Mariette J. Bates is the Academic Director of Disability Studies programs and Distinguished Lecturer at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies. She began her career as an advocate for people institutionalized in the mental health system before becoming the Program Director of Geraldo Rivera’s foundation One to One, created in the wake of his exposé of Willowbrook State School.  At One to One, she was responsible for grantmaking, technical assistance to grantees, and training of court monitors and Special Masters overseeing institutional reform.  

From1983 to 2008 she was Vice President of the Maidstone Foundation, an organization she co-founded, and where she worked with over 600 parents’ groups and emerging community organizations, specializing in systems change advocacy for underserved populations and strategic planning, board development and fundraising. In 1989, she began providing direct services to Russian speaking immigrants with developmental disabilities at Maidstone, where she remains on the Board.  

Dr. Bates began teaching disability-related courses at The Center for Worker Education in 1993, and began teaching graduate-level courses in 2005 at SPS before becoming Academic Director of Disability Studies Programs at SPS in 2008. At both City College and SPS, Dr. Bates also created coursework in philanthropy and nonprofit management.   

Dr. Bates is a graduate of Empire State College, Columbia University’s Institute for Not-For-Profit Management and the Union Institute, receiving her doctorate in Philanthropy and Developmental Disabilities. She has received the Sussman Dissertation Prize, Outstanding Alumna awards from Empire State College and the Union Institute, several leadership awards from parents’ groups and the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, and the 2007 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from City College’s Center for Worker Education. She serves on several local and national non-profit boards of Directors. She is the stepmother of a 52 year-old man with intellectual disabilities and a variety of disability labels who lived in Willowbrook State School and now lives in the community.