Dr. Michael Alessandri is a member of the Board of Directors of the Els for Autism Foundation and Executive Director of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). Dr. Alessandri has worked with individuals with autism and their families since 1981 in various capacities. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Rochester and obtained his MS and Ph.D. in Psychology from Rutgers University. At the University of Miami, Dr. Alessandri is Clinical Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics and also serves as the Department of Psychology’s Assistant Chairman for Community Outreach and Engagement. Dr. Alessandri has received numerous community service awards, including the Autism Society of America’s Wendy F. Miller Autism Professional of the Year Award and National Autism Program of the Year for UM-NSU CARD. He is also the recipient of the March of Dimes Community Excellence in Health Care Award (2007), the Health Services Coalition Outstanding Community Leader Award (2009), and the Parent to Parent Excellence in Family Advocacy Award (2010). Dr. Alessandri was also named one of the Ronald McDonald House’s 12 Good Men (2008) and the Dewar’s 12 Man of Distinction (2007). In 2012, he was selected by the Children’s Trust as the David Lawrence Champion for Children, one of South Florida’s highest honors for community service. In 2016, Dr. Alessandri was named the Visionary Leader of the Year by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; and in 2017, he was recognized by the Dade County Bar Association with the Fostering Inclusion and Diversity Award.