positions at the U. S. Social Security Administration (SSA), where she was staff director of the Policy Council that advised the Commissioner of Social Security on legislative, regulatory and administrative issues. Before that, she served in SSA’s office of research and statistics, where she directed the program analysis staff.  She has worked for four major commissions on Social Security, including serving as a senior advisor to the 1983 Greenspan Commission.

Reno has published numerous research articles on Social Security, disability policy, private pensions, retirement policy, the income of the elderly, public opinion about Social Security, labor force participation of women, and the treatment of women and families in benefit and tax systems. She has testified frequently in Congressional committees, and twice received the SSA’s Commissioner’s Citation, including once from Robert M. Ball. Reno received her B.A. from the Honors College of the University of Oregon and served in the U.S. Peace Corps.

Reno was recognized as the distinguished honoree for Social Security at NASI's 25th anniversary celebration held on June 8, 2011 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.