With over 15 years of research and evaluation expertise, Dr. Welton-Mitchell has led global initiatives, including the design, implementation and evaluation of group-based mental health interventions integrated with content on violence prevention, emergency preparedness and climate adaptation. Her community-based research on traumatic stress explores factors influencing preparedness and recovery from interpersonal violence and natural hazards including earthquakes, floods and wildfires in locations including Nepal, India and Haiti.
In her research on the psychological implications of gender-based violence and human rights violations, she has explored mechanisms for challenging social norms and encouraging help-seeking behaviors, working with Rohingya and Syrian refugees. Driven by a commitment to reducing harm in complex crises, she has also led staff wellbeing initiatives for humanitarian workers and healthcare professionals in settings including Ukraine.
Dr. Welton-Mitchell’s experience includes work in emergency preparedness and response in several countries in Asia, East and North Africa and elsewhere. She has experience with United Nations, global and local civil society organizations in roles encompassing aid work, training, research and evaluation. Additionally, at universities in the U.S., Egypt and Malaysia she has led research groups, directed academic programs and taught graduate level courses in refugee studies and forced migration, climate and disaster mental health, humanitarian response, public health emergency preparedness, cognitive psychology and research methods.
She holds a Ph.D. and an MA in Affect/Social Psychology (2012, 2009) from the University of Denver, along with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (1997) from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Welton-Mitchell is a former Fulbright Scholar, Malaysia, Global Fulbright Ambassador, and Peace Corps Volunteer, Nepal. She is an affiliate of the Colorado School of Public Health and the Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado.
Dr. Courtney Welton-Mitchell joined the Center for Victims of Torture as the Director of Evaluation and Research in early 2024.