Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Senator Clinton Speaks at NAAR Luncheon

Million-Dollar Gift Announced
April 23, 2007


Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) was the keynote speaker at NAAR's Luncheon at the Autism Summit Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center.

Senator Clinton was greeted with a standing ovation by the more than 600 people who attended the event and praised NAAR's efforts to accelerate the pace of research.


“The National Alliance for Autism Research has come so far since its inception in 1994,” she said. “The parents who began this organization have truly demonstrated their dedication to children and a commitment to unraveling the devastating mysteries of autism spectrum disorders.”

Senator Clinton was introduced by NAAR supporter Richard Cohen, president and CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna North America. Mr. Cohen and his wife, Laurie, were instrumental in requesting the Senator's participation in the event.

The luncheon took place immediately after the opening session of the Autism Summit Conference, during which time NAAR and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) unveiled two new innovative research partnerships: the



NAAR Autism Genome Project and the High Risk Baby Sibling Research Project. These public/private partnerships are designed to enable doctors for the first time to biologically diagnose autism and gain a detailed understanding of the cause of the disorder, which continues to elude the medical field.

Prior to Senator Clinton's speech, Glenn R. Tringali, NAAR's CEO, announced that the Hilibrand Foundation has recently pledged $1 million to the NAAR Autism Genome Project. He then introduced Debbie Hilibrand, a NAAR trustee and co-chair of the Westchester/Fairfield Walk F.A.R. for NAAR.



NAAR Autism Genome Project and the High Risk Baby Sibling Research Project. These public/private partnerships are designed to enable doctors for the first time to biologically diagnose autism and gain a detailed understanding of the cause of the disorder, which continues to elude the medical field.

Prior to Senator Clinton's speech, Glenn R. Tringali, NAAR's CEO, announced that the Hilibrand Foundation has recently pledged $1 million to the NAAR Autism Genome Project. He then introduced Debbie Hilibrand,



a NAAR trustee and co-chair of the Westchester/Fairfield Walk F.A.R. for NAAR.
NAAR Autism Genome Project and the High Risk Baby Sibling Research Project. These public/private partnerships are designed to enable doctors for the first time to biologically diagnose autism and gain a detailed understanding of the cause of the disorder, which continues to elude the medical field.

Prior to Senator Clinton's speech, Glenn R. Tringali, NAAR's CEO, announced that the Hilibrand Foundation has recently pledged $1 million to the NAAR Autism Genome Project. He then introduced Debbie Hilibrand, a NAAR trustee and co-chair of the Westchester/Fairfield Walk F.A.R. for NAAR.

“My family is delighted to make this leadership pledge to the NAAR Autism Genome Project because we know that now is the time that the research community is united in a collaborative effort and now is the time that we can harness the latest technologies to fast-track our efforts,” she said “And now is the time that we can count on the support of Congressional leadership and the National Institutes of Health for our efforts.”



Senator Clinton cited both collaborations in her speech as she discussed the government's new research strategy for tackling autism, and other developmental disorders.

“Along with the newest partnerships between NAAR and NIH announced just this morning, this federal plan will hopefully help us understand the genetic and environmental causes for autism and create innovative approaches to treating and teaching autistic children,” she said. “For example, the first partnership, the NAAR Autism Genome Project is ambitious - now that the NIH has sequenced the human genome consisting of approximately 30,000 genes, scientists can identify regions on the 46 chromosomes that might be inherited in families. By identifying these regions, the scientists can hopefully focus on suspect genes and attempt to determine their function and perhaps identify what has gone wrong with these genes to give rise to autism. The High Risk Baby Siblings Autism Research Project will also provide an in depth look into autism so we can discover and treat autism as early as possible.”

NAAR would like to extend its sincere thanks to Senator Clinton and her staff for doing a remarkable job at the event. NAAR also extends a special thank you to Richard & Laurie Cohen for their assistance and support in inviting Senator Clinton to speak at the luncheon and for their participation in the event.

Click here to read Senator Clinton's speech made at the NAAR Luncheon.