Executive Director, Autism Society Texas
Jacquie Benestante is the Executive Director at the Autism Society of Texas (AST), where she has worked for 6 years. She has served on the Autism Society of America’s Public Policy Advocacy Committee since its inception, and also works on state advocacy issues, including coordinating Texas Autism Advocacy Day. She is a graduate of the 2018-19 class of Texas Partners in Policymaking. In addition to advocacy, Jacquie works on events, programs, and development at AST. Prior to working at AST, Jacquie spent a few years doing volunteer state advocacy work to increase school funding and improve autism therapy insurance coverage and volunteered in various school leadership roles. Jacquie moved from England to Texas as a child lived in New York City and worked as a clothing designer for over a decade, and now calls Austin home! She is a graduate of the University of Texas and lives with her husband, teen son, and a cat named Ringo who misbehaves during Zoom meetings. She is honored to advocate for the needs of autistic children and adults.