Jonathan Lai (MSc, PhD) is the Executive Director at Autism Alliance of Canada. He holds an Adjunct Faculty position in Health Services Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. At Autism Alliance of Canada, Jonathan’s work involves responding to emerging national policy gaps in the autism and disability sector. He is responsible for leading the Alliance as an evidence-informed, community-driven constructive policy idea generator to guide the development and implementation of a National Autism Strategy.
Previously, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at York University, examining predictors of changes in service use for people with developmental disabilities. This was followed by a CIHR Health System Impact Fellowship at McGill University, where he developed a program evaluation for a specialized medical-dental primary care clinic for people with developmental disabilities, led policy dialogues around federal government engagement of evidence-use in the field, and examined how research evidence is used in rights-based advocacy for children with disabilities in Canada.
His graduate training in Neuroscience at Guelph and McMaster focused on gene-environment influences on the developing brain, funded consecutively by Ontario Mental Health Foundation and a CIHR Vanier Scholarship.