Michael Alessandri is the Executive Director of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). Dr. Alessandri is also Assistant Chairman of the Department of Psychology and Clinical Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics. Dr. Alessandri has worked with individuals with autism and their families for over 30 years. Dr. Alessandri has presented, consulted and published internationally on developing appropriate and effective educational programs for students with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, he has received numerous research and service grants and several notable awards within the field including the Autism Society of America (ASA) Special Recognition Award for Publications (1993), the Outstanding Faculty award by the SJSU Disability Resource Center (1995), and the ASA’s Wendy F. Miller Autism Professional of the Year Award (2003). Under his direction, the University of Miami Center for Autism & Related Disabilities was named ASA’s National Autism Program of the Year in 1999. Dr. Alessandri has also received numerous other community service awards, including 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). He 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, and in 2016 he was named the Visionary Leader of the Year by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.