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

Omar Bah

Omar Bah is Founder and Executive Director of the Refugee Dream Center which is a post resettlement refugee agency offering services targeting gaps within the refugee community by ensuring continuation of services in their efforts towards self-sufficiency and integration. 

He is a torture survivor, former journalist and refugee from The Gambia in West Africa. He  is also the author of the book, Africa’s Hell on Earth: The Ordeal of an African Journalist.

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.

Selena S. Besirevic

Selena Besirevic is an attorney practicing in Denver, CO, where she is heavily involved in human rights advocacy. She is on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) and she is on the Planning Committee for the LIRS Leadership Academy where she also teaches every year. At least once a year she participates in hill visits in Washington, DC to meet with legislators and advocate for human rights and gives her time wherever it's needed to continue the fight for all humans.
 

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