James Square

We’re delighted to announce that the next CEO of Autistica will be Dr James Cusack.

After a comprehensive search process, the Autistica board of trustees were unanimous in selecting James to succeed Jon Spiers when he steps down in early August after five very successful years in the role.

As our Director of Science since 2015, James has been at the heart of Autistica’s growth and impact, including devising and overseeing our national research network Discover; identifying, supporting and funding high-impact scientific studies; making us a global leader in authentic community involvement; and bravely making premature mortality a priority for us, our beneficiaries and governments around the world. He has a fantastic reputation and network within autism and beyond and of course deeply understands both the world of science and the world of autism.

Throughout his career as a researcher and with Autistica, James has tirelessly championed the needs and rights of all autistic people and their family members and, as the first autistic CEO of a major national UK charity, he will take us to new heights in terms of impact, profile and reach.

James says “I’m honoured to become chief executive of Autistica. The reality is that we’ve never been more urgently needed as a charity. This pandemic has shown, once again, that autistic people don’t get the same access to rights that most people take for granted. To overcome the unacceptable inequalities that autistic people face, we must ensure we listen to the experiences of all autistic people and deliver transformative change based on the best evidence. Your support and collaboration will be crucial if we are to deliver the change that autistic people and their families deserve. I can’t wait to get started and to work with all of our supporters and partners.”

Jon says “Having worked alongside James for five fantastic years, I’m thrilled that he will soon be leading Autistica so we can do even more to ensure autistic people live longer, happier, healthier lives. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with James and all of our dedicated and passionate staff, trustees and supporters. I will look back with a great deal of pride at all we’ve achieved together and look forward to watching the charity go even further to help the people we serve.”