Our people are our greatest strength

Meet The Team

Melissa Diamond

(Founder and Executive Director)

Melissa Diamond is the Founder and Executive Director of A Global Voice for Autism. Passionate about issues related to disability, migration, trauma and community, Melissa is a tireless advocate for individuals with autism and trauma-related disorders. Melissa attended the University of Richmond as a Boatwright Scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Disability in Conflict Regions. She received a Certificate of Social Entrepreneurship from Watson University in Boulder, Colorado, and is currently a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Bradford in England, where she is pursuing a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development. Melissa’s advocacy work and support of people living in conflict-affected communities has been recognized worldwide. These recognitions include: The United Nations, The American Middle East Network for Dialogue at Stanford, The SDSN Youth Solutions Report, The Clinton Global Initiative University, The Resolution Project, the Global Entrepreneurship Community Summit in Malaysia, and more. In 2014 and 2017, she was invited to speak on expert panels at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to share best practices for supporting children with autism and their families in conflict-affected communities. In addition to her work with A Global Voice for Autism, Melissa is an avid traveler, professional speaker and artist. Her travels have taken her to over 45 countries and she has given keynote speeches about social entrepreneurship, autism support and refugees on six continents.

Omar Kittani

 (Director of Translation)

Omar has been involved with A Global Voice for Autism since May 2015, when he started volunteering at the Ramallah program site. Since then, Omar has been active in the A Global Voice for Autism community, translating for our Ramallah and Mersin programs and providing technical assistance. Omar is a graduate of Birzeit University and holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature and Translation. His thesis, “Language of the Human” focused on the influence of language on perceptions of human “disorders,” particularly autism. A volunteer and leader in a number of different campaigns in his local community, Omar’s passions are supporting people with special needs and language education.

Sarah Statham 

(Virtual Follow-Up Consulting Team)

Sarah has been working with individuals with autism since her time studying Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Since graduating, her career has focused on working in schools specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Support. It was through this work that she developed a passion for understanding behavior and for teaching children new skills that would help them to be more independent. She received a Master’s degree from Nicholls State University, procured CABAS Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 qualifications, and went on to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2012. She recently transitioned to private practice in order to work more closely with young people and their families and has also been working in a residential care setting for adults with disabilities and complex needs. Sarah enjoys travel and experiencing different cultures, and is looking forward to being able to combine this with helping the children and teachers in the Turkey program.

Dr. Susan Ainsleigh 

(Virtual Follow-Up Consulting Team)

Susan is a special education teacher and board certified behavior analyst who has worked with children with autism and their families for more than 25 years as a teacher, therapist, supervisor, director and trainer. She currently teaches full time at Bay Path University in Massachusetts and consults for programs and families across the Middle East on ABA and autism-related topics. Susan founded the ABA Division at the Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she lived and worked for 8 years. She now lives outside of Boston with her husband, Terry. She is excited to be a part of this project and to bring ABA services to families in need.

Joann Totah

(Virtual Follow-Up Consulting Team)

Joann Totah is a BCBA based in California. She received her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in 2010. She has over 15 years of experience working with children with autism and developmental disabilities in the United States and volunteering internationally to disseminate the practice of ABA.  Her research interests include staying updated on function-based interventions for the reduction of problem behavior. Clinically, she finds parent training and program development rewarding. Her career in ABA has led her to work in homes, schools, and clinics- but she finds dissemination of ABA to the global community to be the most reinforcing.

Simon Su

(IT and Technical Support)

Simon is an educator and strategic analyst at TAL Education in Beijing, China. He received his master's degree in Information Management from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in Operations Research from Columbia University. He has been actively involved in special education in less developed countries. He is committed to leveraging technology to create a world in which all children can access an inclusive education that meets their learning needs. 

A Global Voice for Autism exists to equip teachers and families in conflict-affected communities with the skills to support the development and success of autistic children and children whose lives have been impacted by trauma, in their classrooms, homes and communities.

© 2019 by A Global Voice For Autism.