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.

Léonce Byimana

Léonce Byimana is the Executive Director of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support coalition (TASSC).  TASSC is a coalition of torture survivors and is concerned not only with the prevention of torture but also addresses its aftermath for the individual survivor, family, community, and society.  Prior to his work with TASSC he was Program Director at the Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture at the Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County. He is a Health Professional and a Human Rights activist with degrees in Clinical Psychology, Public Health and Conflict Resolution.

Paul Chandler, JD, MS.

Paul is a volunteer Data Analyst at the Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Baltimore, Maryland.   He has taught statistics for social sciences at the University of Baltimore, where he also worked as research assistant for the Law School and Law Clinic. In addition to the webinar Paul did for us listed below, he was the key expert consulted in creating our Evaluation section.

Maggie Cheng

Maggie Cheng is a staff attorney in the Asylum Unit of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). She is also the dedicated attorney of the Northwest Health and Human Rights program, a partnership between NWIRP, Harborview Medical Center, and Lutheran Community Services Northwest to provide medical, mental health, and legal services to survivors of torture in Washington State. Prior to joining NWIRP, she was an Attorney Advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Besma Coda

Besma Coda is the co-founder and Chief Operation Officer at Chaldean Middle Eastern Social Services in El Cajon, CA. She is a cultural counselor who helps lead one of the first non-profit social services for Chaldeans and Arab communities in the United States. Ms. Coda was born and raised in Basra, Iraq, and educated at the Baghdad University.

Ed Cohen

Dr. Ed Cohen is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at San Jose State University, and frequent consultant with the National Capacity Building Project of the Center for Victims of Torture on the subject of evaluation. Dr. Cohen received his M.S.W. and Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught research methods (UC Berkeley) courses in managed care (UC Davis) and has provided training to mental health agencies in improving agency performance through the use of data and evaluation.

Ana Deutsch

Ana Deutsch is the co-founder and clinical director of the Los Angeles-based Program for Torture Victims. Founded in 1980 as the first program of its kind, the nonprofit organization provides medical, psychological and case management services to survivors of torture who find their way to California. Program for Torture Victims was founded to help the healing process and to inform the public about torture and its consequences. Through the program, Ana has helped thousands of victims rebuild their lives and contribute to society.

Denise Dreher

Denise Dreher was in the Technology department at the Center for Victims of Torture and worked as a part of the National Capacity Building Project's team to help agencies with their technological and data-collecting needs.

Eh Taw Dwe

Eh Taw Dwe is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Karen Organization of Minnesota and played an integral role in its development. Eh Taw came to the United States in 2004 as a political refugee. Shortly after arriving in Minnesota, Eh Taw was hired by the St. Paul Ramsey County Department of Health, where he is currently employed. Eh Taw has been a tireless advocate for the Karen people in Minnesota. He has been asked to speak before numerous government, civic, and business associations regarding the Karen people.

Liyam Eloul

Liyam Eloul is a Clinical Advisor for Mental Health at the Center for Victims of Torture. Ms. Elouil is a trauma therapist with a specialization in complex emergencies and urban refugees in the MENA region. She received her postgraduate diploma from the American University in Cairo on Psychosocial Interventions for Refugees and Forced Migrants, and her Master's Degree in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver. She has worked with refugees both prior to and following resettlement in the United States.

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