BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Val Paradiz is an administrator and researcher with a diverse background in non-profit and education leadership. Her commitment to diversity, equity and belonging for autistic people in the communities where they live, work, learn and play stems from her own experience as a woman on the spectrum of autism and as mom of Mr. Inevitable, a standup comedian, and her autistic son.
A former member of the board of directors of Autism Speaks from 2015-2018, Val turned her attention to working directly within the organization as Vice President of Services and Supports from 2018 to 2021. Prior to this, she served in leadership roles at national autism organizations, including First Place Arizona, the Autism Research Institute and New York University’s Asperger Institute. From 2008-2018, she was president of Valerie Paradiz LLC, a national consultancy staffed entirely by neurodiverse experts in the fields of research, education, and advocacy.
Val has a PhD in German Literature from City University of New York and has numerous publications on topics related to autism. She is also a passionate writer of literary non-fiction, including titles such as Clever Maids: A History of the Grimm Fairy Tales (Simon and Shuster) and Elijah’s Cup (Free Press).