Cara Pugliese, Ph.D., is a psychologist in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Hospital and associate professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Pugliese received a B.A. from the University of Richmond, with a dual major in psychology and in women, gender and sexuality studies. She completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech, and her internship in clinical psychology with a focus on autism and developmental disabilities from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Pugliese completed her postdoctoral research fellowship in clinical developmental neuroscience at Children's National, prior to becoming a member of the CASD faculty in 2016.
Dr. Pugliese specializes in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. Her research interests include the development and evaluation of interventions for autism spectrum disorders to improve quality of life, including dissemination and implementation in community settings to reduce disparities in access to care. She is the author of a school-based executive function intervention for adolescents on the autism spectrum, which targets transition-readiness skills like self-advocacy, flexibility, independent goal-setting and planning. Dr. Pugliese also serves on dissertation committees and as a journal reviewer and associate editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.