Home > About ISTSS > Leadership


ISTSS is run by a committed group of elected and unelected volunteers from the various trauma-related disciplines around the world. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 21 members, including a membership-elected Executive Committee, and several non-voting members.

Each year, ISTSS holds an open election to fill expiring board terms and the President-Elect position. Board Members serve a three-year term and the President serves for one year.


Download the Bylaws that govern ISTSS.

2020-2021 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of: President, Vice President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Past-President. Executive Committee members also serve as members of the Board of Directors.


T.H. Eric Bui, MD, PhD
Board Term 2020-2022

T.H. Eric Bui, MD, PhD is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Caen Normandy (France), and adjunct investigator at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)  where he served in different leadership capacities as Harvard Medical School faculty, for nearly ten years. His research focuses specifically on understanding the mechanisms and improving the treatment of anxiety and stress-related conditions, including PTSD and Complicated Grief.

Vice President


Marit Sijbrandij, PhD
Board Term 2020-2022

Dr. Sijbrandij is Professor in Clinical Psychology and co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborative Center for Research and Dissemination of Psychological Interventions at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  Her research is focused on the prevention, early detection and treatment of mental health problems following trauma and adversity in a global context and in vulnerable populations.


Synne Øien Stensland, MD, PhD
Board Term 2020-2021

Dr. Stensland is senior researcher and medical doctor with a specialty in paediatrics working at the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS), and the Communication- and research unit for musculoskeletal disorders, Division for neuroscience and musculoskeletal medicine (FORMI), Oslo University Hospital, in Norway. Her research focuses on understanding the impact of traumatic events on the somatic health and well-being of children and adolescents growing into young adults.


Soraya Seedat, MBChB, MMED Psych (SA), FC PSYCH (SA), PhD 
Board Term 2020-2022

Soraya Seedat is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and the executive head of the Department of Psychiatry at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. She holds the South African Research Chair in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Her research focuses on gene-brain-environmental factors that are contributory to increasing or decreasing individual risk for PTSD and on evaluating psychotherapeutic interventions for youth PTSD that can be scaled up in low resource contexts.

Past President


Debra L. Kaysen, PhD, ABPP

Board Term 2020-2021
Dr. Kaysen is a Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford University. Dr. Kaysen’s research is situated at the interface of PTSD and addictions and includes both etiologic and prevention/treatment-oriented studies. Other research addresses the development, adaptation, and implementation of evidence-based practices for trauma-exposed individuals who would otherwise have difficulty accessing care including in low resource communities and for underserved populations within the United States.


Amstadter.jpg Ananda Amstadter, PhD
Board Term 2020-2023
Dr. Amstadter is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human & Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Her program of research focuses on understanding biologic and psychosocial factors that affect the trajectory of symptoms among individuals exposed to trauma (e.g., combat, disasters, interpersonal violence) with a focus on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol-related phenotypes.

