Contact: Office of Autism Research Coordination/NIH
HHS Announces Appointment of New Members to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the appointments of new and returning members to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee reauthorized under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019. The IACC is a federal advisory committee composed of public stakeholders and federal officials that coordinates federal activities concerning autism spectrum disorder and provides advice to the HHS Secretary on issues related to autism. Committee meetings serve as a public forum for the sharing of community perspectives and concerns about autism. The committee uses this input as it formulates advice and recommendations for the HHS Secretary on matters related to autism research, services, and policy. The committee's responsibilities include developing and annually updating the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and preparing an annual Summary of Advances in ASD Research.
After an open call to the public for nominations of individuals to serve on the committee, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, J.D., appointed 20 new and two returning public members to the IACC to provide him with advice to advance research, enhance services, and increase opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. The committee also includes 23 new and returning federal officials representing key federal agencies and departments that serve the autism community across a wide variety of areas, including biomedical research, healthcare, education, and social services. Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will continue to serve as the chair of the committee. The first meeting of the new committee will take place virtually on July 21-22, 2021 and will be open to the public via webcast. A full roster and biosketches of all the new and returning members can be viewed on the IACC website.
IACC Executive Secretary, Susan Daniels, Ph.D., stated, "We are excited to welcome the largest and most diverse IACC to date, with a wider representation of perspectives from across the autism community than ever before."
Public members appointed include autism self-advocates, parents and family members of children and adults on the autism spectrum, clinicians, researchers, and leaders of autism research, services, and advocacy organizations. Many of the appointed individuals serve multiple roles, such as parent and researcher or self-advocate and leader of an advocacy organization. Appointees hail from across the U.S., including states that have not been represented on the committee previously, such as Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Washington, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Autism and disability organizations represented by new and returning appointees to the IACC include the Autism Science Foundation, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autism Speaks, Champions Foundation, Simons Foundation, and Madison House Autism Foundation. Four federal departments newly joining the IACC —the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs—will provide additional expertise in the critical areas of housing, employment, interactions with law enforcement, and care for veterans on the autism spectrum.
Public members appointed by the Secretary to serve on the IACC from 2021-2024 are:
- Maria Mercedes Avila, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.Ed. Associate Professor Department of Pediatrics Larner College of Medicine University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont
- Alice Carter, Ph.D. Professor Department of Psychology University of Massachusetts Boston
- Samantha Crane, J.D. Legal Director Autistic Self Advocacy Network Washington, D.C.
- Aisha Dickerson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology Bloomberg School of Public Health Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland
- Dena Gassner, M.S.W. Ph.D. Candidate in Social Work Adelphi University West Hempstead, New York
- Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, M.A. Humanities Scholar Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Rice University Houston, Texas
- Alycia Halladay, Ph.D. Chief Science Officer Autism Science Foundation New York, New York
- Craig Johnson, B.A. Founder and President Champions Foundation Houston, Texas
- Yetta Myrick, B.A. Founder and President DC Autism Parents Washington, D.C.
- Lindsey Nebeker, B.A. Freelance Presenter/Trainer Alexandria, Virginia
- Valerie Paradiz, Ph.D. Vice President Services and Supports Autism Speaks Princeton, New Jersey
- Jenny Mai Phan, Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow Waisman Center University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Joseph Piven, M.D. Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- JaLynn R. Prince, B.F.A. Co-Founder, President, and Chair Madison House Autism Foundation Rockville, Maryland
- Susan Rivera, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Department of Psychology University of California, Davis
- Matthew Siegel, M.D. Vice President of Medical Affairs Developmental Disorders Service Line Maine Behavioral Healthcare Westbrook, Maine
- Ivanova Smith, B.A. Self-Advocate Faculty Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities University of Washington Tacoma, Washington
- Hari Srinivasan Student University of California, Berkeley
- Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D. Professor Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Boston University Boston, Massachusetts
- Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Pediatrics Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, Tennessee
- Paul Wang, M.D. Deputy Director Clinical Research Associates, LLC Simons Foundation New York, New York
- Stephen Whitlow, J.D. Executive Director Transition Services Merakey Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The IACC is a federal advisory committee that was created by Congress in an effort to accelerate progress in ASD research, services, and policy. The IACC works to improve coordination and communication across the Federal government and works in partnership with the autism community. The documents and recommendations produced by the IACC reflect the views of a federal advisory committee, which is composed of federal officials and public stakeholders, but do not represent the views, official statements, policies or positions of the federal government. For more information on the IACC, please visit: iacc.hhs.gov.