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Friday, January 15, 2016

New Head of Autism Speaks

The Politics of Autism includes a discussion of major interest groups such as Autism Speaks.

From Autism Speaks:
Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that Angela Timashenka Geiger has been named president and CEO of the organization. The appointment came after a unanimous vote by the Autism Speaks Board of Directors and is effective February 2016.

Geiger has significant experience in strategic marketing, program development, revenue development, and field support for nonprofits. She will join the organization from the Alzheimer’s Association where she most recently served as chief strategy officer. As a member of the Alzheimer’s Association senior management team, Geiger worked day-to-day across all divisions and with the chapters to coordinate and execute strategy and accelerate organizational growth. She has had accountability for more than $280 million in annual fundraising, programs and services reaching over three million people per year, as well as branding and marketing, corporate initiatives and diversity and inclusion. She has successfully led Association efforts to develop and expand programmatic offerings, marketing and fundraising to increase concern and awareness, and improve the lives of those affected.
Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Geiger spent eight years at the American Cancer Society in a variety of leadership roles. During her tenure, she developed and implemented a business-to-business sales and market strategy to increase mission reach and revenue. She also worked for the American Lung Association of Western Pennsylvania and for higher education institutions.
She has her B.A. and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and has contributed to a variety of conferences and publications.
There are many differences between autism and Alzheimer's, but both are brain disorders in need of serious research.  Both lead to wandering. And as I write in the book, there is at least some potential for resource conflict:
 In the future, therefore, a lot of autistic adults may still need a lot of help.  And that help could be more expensive, especially for more severely impaired people who require assistance with daily activities.  The huge baby boom generation is now entering old age, so the number of Alzheimer’s patients will soar.  Competition for suitable workers could drive up the costs of care.   And those costs will rise just as overall government budgets are getting tighter.  The aging of baby boom generation will mean fewer workers paying taxes and more seniors drawing benefits, simultaneously squeezing revenues and expenditures at all levels of government.   “People assume the state will be there to help with their child,” financial planner John Nadworny says, “but that’s a really risky bet.”