Ames Simmons is a Senior Fellow teaching Re-Thinking Gender: Transgender Issues Readings Course. He has served as policy director at National Center for Transgender Equality and at Equality NC, and has worked on state legislative policy for the National LGBTQ Task Force. While at NCTE, he served on the national Equality Act drafting table, where he helped prepare testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee. While at Equality NC, lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly on HB2 repeal, prohibiting gender identity change efforts, anti-discrimination law, and Medicaid expansion. He submitted a Fourth Circuit amicus brief that resulted in new precedent about sovereign immunity under the Affordable Care Act. He has published on transgender elders, prevention of suicide in the transgender community, and ending the HIV epidemic for transgender people of color in the Carolinas. His work is grounded in community-based anti-racism, anti-violence, and anti-poverty efforts to achieve justice for transgender people and collective liberation.
For almost two decades, Simmons practiced in-house as assistant general counsel at a healthcare consulting company based in Atlanta. In addition to corporate law experience such as contracting with hospitals and with Medicaid managed care organizations, he also carried a substantial regulatory portfolio that included ten years investigating HIPAA compliance, supervising accreditation as a certified application assister designated organization (CDO) under the Affordable Care Act, and direct representation of uninsured patients seeking Medicaid.
Simmons, who is transgender and queer, serves on the National Advisory Council of the Long-Term Care Equality Index. Simmons is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Georgia. He received his JD from Emory University Law School after graduating from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, with a BA in Political Science and Spanish.