Dr. Marlene Sotelo is chief operating officer for The Els for Autism Foundation at The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, Florida. She has been working with individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders for over 25 years. Prior to joining The Els for Autism Foundation staff in 2014, Dr. Sotelo worked for the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities for 12 years as director of education and training. She earned her doctorate in special education from Nova Southeastern University, where she is an adjunct faculty member. She is a certified special education teacher, board-certified music therapist and doctoral-level, board-certified behavior analyst.
As chief operating officer, Dr. Sotelo serves on the board of directors for The Learning Center (ages 3-14) and The Learning Academy (ages 14-21) at The Els Center of Excellence campus and is the liaison between both public charter schools and the Foundation. She also serves on the advisory board of Keiser University. In addition, she provides operational and programmatic support to the Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa and all programs and services offered at the Center in Florida. She is co-director of the Seaver Els Institute, a research partnership with the Seaver Autism Center.
Dr. Sotelo’s work around the world as an international consultant and speaker, along with the Foundation’s mission to serve the global community, led to the development of the Global Outreach Autism Learning Services (GOALS) at the Center. As a music therapist and professional singer, Dr. Sotelo also spearheaded the development and rollout of the Reach and Teach through the Arts program of which she continues to provide oversight with the Foundation’s recreation services coordinator. She has written and recorded songs to raise money for children’s charities and published several articles in the field of autism spectrum disorder.