Marleen Wong, Ph.D. is Assistant Dean, Clinical Professor and Director of Field Education at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work. Formerly the Director of Mental Health Services, Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), she is identified by the White House as one of the “pre-eminent experts in school crisis intervention and recovery” and the “architect of school safety programs” by the Wall Street Journal.
In response to the tragic school shootings across the US and acts of terrorism in Oklahoma City and New York, natural and man-made disasters (Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the BP Oil Spill), she developed mental health recovery programs, crisis and disaster training for school districts, law enforcement and Department of Defense personnel in the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe and Asia (Taiwan, Japan and China) and is frequently a consultant for the US Department of Education, the Educational Directorate of the Department of Defense/Pentagon and DoDEA (Dept. of Defense Educational Activities). Last year, she traveled around the world to address every principal in the Department of Defense Schools in Asia, Europe, Cuba and the United States and has trained all school psychologists and counselors in those schools.
Her work with partners at RAND Health and UCLA Health Services Research Center, involves research on the prevalence of violence exposure, PTSD and Depression among school age youth and the development of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) early intervention and prevention strategies which foster resilience with K-12 students, including children in military connected schools.
Dr. Wong served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health, which was charged with assessing national priorities and approaches to public health and medical practice, public policy, research, education, and training. She is currently an appointed member of the Education SubCommittee of the National Commission on Children and Disasters. Most recently, she was identified as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the area of at-risk populations by the Disaster Mental Health (DMH) Subcommittee of the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB).