IRVINE, CA (June 18, 2020) McDermott + Bull has successfully placed Timothy Purnell as the Chief Executive Officer for NEXT for AUTISM. Tim will be called upon to lead the growth of the company to fulfill its long-term vision and mission of transforming the national landscape of services for people with autism. NEXT for AUTISM was seeking a Chief Executive Officer to work closely with its board of directors in setting goals and agendas for the organization, develop and execute a fundraising plan, create communications and marketing strategies, and manage the day-to-day operations.

“I am humbled by the team that has accomplished so much at NEXT for AUTISM and look forward to leading the organization into the future as we confront stubborn historical challenges in access to care and social justice,” Tim said.

Tim will report to the board of directors and will be responsible for guiding the company through its next stage of growth. He will actively develop, mentor, and manage the staff, while working closely with the board and its committees to engage, motivate, and expand participation in fundraising, networking, and related activities. He will also build relationships with the organization’s constituents, including its current and prospective donors, friends, partners, and other key constituents.

“NEXT for AUTISM has blazed a formidable path innovating model-services for people with autism and their families. Its entrepreneurial mindset resonates with my belief that innovation and flexible, realistic thinking are the keys to success. In this new landscape, it will be critical to build institutional resilience and shift leadership thinking towards even more creative approaches to program building and organizational management,” Tim said.

Tim has a proven track record as an innovative leader, strategic planner, and inspiring educator. He transitioned into this role from the American Montessori Society (AMS), a global non-profit organization, where he was Chief Executive Officer. Prior to this, Tim served as Superintendent of Schools for the Somerville Public School System, where he was one of just 100 educators selected to attend President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative at the White House. In 2016, he was selected as the national Superintendent of the Year and, in 2015, recognized as the Highest Rated University Professor in the nation.

He has a strong background in building businesses with global expansion and leading transformational initiatives. Striving for excellence in education has been of utmost importance throughout his career, serving in roles as educator, administrator, superintendent, and Chief Executive Officer. He received his Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Delaware, his Master of Arts in administration and supervision from Montclair State University, and his doctorate in leadership from Seton Hall University.

This executive search was completed by McDermott + Bull Co-Founder + Managing Partner Chris Bull, Executive Recruiter Quyen Doan, and search team.

About McDermott + Bull
McDermott + Bull is leading the way in transforming executive search services worldwide, one relationship at a time. With experienced principals in the United States, Canada and Europe, McDermott + Bull has become the trusted search advisor for empowering change on behalf of private and public companies, private equity firms and their operating companies. Known for being thorough and balancing the need for urgency, McDermott + Bull provides personalized solutions to those who value contribution over pedigree. Leveraging deep vertical experience, innovative thinking and proven time-saving methodologies, the company challenges the norm and thrives in the recruitment of difficult-to-find, culture critical VP to C-Suite executive talent.

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The interim leader talent pool consists of senior-level professionals across a diverse functional spectrum who meet the rigorous qualifications to work on time-sensitive engagements. We specialize in placing operations, finance and accounting, technology, human resources and executive-level functions.



NEXT for AUTISM was founded in 2003 by Laura Slatkin and Ilene Lainer, an entrepreneur and former law partner respectively, both with sons who are on the autism spectrum. Laura and Ilene envisioned an organization that would advance the field of autism services and challenge the status quo. After consulting scientists, educators, and thought-leaders, they convened a group of like-minded philanthropists to create and support exemplary, innovative programs that would improve the lives of individuals and families living with autism. NEXT for AUTISM transforms the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching, and supporting innovative programs. They believe that individuals with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities. NEXT for AUTISM has built a portfolio of programs with respected service organizations, medical centers, universities, and other educational institutions. Each new initiative is aligned with the corresponding life stage of individuals living and growing with the disorder.  Each incorporates best practices and state-of-the-art interventions.



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