Alison Singer, Autism Science Foundation

TITLE:  President

FOCUS AREAS: Autism research

CONTACT:  914-810-9100; asinger@autismsciencefoundation.org

PROFILE: Alison Singer is the president of the Autism Science Foundation and leads the board of directors. Her foundation bio shares:

Alison Singer is Co-Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation. As the mother of a child with autism and legal guardian of her adult brother with autism, she is a natural advocate. Since 2007, Singer has served on the national Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) which is charged with writing a strategic plan to guide federal spending for autism research. Within the IACC, she serves as co-chair of the safety subcommittee and on the subcommittees for Strategic Plan Review and Services. Singer also currently serves on the executive board of the Yale Child Study Center, on the external advisory board of the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University, and on the external advisory board of the CDC’s Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Alison chairs the International Society for Autism Research public relations committee and is a member of the IMFAR program committee and community advisory committee. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Her Yale University bio elaborates with additional information about her background:

Alison Singer is Co-Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation which supports autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. Founded by parents of children with autism, ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. The organization adheres to rigorous scientific standards and values.

As the mother of a child with autism and legal guardian of her adult brother with autism, she is a natural advocate. From 2005-2009 she served as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors at Autism Speaks. In 2007, Singer was appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to serve as one of six public members of the Federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) which is charged with writing a strategic plan to guide federal spending for autism research. Within the IACC, she serves on the services subcommittee and on the subcommittee for strategic plan review. Singer also currently serves on the Executive Board of the Yale Child Study Center Associates Committee, on the external advisory board of the Autism Baby Siblings Research Consortium, on the external advisory board of the CDC’s Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, on the board of directors of Mental Health News, as a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ New York State Immunization Coalition, and as a member of the program committee for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). Singer also played a critical role in the passage of the Combating Autism Act of 2006, which authorized the doubling of current federal funding for autism research.

Singer is a frequent spokesperson on issues related to autism and autism research, appearing on OprahNBC Nightly NewsCNN, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show and many other news programs and national newspapers.

Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Alison spent 14 years at NBC and CNBC, in a variety of positions. From 1994-1999 she served as Vice President of Programming in NBC's Cable and Business Development division, where she launched NBC Desktop Video and oversaw long-term planning for both CNBC.com and MSNBC.com.  Prior to that she served as Producer of several top-rated CNBC programs, including  The MoneyWheelMarketWrapCapital ReportPower Lunch,Wall Street Journal Editorial Board and Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser.  In 2005, she produced the award-winning CNBC series Autism: Paying the Price.

Singer graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

Alison is married to Dan Singer, a director in the media practice of management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.  They live in Scarsdale, NY with their two daughters, Jodie (12) and Lauren (10).

You can learn more about Singer in her interview about how the foundation came to be with Sumac.