Executive Members

Chairperson: Holly Shaw, PhD, RN International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nightingale Initiative for Global Health

Vice-Chairperson: Elaine Congress, MA, DSW International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)

Treasurer: M. Victoria Espada, MA Dianova International

Recording Secretary: Nina Urban, MD American Psychiatric Association, Global Bioethics Initiative

Corresponding Secretary: Felix Torres, MD
American Psychiatric Association


Karen Hopenwasser, MD
International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)

Siva Mathiyazhagan, PhD  Trust for Youth and Child Leadership

Rachel Ravich, PhD Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Immediate Past Chair: Vivian B. Pender, MD
International Psychoanalytical Association

Karen Hopenwasser, M.D., Member-at-Large

Karen Hopenwasser, M.D., Member-at-Large

Karen Hopenwasser, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical and a psychiatrist in private practice treating adults with complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. Her publications address the neurobiology and neurophysics of dissociative states in the therapeutic process and the development of innovative and integrative techniques for trauma informed mental health care. Along with clinical practice she represents the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation as a member of the Executive Committee of the NGO Committee on Mental Health and is co-convener of the NGO Committee on Mental Health’s Trauma working group. Since 2015 she has been a voluntary faculty member at the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, where she participates regularly in psychological evaluations of individuals applying for asylum in the United States.

Vivian Pender, Immediate Past Chair

Vivian Pender, Immediate Past Chair

Vivian B. Pender, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical College and a Training Psychoanalyst at Columbia University. At the United Nations she represents the International Psychoanalytical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. She serves as a Trustee of the American Psychiatric Association. She has honors and awards for her excellence teaching medical students, residents and fellows. Until 2011, she chaired the NGO Committee on the Status of Women and chaired the NGO Committee on Mental Health from 2015-2019, coalitions of non-government organizations in consultative status with the UN. She participated in the establishment of UN Women. She is a volunteer Asylum Evaluator for Physicians for Human Rights. In 2015, she founded Healthcare Against Trafficking, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and advocacy in the healthcare sector. She is a coinvestigator on a Weill Cornell Department of Internal Medicine innovative grant to study “Experiences of Sex Trafficking Victims in Healthcare Settings.” She produced four documentaries of conferences at the United Nations on mental health, human rights, human trafficking and violence. She has published journal articles and book chapters on affect, pregnancy, violence, sex trafficking, and leadership. In 2016 her edited book The Status of Women: Violence, Identity and Activism was published. She is currently working on a book entitled The Female Perspective. One of her current projects is to standardize a global psychiatry fellowship for graduate trainees.