Announcement From Commissioner Jim Henry

Friday, August 12, 2011 | 07:00am

I am pleased to announce Dr. Scott Modell, Director of the California State University’s Autism Center for Excellence, will join the executive leadership team for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), effective August 23, 2011.


I’ve conducted a nationwide search and consulted many in the developmental disabilities field to find the right candidate to transform Tennessee’s service system for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.  One of Dr. Modell’s primary responsibilities will be to establish an ongoing planning process to guide the development and evaluation of home and community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.


I put a concentrated effort into finding a proven leader in the field of developmental disabilities who specializes in Autism and I am very excited Scott has accepted the challenge.  In addition to founding and serving as Director of the Autism Center, he was a professor at California State University, Sacramento for the past 14 years.


In support of Governor Haslam’s goal of transforming government, I plan to follow his lead through a re-organization where the department is focused on a few things well done.  My primary focus is to improve the quality of life for people served by ensuring quality of healthcare and protection from harm.


Dr. Modell is the perfect choice in contributing to the success of our vision.  He has received international recognition for his work in the area of disability abuse and interview techniques for people with developmental disabilities.  He has taught for the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC), California District Attorney’s Association (CDAA), National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA), and the Singapore National Council of Social Service.


Through his community-based programs and public school experience, Dr. Modell has worked with thousands of children and adults with disabilities.  He has been widely recognized at the local, state, and national level for the provision of community-based services for people with disabilities.


As Governor Haslam stated during his first State of the State Address, “When there are opportunities to advance our state, we should do so.” 


I believe obtaining a proven leader in the field of developmental disabilities such as

Dr. Modell is an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders in DIDD.

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