NIMH’s Dr. Ann Wagner Designated as the National Autism Coordinator
• Institute Update
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has designated Ann E. Wagner, Ph.D., as the National Autism Coordinator. In this role, Dr. Wagner will play a vital role in ensuring the implementation of national autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research, services, and support activities across federal agencies. This role will complement the activities of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, which includes public and federal members, takes place in a public forum, and focuses on sharing information about ongoing activities and providing advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to ASD.
Dr. Wagner is currently the Chief of the Biomarker and Intervention Development for Childhood-Onset Mental Disorders Branch in the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this role, she oversees the NIMH Autism Research Program, which supports a wide range of research on the characterization, pathophysiology, treatment, and outcomes of individuals with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Wagner also serves as Chair of the NIH Autism Coordinating Committee, which coordinates autism-related research across several NIH Institutes and Centers and has jointly developed critical research initiatives, including the Autism Centers of Excellence and the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials.
Dr. Wagner holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in pediatric psychology, from Michigan State University. Prior to joining NIMH in 2001, she provided psychological services for children and adolescents, established and co-directed a diagnostic and treatment program for children with ASD and their families, and conducted clinical research and training at the Children’s National Medical Center/George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C.