//Project Advisory Board
Project Advisory Board2020-06-15T07:15:34+00:00

STRENGTHS Project Advisory Board

The STRENGTHS Project Advisory Board (PAB) is an independent external expert board with whom STRENGTHS seeks regular advice on relevant scientific and stakeholder issues. The PAB provides expert advice on the quality of the results and output of STRENGTHS. Further, the PAB also advises on the dissemination and exploitation of the results of STRENGTHS.

The following experts are members of the PAB:

Maysaa Hassan (Chair), 

University of London, International Programs, London, UK

Expertise: Clinical psychology, psychopathology, counselling, global mental health


Maysaa Hassan graduated from Psychology and the Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies from the University of London. She designed and supervised the drafting of specialized booklets (Self-help for Men, Reaching out to the survivors of GBV-tips in Syrian context). Maysaa have worked for many international  organizations and UN agencies, I designed several community-based MHPSS programs, GBV programs, community and psycho-social centers. Masaa is a trainer in the field of MHPSS and a researcher. She has conducted many researches on refugees and IDPs using different methodologies (Context analysis on Return and Reintegration in Syria, Local Drivers and Capacities for Peace in Syria and Resilience).


Mohammad Abo-Hilal

Syrian Bright Future, Turkey

Expertise: Mental health, psychosocial support services, refugee health


Dr. Mohammad Abo Hilal is a Syrian psychiatrist, trainer and supervisor in mental health and protection.  Founder of Syria Bright Future organization: a Syrian organization specialized in MHPSS and protection. He is a co-founder of several other NGOs that work in the Syria context in the field of MHPSS, Women protection, and youth empowerment. Over the last nine years, he designed and supervised many MHPSS programs and projects that supported Syrian inside Syria and in neighboring countries.   He authored and co-authored several research papers about the mental health of Syrians. He has a special interest in adapting the MHPSS curriculums to the Syrian culture.

Dean Adjukovic

Department of Psychology, University Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Expertise: PTSD, psychopathology, ethnicity


Professor emeritus of psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Has extensive experience in working with refugees, post-conflict community social reconstruction, program evaluation and family violence. He directed international research and intervention projects, published over 150 papers, and lectured in a number of centers of excellence in US and Europe and provided consultation in countries affected by conflict. He is past president (2003-2005) and current board member of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), president of the Croatian Society for Traumatic Stress.


Solvig Ekblad

Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Expertise: Global Mental Health, refugee health, child development


Catherine Panter-Brick

Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States

Expertise: Hope, trauma, mental health, public health interventions, PTSD, violence prevention



Catherine Panter-Brick is Professor of Anthropology, Health, and Global Affairs at Yale University, where she directs the Program on Conflict, Resilience, and Health and the Program on Stress and Family Resilience. She is Senior Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Social Science & Medicine, and President-Elect of the Human Biology Association. As a medical anthropologist, she trained in both human biology and the social sciences. Her research addresses issues of risk and resilience in contexts of war, forced displacement, famine, and poverty. For her work on mental health in humanitarian areas, she received the Lucy Mair Medal from the Royal Anthropology Institute. She leads research initiatives to develop effective partnerships between scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers. An example of recent work with refugee youth, strengthening the evidence base for mental health and resilience interventions, was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Government under the Elrha’s R2HC Program.


Atif Rahman

Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Expertise: Child psychiatry, global mental health


Atif Rahman is professor of child psychiatry at the University of Liverpool and chairs the Academic child mental health unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom. He is a Visiting Professor at Rawalpindi Medical University and an Honorary Patron and Advisor to the Human Development Research Foundation, Pakistan. His research has focussed on the epidemiology of maternal mental health, the impact of maternal depression on child health and development, and community-based psychosocial interventions in low-income settings including settings affected by humanitarian crises. His is an expert in developing and evaluating culturally appropriate interventions that can be delivered by non-specialists, teachers and parents under supervision of specialists to children with mental health problems. He has a particular interest in implementation strategies, including task shifting and technology, for scale-up of mental health interventions in low and middle-income countries. He works closely with the World Health Organization in evaluating and disseminating psychological interventions globally.

Khalid Saeed

World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt

Expertise: Regional advisor for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Ebru Salcioglu

DATEM Center for Behavioral Studies & Therapies, Istanbul, Turkey

Expertise: Clinical Psychology


Ebru Salcioglu is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Istanbul Arel University, Turkey and Adjunct Professor at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. She is also the founder of Center for Behavioral Studies & Therapies, DATEM in Istanbul. She has conducted and published important research into psychological impact of mass trauma events and their behavioral treatment. As part of her doctoral and post-doctoral trainings at King’s College London she studied cognitive and psychiatric effects of war, torture and earthquake trauma. She then carried out various phenomenological studies on mechanisms of traumatization in survivors of mass trauma events. She participated in the development of Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment and its innovative variants and conducted clinical trials into efficacy and effectiveness of these novel interventions in survivors of natural disasters and refugees with war, torture and sexual violence experiences. She published this research in respected peer-reviewed journals and books.


Laila Soudi

Department of Med/Primary Care and Population Health, University Stanford, California, United States

Expertise: Stress related disorders, Paediatric Anxiety, refugee health


Laila Soudi is the Project Lead for the Stanford Refugee Research Project, a project funded by President Marc Tessier-Lavigne to examine the role of Stanford in the ongoing, worsening global displacement crisis. Prior to this, Laila served as a global mental health researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she worked to better understand the mental health of Syrian child refugees who’ve been exposed to trauma and torture. Originally Syrian, Laila has been working extensively with displaced individuals across MENA and Europe. An advocate of refugee health, Laila has published about the refugee crisis and has spoken about the neglected role of mental health in humanitarian aid to a variety of audiences.