Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D., director of the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been named president of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).
The AUCD is a national organization representing a network of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), 52 Maternal and Child Health Bureau Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) programs, and 14 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDRC) programs.
Dr. Armstrong has been involved with the AUCD since 1999, serving first as a UCEDD and LEND program director, then as an elected member-at-large on the board of directors, president-elect, and now president.
“The AUCD is a unique organization,” Dr. Armstrong said. “It brings together the nation’s largest network of federally-funded programs on developmental disabilities, serves as the ‘white knight’ for congressional advocacy on developmental disability issues, and supports collaboration across the network research spectrum. This mirrors the mission and priorities of the Mailman Center at UM.”
As president, Dr. Armstrong plans to use his platform to share result-oriented priorities of the Mailman Center and bring them to a national scale at the AUCD. Dr. Armstrong will focus on two main themes, starting with improving the relationship between the UCEDD, LEND, and IDDRC programs around research. He will also promote an ongoing collaboration between investigators at academic institutions and individuals with disabilities and their family members that encourages equity and participation in all aspects of research on developmental disability.
“The AUCD has grown and evolved over the years, starting first as a convener of member institutions and programs and emerging as one of the nation’s strongest advocacy organizations for individuals with disabilities, specifically developmental disabilities,” Dr. Armstrong said. “I see this as a time for the AUCD to take the next step as a leader in the promotion of research fully involving all members of the developmental disabilities community. This will strengthen AUCD’s evidence base and enhance its national influence on program development and improvement in public policy.”
Lydia Ocasio-Stoutenburg, Ph.D., program manager of social services at the Mailman Center, has also been elected co-chair of the AUCD Multicultural Council and will serve as a member of the AUCD Board of Directors with Dr. Armstrong.