Feds Name New National Autism Coordinator
by Michelle Diament | March 2, 2018
The federal government has a new point person for autism-related research, services and supports.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar tapped Ann Wagner this week to be the national autism coordinator.
Established under the 2014 Autism CARES act, the coordinator is charged with working across federal agencies to ensure implementation of autism activities.
Wagner currently serves as chief of the biomarker and intervention development for childhood-onset mental disorders branch at the National Institute of Mental Health's Division of Translational Research and she oversees the NIMH Autism Research Program.
Prior to joining the federal government, Wagner worked directly with those who have autism as a clinical psychologist and was a researcher at National Medical Center and George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Thomas Novotny was appointed the national autism coordinator under the Obama administration. Since he departed in August 2017, Susan Daniels, director of HHS' Office of Autism Research Coordination, had been in the coordinator role in an acting capacity.