About ARI: ARI Staff
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Our People

Stephen Edelson, Ph.D. | Executive Director

Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., is the director of the Autism Research Institute. Active in the field of autism for over 30 years, he was named director of ARI in 2006 after the passing of autism pioneer and advocate, Dr. Bernard Rimland. Learn more about Dr. Edelson

Jane Johnson | Managing Director

Jane Johnson attended her first ARI Conference in 2001 as a mother and liked it so much that she went back every year thereafter. When Dr. Edelson said he could use a little help in the fall of 2007, she was thrilled by the opportunity to volunteer. Jane feels deeply indebted to ARI, and now that her three children are college aged, she has extra time on her hands. Jane moderates the four ARI support listservs, helps organize the think tanks and conferences, and helps edit the ARI e-newsletter and the conference manuals. She has edited three books with her mother: Dr. Bryan Jepson’s Changing the Course of Autism, Siblings: The Autism Spectrum Through Our Eyes, and Families of Adults with Autism: Stories and Advice for the Next Generation. Jane lives in New York City.

Valerie Paradiz, Ph.D. | Director, ARI's Autistic Global Initiative

Valerie Paradiz, PhD designs programs and curricula for children and adults with Autism Spectrum and related conditions. She is the developer of Integrated Self Advocacy ISA‚Ą†, an evidence-based program that gives teachers, therapists, service providers, families and people with disabilities hands-on curricula and activities that foster skills in self-determination and self-advocacy. Lesson Plan a la Carte™ is an easy-to-use planning model for special and general education classrooms that conveniently integrates students’ special needs and accommodations into any lesson plan. Dr. Paradiz provides consulting services, program and professional development to schools, agencies, universities, corporations and other organizations nationally and internationally.

Anthony Morgali | Producer, ARI Media

Anthony Morgali, Executive Producer, ARI Media: Anthony Morgali, known as Anton, became involved with ARI when he produced a documentary on autism in 2005. This film won the Golden Award at the Houston International Film festival. During production, Anton found himself helping ARI director Steve Edelson with technical items, followed by volunteering at the ARI conferences for several years. He came on board as staff with an official title of Executive Producer for ARI Media in 2007.

Denise Fulton, M.S. | Adminstrative Staff

Denise Fulton is parent to a child diagnosed with autism. She served as a study coordinator for a University of Washington investigation on Elevated Urinary Porphyrins in Children with Autism. Prior to her child's diagnosis, she earned her M.S. HCDE at the University of Washington, and worked for VeriSign in Olympia, WA. She's worked with the Autism Research Institute since 2006.

Rebecca McKenney | Office Manager

Rebecca has worked for ARI for more than two decades. She is married with three daughters, one with Cerebral Palsy and autistic tendencies. Her hobbies are knitting, crocheting, gardening, traveling, community involvement.