Profiles in Resilience Speaker

Karl Marlantes, MA

Karl Marlantes is a veteran and bestselling and prize-winning author. He served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten Air Medals. Later in life, he served as managing director of a multinational corporation based in Singapore and then started his own consultancy practice in the international energy business sector. In the late 1990s, Marlantes asked the Veterans Administration for help with symptoms caused by posttraumatic stress disorder.He entered counseling, and a decade later finished his first book, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, the novel he’d been working on since returning from Vietnam. The book draws from his own war experiences, and he credits the process of writing it with helping him come to terms with what he saw. Marlantes published his second book, What It Is Like to Go to War, in 2011. The book weaves his personal recollections of Vietnam with analysis of the effects of war on those who fight, and how we can better prepare soldiers for the experience of war. Marlantes is featured in Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s 10-part documentary series, The Vietnam War. In 2018, he was featured in Going to War, a documentary about what it means to train for, serve in, and return from war. Marlantes graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University before serving as a Marine in Vietnam.

Keynote Speakers

Terence M. Keane, PhD

One of the original founders of the National Center for PTSD, Dr. Terence Keane has published more than 400 articles, books, and chapters on the assessment and treatment of PTSD. For the past 43 years, his program of trauma research has been supported by federal funding agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense (DoD), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In 2013, he was named the Co-Principal Investigator of the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, an initiative supported by the VA and DoD to improve the care of active duty military and veterans with PTSD. His contributions have been recognized by many academic honors, including the 2013 Distinguished Research Contributions to Clinical Psychology Award from American Psychological Association’s (APA) Society of Clinical Psychology and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from APA’s Division of Psychological Trauma. Dr. Keane has received two Honorary Doctor of Science degrees for his major contributions to opening the field of psychological trauma to scientific inquiry. In 2015, he was named the recipient of the John Blair Barnwell Award, the VA’s highest national award for those engaged in clinical research. He has served in leadership positions of many professional organizations and is currently serving as the President of the American Psychological Foundation.

Frank Weathers, PhD

Dr. Frank Weathers is a Clinical Research Psychologist in the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Auburn University. Early in his career, he completed an internship at the Boston VA Medical Center before taking a position at the National Center for PTSD. In 1997, he joined the faculty at Auburn University, where he spent 24 years teaching and mentoring in the doctoral program in clinical psychology until his retirement in 2021. His research interests are in the phenomenology and assessment of PTSD, psychometric theory and analysis, and the classification of psychopathology. Much of his work has focused on the development and evaluation of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and the PTSD Checklist (PCL), two of the most widely used measures of PTSD. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on assessment of trauma and PTSD. He also has extensive experience as a CAPS trainer and psychometric consultant for a wide variety of trauma-related research projects, including VA Cooperative Studies, National Institutes of Health grants, and pharmaceutical industry trials. Most recently, he led a substantial revision of the DSM-5 version of the CAPS, incorporating extensive feedback from raters over the last 10 years. The revised CAPS-5 (CAPS-5-R) is easier to learn and provides a more granular rating system that will enhance reliability and sensitivity to clinical change.

Other Featured Speakers


Katy Dondanville, PsyD, ABPP

Dr. Katy Dondanville is an Associate Professor and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She also is Director of the STRONG STAR Training Initiative, which is a grant-funded implementation and dissemination program for evidence-based psychological treatments. Since 2017, the STRONG STAR Training Initiative has trained more than 2,000 mental health providers across 44 states, as well as in Canada, England, Columbia, Turkey, and Jordan, who in turn have utilized evidence-based treatments to help thousands of individuals with PTSD, suicide, insomnia, and nightmares. Dr. Dondanville has consulted with numerous community organizations and clinicians regarding the successful implementation of evidence-based treatments. She and her team are serving as academic partners on Face the Fight™, a social-impact effort founded by USAA that aims to reduce veteran suicide. Dr. Dondanville serves as Co-Chair of the Face the Fight Scientific Advisory Committee. Her research focus is on improving access to and the delivery of evidence-based treatments. She is an experienced mentor of junior faculty and 24 clinical psychology postdoctoral fellows. She has published approximately 75 scientific manuscripts and given over 150 presentations at research conferences and meetings.

Tara Galovski, PhD

Dr. Tara Galovski is the Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.  Prior to accepting her current position in the VA, Dr. Galovski was an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Co-director of the Center for Trauma Recovery. Over the last decade, Dr. Galovski has been a national trainer of Cognitive Processing Therapy, has trained over 1,000 clinicians in both the VA and community mental health clinics, and has treated or supervised the treatment of hundreds of PTSD cases.  She is interested in exploring the effects of exposure to traumatic events and continuing the development of psychological interventions designed to treat PTSD and comorbid psychiatric disorders. She has conducted federally funded clinical trials within a variety of populations exposed to different types of trauma, including combat, sexual trauma, domestic violence, community violence, and motor vehicle accidents. This work has been conducted with civilians, law enforcement, active duty service members, and veterans. She also has published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, authored numerous book chapters, and written two books. Recently, Dr. Galovski has developed and is the Director of a national network of peer-led support groups for women veterans (Women Veterans Network: WoVeN).

Margaret Harrell, PhD

Dr. Margaret “Meg” Harrell is the Chief Program Officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation. She formerly served the Obama Administration as the Executive Director of Force Resiliency, within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she was responsible for sexual assault prevention and response; suicide prevention; diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity; personnel safety; and collaboration of the Department of Defense with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Dr. Harrell spent 25 years at the RAND Corporation, and her research portfolio includes approximately 70 publications pertaining to military manpower and personnel, military families’ quality of life, and veterans’ issues. Concurrent with her time at RAND, Dr. Harrell served as a presidential appointee to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, 2013-2014. From July 2011 to August 2012, Dr. Harrell served as a Senior Fellow and founding Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. She is a prior voting member of the Army Science Board, and she has also briefed international audiences, testified before Congress, spoken extensively at conferences, and guest lectured at the United States Military Academy. She holds a BA with Distinction from the University of Virginia, an MS in Systems Analysis and Management from the George Washington University, and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Virginia, where her dissertation focused on the role expectations for Army spouses.

