Sippi Khurana, MD

FOUNDER

Tammy Tran Nguyen, JD 

Sippi has extensive experience serving on the boards of non-profit organizations, including The Houston Symphony, UNICEF Southwest Region, Pratham USA, American India Foundation, MA Foundation, Arthritis Foundation and Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston and the Advisory Board of The Women’s Home. In 2017, Sippi was named an ABC 13 Woman of Distinction, honored by Recipe for Success, and inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Hall of Fame. She and Ajay were also honored with the inaugural KNOWAutism Humanitarian Award at the 2018 Gala. 

Tracy Faulkner

Rob & Amy Pierce at the KNOWAutism 'Reach for the Stars' Gala. Photo by Quy Tran.

She met her husband, Wayne, in 2002. Together, they started a real estate investment firm. They had two children, one of which has autism. She spent the last seven years learning how to be a mom and how to be a mom to a child with autism. The experience has motivated her to devote more time for her children and accept a less active role in her companies. She has said that her role as a mother has been the most difficult and yet rewarding job that she has thus far. 

Mrs. Nguyen’s background allows her to appreciate the struggles of middle-income families, particular ones with language barriers. Her experience as a mom to a child with autism allows her to understand the challenges that a family will encounter. She forms KNOWAutism Foundation to help the family affected with autism in hopes of making their experiences a little easier, by arming them with the education and the resources to be better prepared for the journey ahead.

Biography coming soon

Biography coming soon

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Perri Palermo Motamedi, MA, CCC-SLP

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Lauren Dawson, MSc

Dr. Sippi Khurana is a Rheumatologist, Immunologist, and Internist and is Board Certified in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine. She did her Internal Medicine residency at University of Texas-Medical Branch in Galveston where she was named Intern of the Year and received an award for excellence in Geriatric Medicine. She then went on to complete a combined Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. She was the owner and practicing physician at Allergy and Rheumatology Specialists of Houston for five years, and she currently serves as Assistant Professor for Texas A&M Health and Science Center and Clinical Assistant Professor for Baylor College of Medicine. She spends her time teaching the Rheumatology fellows and taking care of patients at Ben Taub General Hospital. She has been named an H Texas Magazine Top Doc for three consecutive years and was the 2016 Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation. 

Sippi is married to the love of her life, Ajay Khurana. Together, Sippi and Ajay are the devoted parents of two children: their eight year old son, Shaan, and their two year old daughter, Seva. For Sippi, wife and mother are the titles she cherishes most.​ Sippi believes that helping others is a human responsibility, and it is one she takes very seriously.  She and Ajay have sought out opportunities to serve those in need, both near and far--from the Swadesh Khurana Endowed Fellowship at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, which the Khuranas founded in honor of Ajay’s mother, to UNICEF, to Ek Disha Foundation, to Operation Smile, to Houston Area Women's Center, and many more.

Dr. Sippi & Mr. Ajay Khurana at the KNOWAutism 'Reach for the Stars' Gala. Photo by Quy Tran.

Biography coming soon

Ms. Lauren Dawson received her B.A. from the University of Southern California with a double major in International Relations and Neuroscience and a double minor in Human Rights and Bioethics. She graduated magna cum laude and received several honors and awards for her extensive community service, leadership, and dedication to human rights. She then attended the University of Oxford as a prestigious Weidenfeld Scholar, and received her MSc in Refugee & Forced Migration Studies.


Ms. Dawson joined KNOWAutism Foundation in July 2017 with the goal of helping the young organization grow and expand its impact. She brings with her a passion for serving marginalized communities and empowering others through education, support, and improving access to essential services. She has worked on issues ranging from sexual and domestic violence, to refugee and migrant rights, to conflict resolution, to humanitarian aid and interventions, to mental health parity, to justice models, to public health, and more. The common thread that ties all of her interests together is her belief that all people have a basic right to dignity, equality, and justice.


As a native Houstonian, Ms. Dawson is excited to be serving families impacted by ASD and IDD in her community. In her spare time, Lauren loves practicing (and teaching) yoga, listening to her favorite podcasts, and playing with her adopted dog, Delilah.

Biography coming soon

Farida Abjani

Wayne & Tammy Nguyen with their two children

David Peck

Tammy Tran Nguyen is the daughter of two Vietnamese-Chinese immigrants, who came to America to search for a better life for their children. After working many minimum wage positions, her parents finally were able to build their first fast food restaurant, where she went to work as a precocious 8 year old. She has a very close relationship with her parents, in particular her father who taught her strong values and helped her develop a keen sense for business.

Mrs. Nguyen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree of Bachelor of Business Administration. During college, she interned for Dell Computers and Tenneco Gas. Following her graduation from the University of Texas Business School, she accepted a position with Alexander and Alexander as a risk management consultant. 

As life would have it, Mrs. Nguyen would return to the family business because of her parents deteriorating health.  Within 10 years, Mrs. Nguyen grew a small fast food restaurant of seven employees to a well-known chain staffing over a hundred workers throughout the Houston Metropolitan area. It was during this time period that she attended and earned her Jurisprudence Doctorate (JD) from the University of Houston Law Center.

Biography coming soon

Amy Pierce

Amy is active with several community organizations working to aid those in need.  She is on the Board of SEARCH Homeless Services, serves on The Advisory Board of The Women’s Fund, the UNICEF’s Board of Trustees, M.D. Anderson's Advance Team, and is a founder of The Houston 20, a group of community leaders organized to fight against sex trafficking in Houston. In 2015, Amy was chosen by Easter Seals as one of Houston’s “Mothers of the Year” and was recognized as a “Woman of Substance” in 2017 and a “Woman of Distinction” in 2018.  Amy and Rob have worked to instill a love for the arts, hearts for service, compassion for others, and the importance of education in their four children Kendall, Kyle, Kaitlyn, and Kamren.

Our Team

Amy Pierce attended The University of Texas at Austin and graduated with honors with a BS in Journalism and Public Relations. After graduating, Amy began her career in political event planning, fundraising and campaign management. Rob Pierce’s law and banking career moved the couple from Washington D.C. to Houston and then on to New York City, where Amy continued her political fundraising and began her focus on charity work and the magic of reaching children through music and art. In 2004, Rob and Amy moved their family back to Houston, and Amy joined the Board of Directors for Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), the Houston Junior League, AIDS Foundation Houston, and St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
 
Amy has focused much of her time on her children's education.  She served on the Awty International School’s Board of Trustees, co-chaired the annual gala and annual fund campaign, helped found the Fine Arts Booster Club, and is the leader of Awty’s inaugural Girl Scout Troop. Awty recognized Amy with the “Volunteer of the Year Award” in 2016. Following her passion for the Arts, Amy has served on the Board of Directors of TUTS since 2004, served as TUTS Chairman of the Board from 2015 to 2017 and chaired the 2011 Gala and The River’s 2013 Celebration.  Amy also serves on Music Doing Good’s President’s Leadership Council and is an active supporter of several additional arts organizations in Houston.

Michael Chang, MD