Melissa Diamond (Founder and Executive Director)
Melissa Diamond is the Founder and Executive Director of A Global Voice for Autism. Passionate about issues related to disability, migration, trauma and community, Melissa is a tireless advocate for individuals with autism and trauma-related disorders. Melissa attended the University of Richmond as a Boatwright Scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Disability in Conflict Regions. She received a Certificate of Social Entrepreneurship from Watson University in Boulder, Colorado, and is currently a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Bradford in England, where she is pursuing a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development. Melissa’s advocacy work and support of people living in conflict-affected communities has been recognized worldwide. These recognitions include: The United Nations, The American Middle East Network for Dialogue at Stanford, The SDSN Youth Solutions Report, The Clinton Global Initiative University, The Resolution Project, the Global Entrepreneurship Community Summit in Malaysia, and more. In 2014 and 2017, she was invited to speak on expert panels at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to share best practices for supporting children with autism and their families in conflict-affected communities. In addition to her work with A Global Voice for Autism, Melissa is an avid traveler, professional speaker and artist. Her travels have taken her to over 45 countries and she has given keynote speeches about social entrepreneurship, autism support and refugees on five continents.
Kitti Robinson (Secretary)
Kitti Robinson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Analyst working in Harrisonburg City School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She has worked in the fields of behavior analysis, special education and autism in various capacities since 2008, including private day school settings, public school settings, in-home therapy settings, staff training, parent training, and multidisciplinary assessment teams. Kitti is also a licensed Spanish and Special Education Teacher. Kitti holds a BA in Spanish, Master’s in Teaching & Learning, and Post Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her coursework for BCBA certification from Florida Institute of Technology in 2010 and is currently working on her Doctorate in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University. She also holds an adjunct teaching position at James Madison University in the Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department of the School of Education. She has a passion for working with diverse autism populations and students who come from areas of conflict or poverty, and training others to provide evidence based services to these populations.
Katie Naeve (Treasurer)
Katie Naeve is an international research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research’s Center for International Policy Research and Evaluation in Cambridge, MA, where she consults on international development programs around the world in the agriculture, environment and health domains. Prior to Mathematica, Katie worked for over seven years in economic development research at Harvard’s Center for International Development, was policy advisor for Oxfam America, and Colombia Country Manager for the social enterprise Instiglio. Katie has researched, implemented and evaluated a variety of economic development and social justice programs spanning the youth, gender, health, conflict, agriculture, environment and governance policy domains with CID, UNICEF South Asia, UNOHCHR Colombia, UNDP, Human Rights Watch, and the National Democratic Institute in Morocco. Katie also mentors young social entrepreneurs with the Resolution Project, and is a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for underserved Boston youth. Katie holds an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and BAs in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Kansas.
Sadia Syed Matin (Fundraising)
Sadia is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and a learning and communication disorder specialist. She is the founder & CEO of GATE Educational Consulting and TalkingTots Tribeca. She has over 12 years of experience providing evaluation and intervention to children with various disorders including Autism, ADHD, apraxia, auditory processing, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, dysarthria, language processing, and learning disability. Sadia has honed her skills in some of the world’s leading schools for communication disorders. In addition, she has held various roles in public and private schools, charter schools, hospitals and clinics. Her expertise in the field has allowed Sadia to collaborate with schools to create programs and to run workshops for both parents and teachers of children with special needs. Sadia is extremely passionate about raising awareness about Autism and other developmental disorders on a global platform. She has attended various international conferences and continues to be an avid advocate for the cause. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCCs) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), her New York State Speech-Language Pathology license and is a PROMPT and HANEN certified instructor. Sadia received her B.A. from New York University and her M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University. Currently, she practices out of her downtown Manhattan office.
Merrill’s childhood experiences with discrimination founded his lifelong passion for advocating on behalf of groups that experience discrimination. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia with parents who were civil rights activists, Merrill’s family received threats for hosting interracial get-togethers. Passionate about social justice and education, Merrill went on to earn his PhD in English and Continuing Education from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. After marrying Leslie Watson, Merrill raised his children, Rachaela and Eric in Prescott Arizona, where he taught English and developed a computer lab for developmentally disabled young adults. Since moving to Boulder, Merrill has set up programs for Western Governor’s University, served as Assistant Dean at The University of Colorado, and taught writing and rhetoric at various colleges. Last May he retired from teaching. Merrill now writes online textbooks and is a social impact angel investor. He works to give back by helping entrepreneurial ventures that help others and is volunteering with a program that employs individuals on the autism spectrum to refurbish computers.
Interested in serving on A Global Voice for Autism’s Board? Contact Melissa Diamond at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.