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Board of Directors Announces Executive Director Departure

Board of Directors Announces Executive Director Departure

Executive Director Accepts New Position; Search for Successor Underway

From Barbara Wagner, Board President, Autism Society of Northern Virginia

With a mix of sadness and gratitude, the Board of Directors of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia announces Sarah Peterson’s departure as Executive Director effective January 14, 2016.

Under Sarah’s leadership, the Autism Society of Northern Virginia:

  • Established new programs, such as The Autism Partnership, that continue to change lives

  • More than doubled our staff and volunteer capacity

  • Built new relationships with a variety of local partners

  • Reached out to underserved communities with our Hispanic outreach program and our increased programming in the Fredericksburg area

  • Continued being a voice and advocate for autistics of all ages in the Northern Virginia disability community

We will miss her and her inspiring leadership and we will continue the work and mission she has helped us define and build over the past three years. With the New Year upon us, the Board of Directors and staff at ASNV are excited to continue our mission, while increasing the number of families we support and the partnerships we encompass to better serve the needs of our community.

The Board of Directors has established a committee to lead the search for a new Executive Director. This search will take place over the next few months with the goal being to find the best person to lead the organization to the next level. We will be sharing the job announcement soon and welcome your suggestions of candidates who will help ASNV continue on its successful path. Our other dedicated and skilled staff members remain in their positions and Board members will be more involved in operation of the organization until a new Executive Director is in place. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at

Please join me, the entire Board of Directors, and ASNV staff, in wishing Sarah all the best! We are so grateful for the leadership Sarah has displayed during her tenure and wish her all the best in her new endeavor as a program manager with the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD). We look forward to following the success of her career and are confident and excited about what ASNV will undertake, realize and accomplish in 2016.

Best regards,

Barbara Wagner

President, ASNV Board of Directors

A Personal Note from Sarah Peterson to the ASNV Community

In response to some significant changes in my personal life, I have decided to transition out of my role as Executive Director at ASNV and into a position with the Association of University Centers on Disability in Silver Spring, MD. While I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter of life, I remain committed to the mission and vision of this wonderful organization and will continue to work to benefit the individuals and families affected by autism. In my new role, I will be supporting programs around the country that train doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists who work with individuals on the spectrum and their families. I will very much miss the families of our network and hope that our paths cross again in the future.

The decision for my resignation did not come easily as I am extremely proud of all that ASNV staff, board, volunteers, and supporters have accomplished during my time here. I feel tremendously blessed to have come to work with and come to know each of you. I treasure the relationships I’ve built during my time as Executive Director.

I want to give my deepest gratitude to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years. Without you, ASNV would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am so honored to have been the leader of this incredible organization and will watch with much excitement and anticipation as you continue the work of spreading autism awareness, acceptance and appreciation throughout Northern Virginia. Thank you and God bless.

In gratitude,


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