Michael Alessandri

Title/Position: Professor of Clinical Psychology - Department of Psychology; Director CARD, Autism Center - Department of Psychology


In addition to his role as Executive Director of UM-NSU CARD, Dr. Alessandri is also Director of the Division of Community Outreach and Engagement and Clinical Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics at the University of Miami. Dr. Alessandri has worked with individuals with autism and their families for nearly 30 years. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Rochester, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He attended graduate school at Rutgers University, where he obtained both his M.S. (1989) and Ph.D. (1992) in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Alessandri completed his clinical internship at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Development and Learning (CDL). Prior to arriving in South Florida in 1996, Dr. Alessandri was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at San Jose State University (SJSU) and Associate Director of the Stanford University Pervasive Developmental Disorders Clinic.

Dr. Alessandri has presented, consulted and published internationally on developing appropriate and effective educational programs for students with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, he has received several awards within the field including the Autism Society of America (ASA) Special Recognition Award for Publications (1993), the Outstanding Faculty award by the SJSU Disability Resource Center (1995), and the ASA’s Wendy F. Miller Autism Professional of the Year Award (2003). Under his direction, the University of Miami Center for Autism & Related Disabilities was named ASA’s National Autism Program of the Year in 1999. Dr. Alessandri has also received numerous other community service awards, including the March of Dimes Community Excellence in Health Care Award (2007), the Health Services Coalition Outstanding Community Leader Award (2009), and the Parent to Parent Excellence in Family Advocacy Award (2010). He was also named one of the Ronald McDonald House’s 12 Good Men (2008) and the Dewar’s 12 Man of Distinction (2007). Recently, he was selected by the Children’s Trust as the 2012 David Lawrence Champion for Children, one of South Florida’s highest honors for community service.

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Contact Information:

  • Phone: (305) 284-6558
  • Email: malessandri@miami.edu
  • Office Location: 238 Flipse Bldg