Experts

HealTorture draws experts from across the country and around the world to speak and write on topics in the field of torture rehabilitation. Click on an expert's name to learn more about them and check out their presentations and/or articles.

Husam Abdulkhaleq

Husam Abdulkhaleq was a psychiatrist with the ACCESS organisation, the largest Arab-American human services nonprofit in the United States, from 2001-2014. He treats patients simultaneously dealing with post-war trauma, the strenuous experience of exile and culture shock upon arrival in the US. Himself a Palestinian refugee, he takes care of many Iraqis in Sterling Heights and Dearborn, MI. Watch a brief video interview with Husam here.

Aaron Acharya

Aaron Acharya established the Association of Bhutanese in America (ABA) in 2007 and served as its Executive Director for seven years. The ABA is a community association of Bhutanese in the U.S. that serves the needs of Bhutanese in this country. ABA runs the Bhutanese Community Program in Maryland in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee, helping to resettle Bhutanese refugee women. Mr.

Nicole Chow Ahrenholz, MD

Nicole Chow Ahrenholz, MD is an attending physician in Internal Medicine at Harborview Medical Center and a Clinical Instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.  She divides her time between seeing patients and teaching medical residents and students in the International Medicine Clinic and in the inpatient setting.  In addition, she provides medical consultations for survivors of torture through Northwest Health and Human Rights, and evaluates new arrival refugees through the Refugee and Immigrant Health Promotion Project.

Mohammad Al Abdallah

Mohammad Al Abdallah
Executive Director
 
Mohammad Al Abdallah is a Syrian human rights and pro-democracy researcher and activist; He received a Bachelor’s of Law from the Faculty of Law at the Lebanese University in 2007, and a Master’s of Public Policy from George Mason University in 2014. He worked as a research assistant for Human Rights Watch in Beirut from 2007 to 2009, where he covered Syria.
 
Al Abdallah is a former political prisoner who was imprisoned in Syria on two different occasions (facing military trial in both cases) for his work

Janet Beck

Janet B. Beck is Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston Law Center. Ms. Beck has been Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1995 and has been practicing immigration law since 1987.  She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, supervising law students in the Immigration Clinic.   She also teaches a class in Immigration Law and Business at the Law Center.  Ms. Beck was the attorney on the Board of Immigration Appeals precedent decision Matter of M-A-M.

Alison Beckman, MSW, LICSW

Ms. Beckman is the Project Manager/Clinical Supervisor for the Center for Victims of Torture project entitled: Healing Hearts, Creating Hope; Exploring the Efficacy of Integrated Mental Health Services for New Refugees. Previous to this position, she provided psychological evaluation and treatment services to survivors of torture in group and individual capacities in Minnesota and served as clinical supervisor to mental health case managers.

S. Megan Berthold

S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW, is an Associate Professor and Director of Field Education at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Dr. Berthold teaches research to doctoral students and courses about trauma, human rights, and clinical practice to MSW students. Areas of specialization include: torture, war and other traumas; posttraumatic stress reactions; mental health; refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants; cross-cultural clinical work; international social work; human rights and social justice.

Andrea Blanch

Andrea Blanch, PhD, is President and Director of the Center for Religious Tolerance (link is external), a non-profit organization devoted to building interfaith tolerance and peace in areas of global conflict.  She graduated with honors from Cornell University and has Master’s and Doctorate degrees in psychology from the University of Vermont.  A former mental health commissioner, Andrea is widely known for her efforts in consumer empowerment, psychiatric rehabilitation, conflict management, and recovery from trauma.

Michael Blyth

Director, Risk Consulting

RSM Corp

Mike Blyth is the Director of Risk Strategies for RSM Consulting, and has held various corporate Vice President appointments for international security and risk management companies, within both operational risk management and business strategies, combining a wealth of international experience and knowledge with a Masters Degree in Security Management.

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