Justin Funches is AST’s Head of Operations. He is responsible for providing overall leadership to AST’s clinical services and support teams. Justin received his Masters’s degree in Business Administration and his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. Previously he held senior leadership positions at Progressus Therapy, a national provider of pediatric therapy services in schools. In addition, Justin has served as the Chairman of the Boston Preparatory School and a Board Member of Maryland Family Network, a leading child advocacy group.
“I am humbled to work for an organization made up of such talented, dedicated, and passionate professionals who work so hard every day to support families who really need our help.”
Rob is AST’s Head of Partnerships and Contracts. His teams work closely with insurance companies, schools, and other funding sources to obtain services for AST’s clients. Rob received a Master’s of Science from California State University, Los Angeles in counseling. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and trained in working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities across their lifespan.
“There are so many changes that families face when they have a child with autism. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than helping them navigate these challenges and creating success.”
Dr. Daneshvar received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University with a concentration in behavioral treatment of developmental disabilities. Dr. Daneshvar is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences and authored articles for peer-reviewed journals in addition to co-authoring a chapter in Whalen’s Real Life, Real Progress for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2009). Prior to joining AST in 2006, Dr. Daneshvar worked at several organizations in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Daneshvar is an active member in the autism community, having previously served on the Autism Society of America’s San Diego Chapter as a member of the Board of Directors and Director of the Research Committee. In addition she has served as a Guest Grant Reviewer for Autism Speaks and a Guest Reviewer for the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (2014). Dr. Daneshvar has taught graduate level courses at California State University, Fullerton and currently teaches and supervises Master’s students at San Diego State University. Dr. Daneshvar is a licensed psychologist in California (PSY #28358).
“As a parent myself, I understand how difficult it can be to always be consistent and follow through, especially when you are in the moment. I see one of our most important roles as caregivers to help families through these struggles and find a positive outcome for the entire family.”
Jocelyn Thompson is a Senior Clinical Director for AST. Based in Sacramento, she manages services in Northern and Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, New Orleans and Chicago. Jocelyn received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA and her master’s degree in social work from California State University, Los Angeles, where she also completed graduate coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Jocelyn has actively promoted the field of applied behavior analysis through her involvement and work with local, state and national organizations.
“Seeing the difference we can make in the life of a family is incredibly rewarding. I am motivated every day to support our staff and families so that they can achieve their goals and create their own success story.”
Dr. Hanna C. Rue is a Director of Research and Development for AST. She assists in the design and implementation of numerous research projects and staff training protocols. Dr. Rue is a licensed clinical psychologist in Massachusetts and a board certified behavior analyst. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota and completed her pre-doctoral training at May Institute. Prior to joining AST she played a leadership role at the National Autism Center and also served as a clinical director for the May Institute’s largest special education school Dr. Rue also served as Chairperson on the National Standards Project, phase 2. Her current research interests include identification of evidence-based practice for treatment of ASD, investigation of behavior reduction procedures, and skill acquisition procedures.
“I am passionate about research because I know that good information offers insight, hope and the best possible services for families.”
Dr. Chisato Komatsu is AST’s Director of Research, Training, and Development. She is responsible for developing clinical training for new and existing staff, furthering AST’s research goals, and ensuring the highest level of clinical excellence and customer service across the organization. Dr. Komatsu received her Ph.D. in psychology from Louisiana State University with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Kikuchi National Hospital in Kumamoto, Japan, with an emphasis in cognitive behavioral therapy working with patients with anxiety disorders. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.
“Being able to see the progress made by our clients and their families is truly inspiring. I love being able to train our staff and support with development so that we may ultimately make an even greater impact on the families and communities we serve.”