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Peter Bell – Cornell

President & CEO, Ascendigo

Road to Greatness

As an advocate and father of a young man with autism, Peter has been a highly effective leader and powerful voice within the autism community. Prior to becoming the President and CEO of Ascendigo in May 2017, Peter and his wife Liz served on Ascendigo’s Board of Directors. Most recently he served as President and CEO of Eden Autism based in Princeton, New Jersey. Prior to Eden, he was executive vice president for Autism Speaks where he championed several public policy changes and established the family services division. From 2004 to 2007, he served as President and CEO of Cure Autism Now, one of the country’s first autism advocacy organizations to focus on the science of autism. There he championed the passage of the federal Combating Autism Act of 2006 and 2011, launched autism insurance reform that led to the passage of mandates in over 35 states and established the Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Peter’s career also includes a White House appointment to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Barack Obama, founding and chairing the Consumer Advisory Committee of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) and serving as the Vice Chair of the Autism Research Program for the Department of Defense. In 2014, Peter received the INSAR Advocate Award for his commitment to research, advocacy, and services for people with autism spectrum disorders.

Peter earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Hotel Administration at Cornell University, where he served as chapter vice president. He and his wife Liz have three children.

Just before COVID-19 closed Colorado ski resorts, Peter organized a ski weekend of several Phis from the classes of 1984-1986. What started out as an invitation to a half dozen brothers, snowballed into a reunion event that will long be remembered as one of the good things that happened in 2020!

The vision of Ascendigo is to build upon a proven model that allows individuals with autism to thrive, reaching their potential within the communities where they live, work and play, regardless of their challenges.


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