SSA Commissioners - John A. Svahn

Jack Svahn

May 6, 1981 to September 12, 1983

"Jack" Svahn was born in New London, Connecticut. He received a bachelor's degree in policital science from the University of Washington in 1966. Mr. Svahn served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966 to 1968. He then did post-graduate work at the University of the Pacific McGeorge Law School, and Georgetown University School of Law. In 1971 Mr. Svahn was named Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Social Welfare, and in 1973 became Director of that Department. Later in 1973 he began his Federal service by serving as Acting Commissioner for the Community Services Administration; Commissioner for the Assistant Payments Administration; Administrator for Social Rehabilitation Service; and Deputy Director, Office of Child Support Enforcement. From 1976 to 1981, Mr. Svahn served as a private consultant to both public and private groups in matters relating to health policy, social services, and public assistance programs. In 1981 Mr. Svahn was appointed Commissioner of Social Security, a position he held until later part of 1983 when he was picked to head the White House Office of Policy Development.