Lorri Unumb, J.D.
CEO, The Council of Autism Service Providers
Public Policy & Caregiver Stakeholder
Lorri Shealy Unumb is a lawyer, professor, mother of three boys (ages 18, 15, and 11), and an internationally renowned autism advocate. She began her legal career clerking for a United States District Judge in Charleston, South Carolina, and then moved to Washington, D.C. to practice law with the United States Department of Justice.
Following her firstborn son’s diagnosis with autism, Lorri began working in autism advocacy as a volunteer, writing ground-breaking autism insurance legislation for South Carolina (“Ryan’s Law”) that passed in 2007 and served as the catalyst for the national movement toward autism insurance reform. In recognition of Ryan’s Law, Lorri was awarded the Autism Society of America 2008 “Parents of the Year” award (along with her husband Dan). She then was recruited by the New York-based nonprofit Autism Speaks to advocate full- time on behalf of individuals with autism.
Recently, Lorri was appointed by the governor of South Carolina to serve as a Commissioner for the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, which administers several of the state’s Medicaid waivers. In 2019, Lorri assumed the role of CEO of The Council of Autism Service Providers, which is a nonprofit association of for-profit and nonprofit organizations serving people with autism across the lifespan.