brad herron-valenzuela

Director, Phoenix IDA Center for Education, Training & Employment

brad herron-valenzuela has a background in cross-categorical special education, applied behavior analysis, autism studies and social and philosophical foundations of education. His work has taken him from public and private schools to nonprofit organizations in Arizona, Costa Rica, West Africa and India. He also spent many years with the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), where his various positions included a mix of direct and indirect service, program development and coordination, collaboration with families, stakeholders and related providers and leading innovation to meet the underserved needs of individuals with autism.

With First Place since 2021, his role as director of the Center for Education, Training and Employment allows him to leverage his previous experience as an instructor at the First Place Transition Academy. In this role, he forges collaborative relationships to provide inclusive and empowering opportunities for individuals with autism and their families.

brad earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Arizona State University. He has served as a graduate research assistant with the National Center for Culturally Responsive Education Systems.