Our people are our greatest strength

Meet The Team

Melissa Diamond

(Founder and Executive Director)

Melissa Diamond is a social entrepreneur with a deep commitment to developing cross-border solutions that improve refugee lives. She founded and scaled A Global Voice for Autism, a social venture that has equipped over 14,700 individuals in conflict-affected communities to support children with autism and developmental disabilities in their classrooms, homes and communities. Melissa has also consulted for and managed projects at various organizations, including the International Organization for Migration in Cairo, Egypt, The Melissa Network in Athens, Greece and a healthcare interpretation agency that serves immigrant populations in Minnesota. Melissa holds two Masters degrees. Her first Masters is in Conflict, Security and Development from the University of Bradford in England, where she was a Rotary Peace Fellow. She also holds a Masters of Management in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, where she was a Schwarzman Scholar. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond in Virginia in Interdisciplinary Studies. Melissa is an internationally-recognized public speaker and has presented on numerous global stages including at the First Global Congress on Conflict Medicine in Beirut, Lebanon, at Rotary’s International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, and two presentations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for World Autism Day.

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.

© 2020 by A Global Voice For Autism.