Autism Speaks, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the life span for people with autism and their families, announced that Keith Wargo has been named president and CEO of the organization. Wargo’s appointment is effective Oct. 15, and follows the board of directors’ announcement earlier this year that Angela Timashenka Geiger would be stepping down from her position after a five-year tenure. An extensive search was conducted by a search committee of the board of directors. Geiger has served as a critical member of the search team responsible for identifying her successor and will work closely with Wargo to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
Wargo joins Autism Speaks after a long and successful career in finance on Wall Street. He spent nearly 30-years in leadership roles at leading global financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, BMO Capital Markets and Mizuho Securities where he built effective teams and partnered with a broad array of stakeholders to identify innovative ways to enhance and scale platforms while tackling complex challenges. More recently, Wargo became an owner of Monarch Cypress, an industry-leading amenity manufacturer and supplier, where one of the company’s missions is to employ autistic individuals.
Wargo and his wife are parents of two adult children, one of whom has autism. Importantly, they have witnessed the positive impact that Autism Speaks has on enhancing the lives of people with autism and their families through research, advocacy, supports and services.
Brian Harper, chairman of the board of directors, Autism Speaks, said, “The last 18 months have been especially hard in the autism community, with people suffering from significant isolation and dislocation. There is an urgent need for our organization’s support and programs. Keith is an accomplished business leader and executive that has a proven track record of success in driving organizations forward. As a parent of an adult son on the spectrum, he also understands the diverse needs of the autism community and the importance of providing a variety of options and solutions to best support the people we serve. His passion for our cause and his deeply rooted commitment to fulfilling our broad and ambitious mission make him the ideal person to lead our team forward and continue our important work on behalf of the millions impacted by autism around the world.”
Keith Wargo, president and CEO, Autism Speaks, said, “It is an honor to join Autism Speaks during what I believe is a pivotal time in the organization’s history. My family and I have experienced first-hand the deep value of social connection and the dignity of work and purpose that all people, especially those who are autistic, need and deserve. I am looking forward to building on the phenomenal work that Angela Geiger and the team have already accomplished and to making a positive and profound impact.”
Angela Timashenka Geiger, former president and CEO, Autism Speaks, said, “Keith’s personal connection to autism as well as his business background make him an excellent choice to lead Autism Speaks going forward. There is still much to accomplish but I am confident that Keith is the right individual to get the job done and I am grateful to leave Autism Speaks in such capable hands.”
Wargo will be based in the New York metropolitan area.
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