Board of Directors
A dedicated group of volunteers focused on guiding and assisting Specialisterne USA towards meeting its long-term objectives.
V R Ferose, Board Chair
Senior Vice President, HEAD of Globalization Services, SAP SE Based in Palo Alto, Ferose heads the Globalization Services unit and is responsible for enabling the global adoption of SAP products worldwide. He is the founder of the India Inclusion Foundation a nonprofit, aiming to bring the topic of inclusion at the forefront in India. The India Inclusion Summit, The Inclusion Fellowship and Inclusion Platform(Incluzone) are some of the initiatives under the nonprofit.
Ferose has co-authored a best-seller book on people with disabilities, GIFTED. The book has been translated into four Indian regional languages. The Kannada translation won the prestigious Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award. Ferose also teaches “Personal Leadership” at Columbia University, New York.
Amy Gravino, Chair, Advocacy
Amy is the President of A.S.C.O.T. Consulting, International Speaker, Autism Consultant, and College Coach. Amy is a Certified Autism Specialist, autism consultant, and college coach who is also diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome. Amy founded A.S.C.O.T Consulting, LLC in 2010 and has over 15 years of public speaking experience at conferences, school assemblies, and professional development workshops, including two TED talks, most recently at TEDxJerseyCity in 2016.
She has published essays in numerous outlets, including “The Last Piece of the Puzzle” in The Best Life Stories from Reader’s Digest and “Try a Little Tenderness: A Firsthand Perspective on Asperger Syndrome and Dating” in W. L. Heward’s Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education.
Dr. William McMahon Vice Chair
Dr. William McMahon is a child & adolescent psychiatrist with a long career of clinical, teaching and research contributions in service delivery, training, epidemiology, and genetics. He has over 100 peer-reviewed research publications. He is a founder of the Utah Registry for Autism & Developmental Disorders.
He was previously Director of the Utah Autism Research Program and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah. He is currently focused on outcome, quality of life, health and employment of adults with autism.
Anthony Pacilio, Member at Large
Anthony Pacilio is a Vice President and Global Head of Autism at Work for JPMorgan Chase. In this role, he manages recruiting efforts, as well as developing candidate pipelines and ensuring best practices for ongoing support.
Anthony has been with JPMC 8 years, serving in a variety of technology roles in Consumer and Community Banking. Prior to joining JPMC, he held various positions in the finance and healthcare industry. Anthony’s previous companies include MBNA America, Bank of America and CIGNA.
Thorkil Sonne, Founder
Founded Specialisterne (Danish for The Specialists) in Denmark in 2004 after his youngest son was diagnosed with autism. The purpose was to create an environment in the work place where autistic people can excel.
Prior to Specialisterne, Thorkil was an IT professional and chairman of a local branch of Autism Denmark.
Based on overwhelming international interest for Specialisterne, Thorkil founded Specialisterne Foundation with the goal to enable one million jobs for autistic people by 2025. The foundation is associated with the UN Department of Public Information and the World Economic Forum.
Thorkil was appointed in 2018 by the Danish Government as Chairman of the Council for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Goals.
Kristin Wadhwa, Member at Large
Kristin Wadhwa is a Vice President in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. In this role, she manages relationships with the firm’s private clients and assists them portfolio management and with their philanthropic goals including social impact investing, environmental, social and governance considerations, and chartable strategies.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Kristin spent six years at President Clinton’s Foundation where she was responsible for developing and implementing global programs in partnership with municipal governments around the world. Kristin received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.