Tom Purser joins the Autism Centre of Excellence as CEO

The Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Cambridge is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Purser as CEO.

Tom joined ACE in January from the National Autistic Society, where he held the role of Assistant director of Support and Transformation. During his 13 years at the charity Tom spear spearheaded high profile and impactful campaigns to drive greater public understanding of autism and launch new support services. He has extensive experience of working closely with government, employers and funders, as well as autistic people and their families, to bring about change and make a difference to people’s lives. 

Commenting on his appointment, Tom – whose eldest child is autistic, giving him first-hand experience of the challenges autistic people face on a daily basis – said: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be joining the Autism Centre of Excellence at such an exciting moment. There has never been a more important time for research and community engagement to point the way forward as to how we best improve autistic people’s lives. With 8 in 10 autistic people reporting mental health problems, it is imperative we act with clarity and purpose to end the devastating consequences of a lack of support. I look forward to working alongside all our partners to achieve a better future for all autistic people and their families.” 

Fraser Hardie, Chair of Trustees at ACE said: “We are delighted to welcome Tom. We look forward to his leadership in our commissioning of breakthrough science, campaigns and partnerships to improve inclusion, acceptance and respect for autistic people. Tom is an energetic champion of rights and will lead our efforts tackling a growing mental health crisis. He will seek to reduce avoidable hardships and deaths in our autistic community by seeking to reverse inequalities, exclusion, isolation and discrimination.”