hi Team | Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma

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Elizabeth DiStefano, Financial Manager

Elizabeth DiStefano, MBA, is HPRT’s financial manager.
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Theoni Stathopoulou, GMH Faculty

Theoni Stathopoulou, is sociologist, research director at the National Centre for Social Research (EKKE) in Athens, Greece with extensive experience in cross-cultural survey methodology. She serves at the Sectorial Scientific Council for Social Sciences of the National Council for Research and Innovation, the supreme advisory body for the formulation and implementation of the national policy for...
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Lorenz Sell, GMH Faculty

Lorenz Sell, is the creator of the software behind Sutra.  He leads learning technology at the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and has spent over a decade exploring how software can be used to cultivate meaningful human relationships online.  Lorenz hosts The Verse podcast, is a certified yoga teacher, and has spent over 1000 hours in meditation practice.  He received his degree in Computer...
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Omar Bah, GMH Faculty

Omar Bah, Winner of the, 2017 Red Bandana Award; and the 2016 John F. Kiffney Public Service Award from the Providence Newspaper Guild; Omar Bah is the Founder & Executive Director of the Refugee Dream Center based in Providence, in the state of Rhode Island, USA. He is a torture survivor, former journalist and refugee from The Gambia in West Africa. Bah is also a recipient of ‘Rhode...
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Heidi Kerko, GMH Faculty

Heidi Kerko, J.D. is the director of RJRI which funds research related to transitional justice mechanisms, localized indigenous justice practices, international courts, and commissions in order to understand how the pursuit of justice affects a survivor’s mental health and their community. Heidi is also the principal investigator specializing in SDG compliance for institutions pursuing...
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Maria Leister, GMH Faculty

Maria Leister, is a social justice and human rights advocate and consultant dedicated to leveraging human rights frameworks and leadership development programming in order to facilitate healing from trauma. She is also a learning and development professional at Kotter International, a change management firm founded by Dr. John Kotter, professor Emeritus of Harvard Business School. The firm...
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Natasha Sell, GMH Faculty

Natasha Sell, is the Director of Online Learning and Community at Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT). She received her Master’s Degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2009, focusing on School Leadership and Development. Natasha was one of the founding members of the HPRT GMH Program in its initiation in 2006 and continued to be involved in orchestrating its foundations until...
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Nisha Sajnani, GMH Faculty

Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT-BCT is a member of the HPRT faculty. She has expertise in the role of the arts in global mental health with an emphasis on theatre practice. Dr. Sajnani hosts an international network on the arts and displacement and is a recipient of the Corann Okorodudu Global Women’s Advocacy Award from the Society for the Psychology of Women from the American Psychological...
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Taiwo Lateef Sheikh, GMH Faculty

Taiwo Lateef Sheikh, MB.BS, M.Sc, FWACP, is a Neuro-Psychiatrist and presently the Medical Director/CEO of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna in Northern Nigeria. He is also a Reader (Associate Professor) at the Department of Psychiatry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He is a member of the National Action Committee on Mental Health in Nigeria, where he participated in...
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Laura McDonald, GMH Faculty

Laura McDonald has a PhD in Public Health (Psychiatric Epidemiology) from the Bloomberg School of Public Health where she focused her doctoral research on the relationship between joblessness and depression in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The foundation of her interest in international studies began during her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.  This interest was...
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Giampaolo Nicolais, GMH Faculty

Giampaolo Nicolais, PhD, Clinical psychologist, is Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Sapienza University, where he also completed his postgraduate education with a Psy.D. training in child, adolescent and adult clinical psychology and psychotherapy, and a Ph.D. in clinical child psychology. He has been...
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Massimo Ammaniti, GMH Faculty

Massimo Ammaniti, MD, a child psychiatrist & psychoanalyst of the International Psychoanalytical Association, Honorary Professor at the Sapienza University of Rome. He served as a professor of Developmental Psychopathology and chairman of the Faculty of Infant and Adolescent Clinical Psychology at University La Sapienza, in Rome, Italy. Additionally, he served as a member of the Board of...
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Giovanni Muscettola, GMH Faculty

