Q&A: Diane Gould, Advocates president and CEO

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Some people are simply born to do what they do. The lucky ones know early on. Whether it’s a matter of talent, circumstance or destiny, they see their path clearly and walk tall toward their future.

Others struggle, a sense of direction or purpose conspicuously missing. Or something more. Challenges of infinite shapes and sizes can swallow the fortunes of the best of us and spit out lives of inimitable difficulty.

What is so often misunderstood is how much that second set needs the first; and how rare it is for these groups to come together in meaningful and constructive ways. Diane E. Gould seems to have had a pretty good idea about that for a while now. The Worcester native is president and CEO of Framingham-based Advocates, a large nonprofit social service agency.

Diane Gould, president and CEO of Advocates, is a native of Worcester who grew up in the Burncoat neighborhood.

Courtesy Advocates / Ball Consulting Group

Diane Gould, president and CEO of Advocates, is a native of Worcester who grew up in the Burncoat neighborhood.

Under Gould’s guidance the last two years — she’s been with Advocates for 30 years, and was chief operating officer several years before her appointment as CEO in 2013 — the agency has sharpened its focus on the future of care for people dealing with autism spectrum disorders; broadened the scope of its community justice work; and expanded its brain injury rehabilitation program, including a new Worcester location.


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