Demystifying Social Security: 2014 Summer Academy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Kaiser Family Foundation ■ Barbara Jordan Conference Center
1330 G Street, NW ■ Washington, DC



  • Jill Braunstein, National Academy of Social Insurance

9:15 AM OPENING SESSION - Why is Social Security Important?
Why is Social Security relevant and important to younger generations.        

  • Donna Butts, Generations United 
  • Jeff Cruz, Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren​​​
  • Moderator: Ilana Mittleman, 2014 NASI Summer Intern

9:45 AM SESSION I - Social Security: How Does it Work?
Social Security is a multifaceted program with a variety of benefits. Who receives benefits? How important are Social Security benefits for the people who receive them? What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

  • Kathleen Romig, Social Security Administration and Social Security Advisory Board
  • T.J. Sutcliffe, The Arc
  • Mikki Waid, AARP Public Policy Institute
  • Moderator: Ismael Cid, 2014 NASI Summer Intern


11:05 AM SESSION II - Straight Talk on Social Security's Financing and Policy Options
Who pays for Social Security? What are the Social Security trust funds and why do they matter? What is the program’s financial outlook in the near term and the long term? What are some policy options to strengthen Social Security?

  • Karen Glenn, Social Security Administration
  • Stephen C. Goss, Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration
  • Elisa A. Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Moderator: Katherine Richard, 2014 NASI Summer Intern

12:00 LUNCH

12:30 SESSION III - Unfiltered: Two Visions for Social Security's Future
The Social Security program has been debated since its inception. This session will explore two different perspectives on the current state of the program and its future.

  • Marc Goldwein, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
  • Alex Lawson, Social Security Works
  • Moderator: Laurel Beedon, GAO


1:45 PM POLICY EXERCISE (PART A) - Building Your Solution for Social Security
Experts have debated solutions to Social Security’s financing for years. What solutions would you choose to solve the issues of solvency and adequacy of Social Security?

  • Moderator: Elisa A. Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance

2:45 PM POLICY EXERCISE (PART B) - Sharing Your Solution for Social Security
Hold your own policy briefing. Report back on your plan for the future of Social Security.

  • Moderator: Ellen Skirvin, 2014 NASI Summer Intern​

3:15 PM CLOSING SESSION - Now What?: How Can I Use this Information and Experience?
Now that you have learned the ins and outs of the Social Security program, what can young people do now and throughout their careers to get involved in the policy process?

  • Kristen Arnold, National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress
  • Bethany Boland, Abt Associates
  • Moderator: Sarah Lopez, 2014 NASI Summer Intern


  • Josh Berman, 2014 NASI Summer Intern