2020-2021 Board of Directors

Maureen A. Allwood, PhD
Board Term 2018-2021

Dr. Allwood is a Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY). She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Population and Family Health at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center. Her research and clinical interests focus on the developmental effects of youth trauma and violence exposure. She is especially interested in  how psychological and biological systems interact to predict negative outcomes, such as school failure, delinquency, substance use, and poor physical and mental health among trauma-exposed youth. Her work also focuses on the impact of trauma exposure on minority, immigrant, and refugee mental health, and accessibility to trauma-informed, developmentally-informed, and culturally-informed services.
Armour.jpg Cherie Armour, PhD
Board Term: 2019-2022
Professor Armour holds a Chair in Psychological Trauma and Mental Health in the School of Psychology at Queens University Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Professor Armour is the President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society and an Associate Editor for the European Journal of Psychotraumatology. Professor Armour has an active and extensive portfolio of research. Her main focus currently is on the health and well-being of Military Veterans living in Northern Ireland, the risk, resilience, and outcomes of interpersonal violence in those experiencing intimate partner violence and those experiencing childhood maltreatment. Prof Armor also has a growing interest in the role of sleep in posttraumatic outcomes. In particular, Prof Armour utilises advanced quantitative modelling techniques on large scale, often population representative data-sets.  
erikafelixucsb-(002).jpg Erika Felix, PhD
Board Term 2017-2023
Dr. Felix is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a licensed psychologist in private practice. Her research centers on understanding the individual, relational, and contextual factors that promote positive youth development or recovery despite contexts of risk, trauma, or stress. Her work spans three related areas: (1) promoting adaptive recovery for youth following disaster, terrorism, or other collectively-experienced traumas, (2) youth victimization and its consequences, and (3) research and evaluation to improve community-based services. She has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Science Foundation, private foundations, and local community organizations. She is engaged in systems change and advocacy work to address human trafficking and serves on the Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Taskforce.
Ghafoori.jpg Bita Ghafoori, PhD
Board Term: 2019-2022
Dr. Ghafoori is a Professor of Counseling Psychology at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and Director of the CSULB Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center. Dr. Ghafoori has an active program of research focusing on dissemination of evidence-based trauma treatments for culturally diverse individuals and understanding disparities in mental health care for impoverished trauma-exposed individuals.
Jinhee Hyun, PhD
Board Term 2020-2023
Jinhee Hyun received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social work and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare majoring in clinical social work at Ewha Womans University, Korea in 2007. From 1996 until 1998, she worked at Seoul Red Cross Hospital and received her license as a mental health social worker. Until 2007 she worked as a clinical social worker at US Army Hospital in Korea, where her primary responsibility was to provide psychotherapy for soldiers who returned home from war with PTSD, and for the sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse victims and their family members. She has been at the Department of Social Welfare, Daegu University as a professor since 2007. In 2014, she stayed at the School of Social Work, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a visiting scholar. She have been serving as head of the psychological support team within the counseling program of Gyeongbuk Fire Service Headquarters from 2019. Currently she is the President of the Korean Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (KSTSS) for the 2020-2021 term.
Kristensen.jpg Christian Kristensen, PhD
Board Term: 2019-2022

Dr. Kristensen is Professor of Psychology at the Graduate Program in Psychology, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (PUCRS), Director of the Center for Studies and Research in Traumatic Stress (NEPTE-PUCRS) and Dean of Graduate Studies at the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (PUCRS). His main research areas of interest are (a) trauma and neurocognitive processes (executive functions, attention), (b) trauma-focused psychosocial interventions, and (c) immigrant and refugee mental health.
Lynda Matthews, PhD
Board Term 2020-2021
Lynda Matthews completed her PhD in health sciences at the University of Sydney in 2002. She has worked in State Government departments in the areas of child protection, family support services, and juvenile justice, and currently work in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. She is the Head of Rehabilitation Counselling, Academic Lead in the Work and Health research team, and holds an honorary appointment (Clinical Research) at the Western Sydney Local Health District. Her research focuses on identifying best evidence treatment, rehabilitation, and workplace interventions that promote recovery in people with posttraumatic mental health conditions. 
Angela Nickerson, PhD
Board Term: 2020-2022