Brian Marx, PhD

Dr. Marx is the Deputy Director of and Senior Psychologist Clinician Investigator in the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD and corresponding PI for the VA Clinical Science Research and Development side of the Suicide Prevention Research Impact Network (SPRINT). He is also a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Marx is currently the PI/Co-PI/Site PI of three federally funded studies examining the course of PTSD, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and other comorbid conditions and testing effective treatments. He is also PI of a project, recently funded through the DoD’s Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs in which the original participants of Project VALOR will continue to be followed to better understand the course of PTSD symptoms, physical health problems, and suicidality among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Marx is co-developer of Written Exposure Therapy, a brief evidence-based intervention for PTSD that has been found to be non-inferior to both Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure. Dr. Marx is a co-author of the recently revised PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), Primary Care PTSD for DSM-5, and Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5). He is also the primary author of the Inventory of Psychosocial Functioning.  He currently serves as a founding member of the suicide prevention executive steering committee for VA’s Office of Research and Development.

Carmen McLean, PhD

Dr. Carmen McLean is a licensed Clinical Psychologist at the National Center for PTSD’s Dissemination and Training Division at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and a Clinical Professor (Affiliate) at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. The goal of her work is to help more individuals with PTSD benefit from effective treatment. Her research examines ways to increase the reach of exposure therapy for PTSD by addressing implementation barriers and testing digital exposure-based interventions. Dr. McLean is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) of two trials testing an intensive, integrated treatment for PTSD, insomnia, and nightmares among firefighters (funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA]) and military personnel (funded by the U.S. Department of Defense [DoD]). She is also Co-PI of a DoD-funded study to increase the implementation of evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD in the military health system. She was the 2018 recipient of the Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for Excellence in the Integration of Science and Practice from the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies and the 2023 recipient of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 56 Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Trauma Psychology. Dr. McLean is currently serving on the APA Clinical Practice Guideline Panel for the Treatment of PTSD and is the Editor-elect for the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.

John Moring, PhD, ABPP

Dr. John Moring is an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, within the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Radiology. His research interests involve demographic and psychological factors that contribute to successful treatment outcomes among active duty service members and veterans suffering from PTSD. He is also interested in the intersection between tinnitus, an audiologic disorder, and PTSD, given their shared symptomatology. His current work has been funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Science and the National Institute of Mental Health to examine the shared and unique resting-state brain activity between tinnitus and PTSD. Dr. Moring’s research has clinical implications for the development of interventions to simultaneously target both conditions.

Alan L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Alan Peterson is a Professor and the Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is a board-certified clinical health psychologist, the Krus Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, and the Associate Director of Research for the Military Health Institute. He is also a Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Peterson is the Director of the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, which include over 150 research collaborators and 50 institutions worldwide. He served previously as the Chair of the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Clinical Health Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the U.S. Air Force’s Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. Dr. Peterson retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2005 after 21 years of active duty service that included deployments in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. He has clinical and research expertise in the areas of behavioral medicine, psychological trauma, and resiliency. He has published 7 books and over 370 scientific manuscripts, and he has given over 600 presentations at national and international meetings.

RDML Richard Schobitz, PhD, ABPP

As Director of Commissioned Corps Headquarters (CCHQ), Rear Admiral (RDML) Richard Schobitz directs all functions regarding personnel, administration, operations, readiness, deployment, and policy for the approximately 6,000 members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He is the principal advisor to the Surgeon General on activities and policies related to training, preparedness, activation, deployment, and total force fitness. Before becoming Director of CCHQ, RDML Schobitz served as a Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist and Deputy Chief, Department of Behavioral Health at Brooke Army Medical Center and Deputy Installation Director of Psychological Health, Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas. RDML Schobitz’s clinical and research focus was on the treatment of PTSD. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on PTSD and military behavioral health. Prior to joining the USPHS Commissioned Corps, RDML Schobitz served in the U.S. Army as the Division Psychologist with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, deploying as a Division Psychologist to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. RDML Schobitz has received numerous military awards for his service contributions and was the recipient of the U.S. Public Health Service Psychologist of the Year award.

Alicia Swan, PhD

Dr. Alicia Swan currently serves as the Director of Polytrauma Research at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She leads the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Center of Excellence research program for the Polytrauma System of Care in Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Purdue University and both her Master of Arts and PhD from Southern Illinois University Carbondale while studying functional recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) in aged rats. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She currently maintains research affiliations with The University of Texas at San Antonio and the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). Her program of research centers on functional recovery and well-being following TBI among military service members and veterans. Her program specifically addresses multimorbidity, sensory dysfunction, and functional impairment in the long-term after mild traumatic brain injury (i.e., concussion).

Jennifer Wachen, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Wachen is a Clinical Research Psychologist in the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University Chobanian and Avedesian School of Medicine. Her research interests include evaluation of treatment interventions for PTSD and comorbid conditions, factors contributing to treatment engagement and retention, and the relationship between trauma and physical health and psychosocial functioning outcomes. She is particularly interested in improving treatment outcomes for active duty military and veterans. She has served as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on several Department of Defense-funded studies focused on optimizing Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in military populations. Dr. Wachen is a trainer and consultant in CPT and serves as a consultant for the VA PTSD Consultation Program. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 13 book chapters, and she serves on the editorial boards of Contemporary Clinical Trials, Cognitive and Behavioral Practice and Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.