Changes to Autism Science Foundation Board of Directors

New York, NY — June 7, 2024— The Autism Science Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and funding innovative autism research, today announced several changes to its board of directors. Lucy Ireland Hatchell has joined the board of directors. Board Chair Scott Badesch has resigned from the board and has been appointed as Senior Legislative Advisor on Autism and Brain Health to Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ). Jonah Zimiles, currently ASF’s Treasurer, has been named Acting Board Chair and Bryan Harkins has been named Acting Board Treasurer. The announcements were made by ASF president Alison Singer.

Lucy Hatchell is a special education attorney in Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated from Indiana University and earned her law degree from UNC School of Law in 2015, after which she joined the Special Education Team at Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC). In 2023, Lucy entered into private practice with her DRNC colleague, Ginny Fogg. The Fogg Hatchell law firm represents students in education matters, with a focus on special education.  

“I have known Lucy for years and have watched her become a fierce advocate for people with disabilities,” said Singer. “I am thrilled to welcome her to our board and to have all the families we serve benefit from her tremendous expertise.” 

Scott Badesch joined the ASF board in 2019 and has served as chair for the last two years. He resigned on May 24, 2024 after having been appointed Senior Legislative Advisor to Congressman Chris Smith (NJ). Congressman Smith is the founder and chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus.  Scott is the past President & CEO of the Autism Society of America.

Jonah Zimiles has been appointed Acting Board Chair. Jonah joined the ASF board in 2021 and was named Treasurer in 2022. Jonah is the co-founder and Managing Principal of [words] Bookstore, whose mission includes employing adults with autism. Jonah graduated from Amherst College and has a law degree from NYU School of Law and an MBA degree from Columbia Business School with concentrations in management and social enterprise. Before opening the bookstore, he spent a dozen years as a practicing attorney, four years as an endowment director of a major national charity, and seven years as a stay-at-home dad managing his son’s autism-services home program.

Bryan Harkins has been appointed Acting Treasurer. Bryan joined the ASF board in 2019 and co-chairs ASF’s “Rides FAR” series of fundraising bicycle rides which are held across the United States and in Canada. Bryan is currently President of the IEX Group.  Previously, Bryan was Executive Vice President, Head of Markets at Cboe, where he led the sales, product development and competitive strategy for the company’s U.S. equities, futures, options and global foreign exchange businesses, its suite of market data and access services products, as well as the firm’s growing ETP listings business. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Bryan holds Series 7, 24, 55 and 63 licenses.

“While we will miss Scott terribly, we know he is truly poised to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with disabilities in his new position” said Singer. “I am grateful to Jonah and Bryan for taking on their new responsibilities, and thrilled that our board has such deep bench strength.”

The next ASF Board meeting will be held in July at which time formal nominations for chair and treasurer will be entertained. 


About the Autism Science Foundation

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation, or to make a donation, visit