Dr. Angela Nickerson is Associate Professor and Director of the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. She is a clinical psychologist, and Director of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) Program at UNSW. Her research focuses on understanding psychological and social mechanisms underpinning refugee and asylum-seeker mental health, with the ultimate goal of informing policy and clinical practice.
Nugent.jpg Nicole Nugent, PhD
Board Term: 2019-2022
Dr. Nugent is an Associate Professor, Research Scholar, in the Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Pediatrics, and Emergency Medicine at the Alpert Brown Medical School. She serves as Director of Psychological Services at the Hasbro Pediatric Refugee Clinic as well as Associate Director of the Institute for Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (STAR Institute) at the Alpert Brown Medical School. Her federally funded research program explores the interplay of biology and social context during times of stress, trauma, and transition in high risk and trauma-exposed populations, with the goal of translation to intervention.
Oe-(1).jpg Misari Oe, MD, PhD
Board Term: 2018-2021
Dr. Misari Oe is a psychiatrist and the head of the Counseling Center at the Kurume University Hospital, Japan. She is also a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kurume University School of Medicine. She has a wide range of study fields, including psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, psychoendocrinology, psychophysiology, social psychiatry, epidemiology, and disaster psychiatry. She is also a board member of the Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (JSTSS).
Monique Pfaltz, PhD
Board Term 2020-2023
Monique Pfaltz is a trained psychotherapist and clinical and experimental researcher. She is an assistant professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and her research assesses socio-emotional processes (e.g., interpersonal boundary setting, regulation of closeness and distance, emotional reactivity, facial emotion recognition) in healthy individuals and patients affected by traumatic stress, with a focus on childhood maltreatment (abuse and neglect). As part of the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress, she is currently leading a theme on the socio-emotional development across cultures. Findings of the corresponding projects shall provide a basis for the development of interventions improving social functioning and thus health and well-being of those affected by childhood maltreatment. Dr. Pfaltz is a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology and of the Journal of Traumatic Stress and co-organizer of the Annual Zurich Conference on Psychotraumatology.
Andrea J. Phelps, PhD
Board Term 2020-2023
Andrea J. Phelps is the Deputy Director of Phoenix Australia, Australia’s national centre of excellence in posttraumatic mental health based at the University of Melbourne. There they combine clinical work, supervision and training with innovative research and consultation to government and industry on trauma related policy and strategy.  As the Deputy Director her responsibilities include strategic oversight of the Centre’s activities across research, service development and training; strategic planning and setting future directions; and leadership of flagship projects such as the NHMRC approved Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD which helped shape the process for the ISTSS PTSD Guidelines. She began her career as a clinician, holding senior clinical leadership positions in general mental health and specialised trauma treatment services. This background has shaped her approach to research and consultancy, ensuring that research is clinically relevant and consultancy advice is situated within an understanding of clinical complexity.
Salgado-(1).jpg Carolina Salgado, MD
Term 2018-2021
Dr. Carolina Salgado is the president of the recently formed Chilean Association of Traumatic Stress.  She was one of the primary initiators and coordinators of the first international meeting of traumatic stress held last year with ISTSS in Chile. She is the clinical psychiatrist at the Trauma Center of the Psychology Department of the University of Talca and at the Out-Patient Public Mental Health Center (COSAM) in Talca, Chile, also, an adjunct professor at the Medical School of the University of Talca. Her research investigations focus on early trauma and its impact on the psychopathology development during adulthood and/or IPV (intimate partner violence) involving patients from both public and private mental health services.
Brian N. Smith, PhD
Board Term: 2020-2023
Dr. Smith is a Research Health Scientist in the National Center for PTSD Women’s Health Sciences Division at VA Boston Healthcare System and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. His federally funded research program is focused on the effects of traumatic stress and mental health sequelae—PTSD, depression, and salient comorbidities—on outcomes related to physical health, functioning, and quality of life. He examines these outcomes and associated risk and resilience factors in populations at heightened risk for trauma exposure, especially military veterans, and often examines psychosocial risk models in the context of gender differences as well as aging.
Jennifer C. Wild, PhD
Board Term 2020-2023
Dr Jennifer Wild is a consultant clinical psychologist, associate professor and NIHR Oxford Health BRC Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Her area of expertise is in developing and evaluating evidence-based interventions to prevent stress-related psychopathology in at risk populations. With her team, she developed and evaluated internet-delivered cognitive training in resilience (iCT-R), which targets modifiable risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in emergency workers. This preventative intervention is being disseminated to emergency services across England by the UK’s mental health charity, Mind. Dr Wild leads SHAPE Recovery, an evidence-based wellbeing programme to support hospital and paramedic employees during and after COVID. She has worked in an advisory role to the Cabinet Office on best practice for developing preventative interventions for emergency responders. She has over 70 publications, including book chapters, and a recently published popular science book on resilience: Be Extraordinary. Dr Wild regularly appears in the media giving evidence-based advice for trauma-related mental health problems.


Journal of Traumatic Stress (JTS)

Patricia Kerig, PhD

JTS Editor-Elect
Denise M. Sloan, PhD

Dr. Sloan will serve as editor-elect under the current editor for one year, from January 1 to December 31, 2021, before assuming full duties as JTS editor for the subsequent five years. Her term will expire December 31, 2026.


Christal L. Badour, PhD

New in Peer Review

Damion Grasso, PhD


Carolyn Yeager, PhD

Assistant Website Editors
Damion Grasso, PhD
Rachel Liebman, PhD

Social Media

Rosaura E. Orengo-Aguayo, PhD