International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies


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: Board of Directors consisting of 21 members, including a membership-elected Executive Committee and several ex-officio (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.

ISTSS Board of Directors Election Results



Download the Bylaws that govern ISTSS.

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.


To support organizational excellence through engagement of ISTSS membership and development of new leadership. Executive Liaison to: Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee, Annual Meeting Organizing Committee, Data Committee, Effective Treatments Book Task Force and History of ISTSS Task Force.

Vice President

To identify mechanisms to increase sense of professional home and to support collaboration and effective exchange of knowledge among ISTSS research, practitioners and policymakers. Executive Liaison to: Special Interest Groups, Awards Committee, Student Grant Committee, Travel Grants Committee, Student Section, Diversity Committee, Membership Committee and Membership Policy Task Force


To promote advancement of societal impact through influence on policy activities and strengthening relationships to other organizations. Executive Liaison to: Trauma and Public Health Task Force, Public Health & Policy Committee, Nominations Committee, Journal of Traumatic Stress Editor Search Task Force and Journal of Traumatic Stress “Future Thinking” Task Force


To promote communication and exchange of knowledge within and beyond ISTSS through development in new media and communication technology. Executive Liaison to: Online Learning, Journal of Traumatic Stress (JTS) Editor, Traumatic StressPoints Editor, Website Editor and Social Networking Administrator


To protect and increase the Society's resources. Executive Liaison to: Audit Committee, Finance Committee


To guide development of an organizational model that is responsive to issues, members and stakeholders from all nations. Executive Liaison to: Nominations Committee, International Structure & Affiliations Committee, World Congress Meeting (Mexico City), Global Initiative Task Force, Organizational Excellence Task Force and Complex Trauma Task Force

2016-2017 Executive Committee

Meaghan O'Donnell, PhD
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr. O'Donnell is the Director of Research at the Phoenix Australia-Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. She is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. Her major areas of research include early interventions after trauma exposure, phenomenology of traumatic stress responses, and understanding disability after trauma exposure.


Debra L. Kaysen, PhD, ABPP
Vice President
Board Term 2013-2016

Dr. Kaysen is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department with adjunct positions in the Departments of Psychology and of Global Health at the University of Washington. She is the Depression Therapy Research Endowed Professor for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 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 issues regarding issues around trauma exposure and care among diverse communities, including research with lesbian and bisexual women, research with Native American communities, and work in adapting evidence based treatments for use in low and medium income countries.

ImageCharles "Chip" Benight, PhD
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Benight is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of the CU: Trauma, Health, & Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. His research interest is in the human adaptation from trauma. He has focused research on recovery from a variety of traumas such as disasters, motor vehicle accident trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and bereavement. Most recently he has focused on development of web-based intervention systems for trauma and secondary trauma/burnout based on social cognitive theory. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center/Department of Defense and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association.


Maureen A. Allwood, PhD
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr. Allwood is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY). Her research and clinical interests focus on the developmental effects of trauma and violence exposure in youth, particularly youth living in high-stress urban settings. She is interested in both the psychological and biological consequences of trauma exposure and how multiple factors and systems (e.g., cognitive, emotional, physiological) interact to predict negative outcomes, such as school failure, delinquency, substance use, poor health, and suicide among trauma-exposed youth. Her work also focuses on the impact of trauma exposure on minority, immigrant, and refugee mental health, and the accessibility to culturally competent, trauma- and developmentally-informed services.

ImageGrete A. Dyb, MD, PhD
Immediate Past President
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Dyb is currently the Head of the Department of Children and Adolescents at the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies and Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. She had been commited to trauma research and clinical work with children and adolescents exposed to sexual abuse, violence and disasters over many years. Dr. Dyb has also served on scientific committees for both European and Nordic conferences on trauma and abuse of children and at the ISTSS task force on how to bridge clinical practice issues to research.

ImageDiane Elmore Borbon, PhD, MPH
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Diane Elmore Borbon is the Washington, DC-based Director of the Policy Program for the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, which coordinates the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).  She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the American University.  Her work focuses on the translation and dissemination of scientific and clinical knowledge to policymakers, government leaders, and key decision makers on public health and trauma policy issues to address the needs of underserved populations.

2016-2017 Board of Directors


Ananda Amstadter, PhD
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr. Amstadter is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human & Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She is also the Assistant Director of Veteran's Research for VCU's Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering. 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.

ImageDiane T. Castillo, PhD
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Castillo is the Supervisor of the Women's Stress Disorder Treatment Team at the New Mexico VA Health Care System and an Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry Department, Associate Professor (Clinical) in the Psychology Department at the University of New Mexico. She has developed programmatic treatments for women Veterans with PTSD and has published in the same area. She is a trainer and consultant in Prolonged Exposure for PTSD dissemination initiative in the VA through the National Center for PTSD.