Giovanni Muscettola, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University Medical School “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy. Dr. Muscettola has been a full professor of psychiatry at the University Medical School in Napoli since 1996. Additionally, he is the author of more than 100 publications in the fields of biological psychiatry and...
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Frederick J. Streets, GMH Faculty

Rev. Jerry Streets, M.Div.,DSW, LCSW Frederick J. (Jerry) Streets is Visiting Professor in the Department of Social Work and Latino Community Practice at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT. He is an Associate (adjunct) Professor of Pastoral Theology at Yale University Divinity School and Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City.  He was the Chaplain of Yale...
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Sondra Crosby, GMH Faculty

Sondra Crosby, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health, at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, in the Departments of Medicine, and Health Law, Bioethics, and Human Rights, and a member of the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center. Her clinical practice focuses on care of asylum seekers, asylees, and refugees. Dr. Crosby has...
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Peter Polatin, GMH Faculty

Peter B. Polatin, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Global Mental Health at the George Washington University School of Medicine and the senior health advisor for the DIGNITY Institute Against Torture, located in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has prior specialization in community and disaster mental health, pain management, clinical outcomes research, and addictionology. From 2007 to...
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Eugene F. Augusterfer, GMH Faculty

Eugene F. Augusterfer, LCSW, is the Director of Telemedicine for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) and a core faculty member of HPRT’s Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Program.  At HPRT, he has helped develop HPRT’s innovative model that addresses the need for sustainable care in post-disaster areas through the use of telemedicine, including mobile technology or mHealth....
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Noor Omar Amawi (Lebanon Team)

Noor Omar Amawi, PsyD, earned her BA in Psychology and Sociology from Wichita State University in Kansas; she later moved to Boston and completed her PsyD in the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.  In addition, she completed a Harvard Medical School- Department of Continuing Education certificate-training course (HMS-DCE) in Global Mental Health and Trauma Recovery. Dr. Noor...
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Ranieri Guerra (Italy Team)

Ranieri Guerra, MD, is the Assistant Director General of the WHO since November 13th 2017. He was General Director of Prevention of the Ministry of Health from October 2014 to November 2017. From August 2011 to October 2014, he was scientific officer at the Italian Embassy in the USA. Previously he was in the role of Science and Technology Attaché at the Embassy of Italy, Washington, D.C. He...
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Sonia Graziano (Italy Team)

Sonia Graziano, PsyD, is an HPRT Research Coordiantor in Italy. She is a Psychologist, specialized in Clinical Psychology. Her main interest is for childhood, adolescence and family. She completed her education at “La Sapienza University of Rome” and attended the Mastery in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program organized by the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT)....
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Giampiero Rosati (Italy Team)

Giampiero Rosati is the Director and HPRT Liaison of the Italian Trauma Center. Based in Orvieto, Italy, Giampiero has been the Italian Coordinator for the Global Mental Health Program since 2004. He is the proud owner of the Locanda Rosati, which host both the GMH program and Master Classes.
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In Memoriam: Franco Paparo

Franco Paparo, MD, trained in Neurology and psychiatry, was assistant Professor at University of Rome La Sapienza. He was for many years a full member of the Group-analytic Society (London) and training group-analyst in Rome. He was  an associate member of the International Psychoanalytic Society and a pioneer in the psychiatric reform in Italy as Director of Unit 17 for severely disturbed...
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Svang Tor, Senior Clinician

Svang Tor is a Senior Clinician and Consultant/Liaison for HPRT. She has over twenty years of experience in the field of refugee mental health. Ms. Tor, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge killing fields, began working as a Senior Mental Health Specialist for the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic in 1987. Between 1994 and 1999, she developed the curriculum for and helped to implement training projects in...
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James Lavelle, Co-Founder HPRT

James Lavelle, LICSW, is the Director of International Programs and Community Organizing for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT). As Co-Founder of HPRT, he has spent the past 33 years working as a clinician, educator, researcher, and community organizer helping to pioneer the field of refugee mental health. With his HPRT colleagues and their in-country partners, James participated in...
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Richard Mollica, Director HPRT

Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr....
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