Cara Pugliese, Ph.D.

  • Clinical Psychologist, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics, George Washington University Medical School
    • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (8/2008-5/2013)
    • M.Sc., Social & Organizational Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, England (8/2006-12/2007)
    • B.A. (double major), Psychology and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA (8/2001-8/2005)
  • Cara E. Pugliese, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences, and Pediatrics at the George Washington University Medical School and clinical psychologist at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Hospital.

    Dr. Pugliese specializes in the assessment and treatment of autistic children and adolescents, with an emphasis on transition to adulthood. Dr. Pugliese’s clinically-informed independent program of research focuses on: (1) identifying the needs of transition-age autistic youth through community-based participatory research to identify meaningful and relevant intervention targets, (2) defining executive function as a pivotal mechanism that drives real-world outcomes, including adaptive skills and mental health, (3) developing innovative outcome measures assessing meaningful, real-world change in populations with developmental disabilities, (4) utilizing large, multi-site, datasets and treatment trials to identify and test mechanisms that promote meaningful real-world outcomes and (5) developing, implementing, and testing the effectiveness of community-based interventions and implementation strategies to reduce disparities in access to care and improve quality of life for autistic individuals. At the local and national level, Dr. Pugliese is actively engaged in educating community providers on evidence-based practices for assessing, treating, and working with autistic individuals on the autism spectrum through her school-based clinical trials research program.

    Dr. Pugliese has authored more than 25 publications, two school-based executive function intervention curricula, and has received 10 externally funded research grants. Dr. Pugliese serves on dissertation committees, as an associate editor for the Journal for Autism and Developmental Disorders, and chairs the Autism & Developmental Disabilities SIG for the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.