ImageKathleen Chard, PhD
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Chard is VA CPT Implementation Director and Director PTSD and Anxiety Disorders Division, Cincinnati VA Medical Center as well as an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Chard has worked for nearly two decades with trauma survivors in a variety of settings, including an academic research setting, private practice, a forensic clinic, and currently the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of treatments for PTSD related to child abuse, combat, rape and assault.

ImageJoanne L. Davis, PhD
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Davis is the Executive Director of The University of Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity, and Injustice (TITAN), Director of the Trauma Research, Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment Center (TRAPT) and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at The University of Tulsa. Her research interests include the assessment, treatment, and prevention of interpersonal violence and its effects. In recent years she has focused on the assessment and treatment of chronic nightmares and other sleep disturbances in trauma-exposed persons.

Brian J. Hall, PhD 
Board Term 2016-2019

Dr. Hall is the Director of the Global and Community Mental Health Research Group at the University of Macau, in Macau (SAR), China, where he is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He is a Research Associate in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and holds a visiting professorship at the Sun Yat-sen School of Public Health, in the Center for Migrant Health Policy, in Guangzhou, China. His research focuses on epidemiologic investigations into social determinants of population health, the consequences of adversity and traumatic stress, and developing and evaluating culturally appropriate interventions to address health disparities among migrants and other marginalized populations.

ImageJane Herlihy, DClinPsych.
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr. Herlihy is Director of the Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law in London, UK, Clinical Psychologist at the Trauma Clinic and Honorary Lecturer at University College London.  Her research focuses on the ways in responses to trauma can adversely affect legal processes such as seeking state protection as a refugee.



Justin Kenardy, PhD
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr Justin Kenardy is Professor at the School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia. His research is mainly in the areas of the interface between physical health and psychological trauma across the range of ages.


ImageYoshiharu Kim, MD, PhD
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr. Kim is the President, National Center of Disaster Mental Health and works in close collaboration with Japanese government to promote effective treatment of PTSD and elaborate post-disaster countermeasures, as well as to educate mental health care professionals, in addition to doing trauma treatment himself. He is one of the founders of the Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (JSTSS) and was the president of its launching congress in 2002, and formed an affiliation with ISTSS during his presidency in 2006.

Markus A. Landolt, PhD
Board Term 2015-2018

Dr. Landolt is the Head of Pediatric Psychology at the University Children's Hospital in Zurich (Switzerland) and an Extraordinary Professor for Child and Adolescent Health Psychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Zurich. His clinical work as well as his research focuses on various topics of trauma in children and adolescents (incl. very young children), specifically on understanding the impact of medical trauma and maltreatment on children and on developing early screening measures and interventions for injured children, adolescents, and their families.

Brian P. Marx, PhD
Board Term 2016-2019

Dr. Marx is a Psychologist/Investigator for the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD in the VA Boston Healthcare System. He is also a Professor of Psychiatry for Boston University School of Medicine.


Alyssa A. Rheingold, PhD
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Rheingold is an Associate Professor at the National Crime Victim's Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is the Director of Clinical Operations at the NCVC. Her expertise includes evidence-based treatment of trauma related mental health issues, child sexual abuse prevention, and loss by homicide.



Carolina Salgado, MD
Term 2015-2018

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.

Soraya Seedat, MBChB, MMED Psych (SA), FC PSYCH (SA), PhD 
Board Term 2016-2019

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. 

Marit Sijbrandij, PhD
Board Term 2016-2019

Dr. Sijbrandij is Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology of the VU University Amsterdam. Her research is focused on the prevention, early detection and treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms following trauma in a global context. She is also board member of the Dutch Society of Traumatic Stress.


ImageAmy Street, PhD
Board Term 2014-2017

Dr. Street is a clinical psychologist and the Deputy Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Street has an active program of research investigating the causes and correlates of interpersonal trauma, including sexual harassment, sexual assault and intimate partner violence in veteran and civilian populations.


Ex-Officio Board Positions and Representatives

Association de Langue Francaise pour l'Etude du Stress et du Traumatisme (ALFEST)

Professor Humbert Boisseaux

Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS)
Robyne Le Brocque, BSW, M Soc Sci, PhD

Canadian Psychological Association, Traumatic Stress Section (CPA TSS)
Paul Frewen, PhD

Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft Fur Psychotraumatologie (DeGPT)
Ingo Schäfer, MD, MPH

European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS)
Vedat Sar, MD

Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (JSTSS)
Keiji Iwai, MD, PhD

Sociedad Argentina De Psicotrauma(SAPsi)
Daniel Mosca, MD


Journal of Traumatic Stress
Patricia Kerig, PhD

Traumatic StressPoints 
Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, MSc

Rachel Liebman

Assistant Editors
Damion Grasso, PhD
Katrin Neubacher

Social Media
Anne Farina

Student Section Chair

Sacha McBain