Executive Director, Melmark New England. Rita received her Master of Public Health degree from Boston University’s School of Public Health in the School of Medicine and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Rita has devoted the last twenty-five years in the field of community-based services for children and adults with the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, acquired brain injuries, neurological disorders and severe challenging behaviors. She has been involved in the organization, design, development and implementation of over 50 community based programs for children and adults. Rita’s legislative advocacy activities include involvement in the Autism Medicaid Waiver through the Division of Autism and sits on advisory committees with the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM). Rita is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and is an instructor for a 5-course graduate series on Applied Behavior Analysis.