Staff Members

Executive Director – Deborah Pugh

Deborah Pugh has been active in the autism community since 1995, both on a provincial and national level.  In 2003, with the support of parents and professionals from around BC, Deborah founded ACT – Autism Community Training. Prior to founding ACT, Deborah also served as Executive Director of the Autism Society of British Columbia.

From 1980 – 1994, Deborah was a journalist, working in Europe and the Middle East. She worked as a producer for the BBC African Service in London and as the UK’s Guardian Correspondent in Egypt from 1988 – 1994.

Deborah has a BA from McGill University, a MA from the University of London and a certificate in fundraising management from BCIT. Deborah has a young adult son with ASD. She is active in a number of provincial and national organizations. She has served on:

  • Neuropsychiatry Planning Task Force – BC Children’s Hospital
  • National ASD Surveillance Committee – Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Online Mental Health and Autism Project (OMHAP)
  • Parent Coaching Research Project Steering Committee (Chair)


  • BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists – 2016 Distinguished Service Award
  • University of British Columbia’s Interprofessional Continuing Education Conference: Health & Wellbeing in Children, Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities – 2016 Outstanding Contribution Award

Manager of Autism Information Resources – Stephanie Porter

Stephanie Porter has a BA in Honours Sociology from the University of Waterloo. She brings to ACT extensive administrative experience, having previously worked in logistics, training coordination and human resources. Stephanie is passionate about contributing to the support of people with autism and their families, empowering them to build strong relationships with each other and in their communities. Stephanie joined ACT as the Administrative and Training Coordinator in 2017.

Financial Controller – Linda Leung

Linda Leung is a CPA, CGA with a business degree from UBC. Her professional experiences were mainly in the manufacturing and transportation industries, including the not-for-profit sector. She enjoys the natural beauty of BC and its many hiking trails, but also loves to travel. To relax, she likes to curl up in a sofa with a good book and attend yoga classes.

Digital Communications Coordinator – Ryan Quiring

Ryan Quiring has a Certificate in Web Development from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, a BA in Sociology from Simon Fraser University, and attended the New Media program at the University of Lethbridge. Ryan has previously worked in design and technical roles at DOXA Documentary Festival, Simon Fraser University’s Information Technology services, and CJSF Radio 90.1 FM.

Content & Communications Officer – Khang Nguyen

Khang Nguyen has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Regina. He has experience as a reporter, communications consultant and videographer/editor. Khang assists with digital communications, primarily with Autism Videos @ ACT. He is excited to be a part of ACT where he can continue to grow his skills and learn more from this amazing team.