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.
Neha Siddiqui (Sibling Support Advisor)
As the sibling of a brother with autism, Neha has experienced the joys and challenges of having a sibling with autism firsthand. This experience inspired her to create A Global Voice for Autism’s sibling support curriculum which draws off of professional materials as well as Neha’s own experiences, in order to teach siblings skills for interacting with their brother or sister with autism. When she is not working for the organization, Neha is a medical student and University College-Dublin and aspires to become a doctor in order to serve individuals on the autism spectrum.