Dr. Fred Bemak is a Professor in the Counseling and Development Program and Director and co-founder of the Diversity Research and Action Center at George Mason University with joint appointments with the Department of Psychology and Global Affairs. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He is founder of Counselors Without Borders, a non-profit organization established to provide culturally responsive services in post-disaster situations. Fred has organized and co-led teams of counselors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and to Southern California following the destruction of the San Diego wildfires. He was also worked for the past 2 years in Myanmar (Burma) as consultant and trainer for Save the Children Alliance on child protection, human trafficking, post-disaster counseling, and vulnerable children and orphans. Fred has worked in over 30 countries as a consultant and trainer, and has significant experience working with vulnerable children and families throughout the United States. He is the former Chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Johns Hopkins University, and Section Head for three Departments (Counseling, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology) at Ohio State University. Fred is a former Fulbright Scholar, Kellogg Foundation International Fellow, and World Rehabilitation Fund International Fellow and his research and work focuses on cross-cultural mental health, post-disaster mental health, cultural adaptation, and refugee and immigrant psychosocial adjustment. He has authored and co-authored numerous book chapters and professional journal articles about disaster and refugee mental health including a book entitled, Counseling Refugees: A Psychosocial Approach to Innovative Multicultural Interventions and the development of the Disaster Cross-Cultural Counseling Model.
Dr. Rita Chi-Ying Chung is a Professor in the Counseling & Development Program and has a joint appointment with the Department of Psychology at George Mason University and was a Visiting Professor at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She has worked with Counselors Without Borders, organizing and co-leading teams of counselors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and to Southern California following the destruction of the San Diego wildfires. Rita has worked for the past 2 years in Myanmar (Burma) as a consultant and trainer for Save the Children Alliance on child protection, human trafficking, post-disaster counseling and vulnerable children and orphans. She provided national training in Myanmar on post-disaster mental health interventions following Cyclone Nargis. Rita has lived and worked in the Pacific Rim, Asia, and Latin American, and was the former Chair of the American Counseling Association Human Rights Committee, former Chair of the American Counseling Association International Committee and former Executive Council Member for the International Association for Counselling. Rita’s research and field work has focused on cross-cultural mental health, psychosocial adjustment, and post-disaster counseling. She has co-authored a book on the psychosocial adjustment of refugees, co-developed and written about the Disaster Cross-Cultural Counseling Model, and has over 70 publications. Rita is a regularly invited speaker nationally and internationally and was recently invited speak at the United Nations about her work. She also recently made an American Psychological Association training video on culturally responsive mental health practices with immigrant and refugee populations. Rita is the former recipient of the American Counseling Association, Counselor for Social Justice O’Hana Award for her work on social justice with immigrants and refugees.
Dr. Sachin Jain completed his Masters (Clinical Psychology) in India and Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Wyoming. He is a certified K-12 counselor and Mathematics & Physics teacher. Currently, he is serving as the Associate Director, Counselors Without Borders. He has published two books, 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals and numerous presentations and book chapters. Some of the awards he received include the “Outstanding Dissertation in Counseling” from the American Educational Research Association; “Outstanding contribution to scholarship” awarded by the University of Idaho; “Advocacy Award” from Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. He is also serving as President of Indian Association of Mental Health counselors, member of the American Counseling Association’s International committee & CACREP’s international committee. In past he had trained counselors and teachers at the Oakland University, University of Texas-Pan American, University of Idaho and served in the US Army. He has received 30 grants including from Humanities councils at Michigan, Texas, Idaho and Wyoming.