Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) Staff Biographies
Susan Daniels, Ph.D.Director
As Director of the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC), Dr. Daniels provides management for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee created by Congress to coordinate federal activities and provide advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dr. Daniels serves as the Executive Secretary of the IACC and its subcommittees, and oversees strategic planning, policy, communications, operations and logistical planning activities to support the work of the committee. Dr. Daniels also serves as the Senior Advisor to the NIMH Director for Autism Activities, acting as a liaison with external agencies and groups on issues related to ASD. From 2008-2011, Dr. Daniels served in the roles of Acting Director and Deputy Director of OARC, undertaking many initiatives to enhance the transparency and outreach of the IACC. Prior to that, Dr. Daniels was a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where she worked on policy and communications for the infectious disease and biodefense research programs, and managed a portfolio of research training, diversity and conference grants. Dr. Daniels also previously worked at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) with the Neurodegeneration Program, assisting grantees, analyzing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease research grant portfolios, monitoring progress on the Parkinson's disease research strategic plan, and working with stakeholder groups. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Daniels was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow and consultant at the National Academy of Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University. Her research focused on the neurobiology and genetics of the sensory nervous system's response to environmental stimuli.
Kipchumba Kitur, B.A.Operations Coordinator
Mr. Kitur is the OARC Operations Coordinator, providing administrative support for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Before joining OARC, Mr. Kitur worked in the private sector as a Research Associate for Synergy Enterprises, Incorporated. There he provided various types of research and administrative support to the Evaluations and Assessment Division that included: managing the operations of Evaluation Technical Center (ETAC) which provided technical support to the Department of Defense Education Activity – Educational Partnership Branch grant program that serves more than 100 military connected school districts country wide. He also provided support for various Department of Education grants. Mr. Kitur has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland - Baltimore County.
Miguelina Perez, B.A.Management Analyst
Ms. Perez is a Management Analyst, providing management and administrative support for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Before joining OARC, Ms. Perez served as Office Manager for the Brain Physiology and Metabolism Section of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), where she managed a lab of five full-time federal employees and 18 visiting fellows. During that time, she also served as the clinical coordinator responsible for recruiting patients for a brain imaging study of dopamine signaling in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Prior to her work in the Federal government, Ms. Perez held several positions with private organizations serving as an office administrator or in meeting management and planning. Ms. Perez has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of the District of Columbia.
Julianna Rava, M.P.HScience Policy Analyst
Ms. Rava is a Science Policy Analyst at the OARC, performing research and analyses in support of the IACC’s strategic planning, analytical, and reporting activities. Ms. Rava received her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Gettysburg College and her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at Drexel University. While at Drexel University, she worked under Dr. Paul Shattuck, Director of the Life Course Outcomes Research Program, at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute researching the experiences and needs of young adults on the autism spectrum.
Jeffrey Wiegand, B.S.Web Development Manager
Mr. Wiegand serves as the Web Development Manager at the OARC, in support of the IACC website. Before joining OARC, Mr. Wiegand worked for a media company, serving in various roles including Quality Assurance Manager, Project Manager, and Senior Web Developer. Mr. Wiegand has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information and Computer Science from University of Maryland University College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Frostburg State University.
Nam-Andrew Kim, B.F.A.UI/UX Designer
Mr. Kim is the OARC UI/UX Designer and Front-End Developer, providing visual design support of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) website. Before joining OARC, Mr. Kim served as Web Project Manager at Center for Information Technology (CIT), providing website consultation, web design, front-end development, 508 compliance and content maintenance support. Prior to CIT, Mr. Kim served as Senior Web Designer at National Cancer Institute (NCI), providing website design and front-end development support to both English and Spanish portals. Mr. Kim has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C.