Courtney Welton-Mitchell

Colorado School of Public Health

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Courtney Welton-Mitchell, PhD, is the director of evaluation and research for the Center for Victims of Torture. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, Anschutz Medical Campus, where she directed the certificate in climate and disaster resilience from 2021-2024. Courtney is a faculty research affiliate with the Natural Hazards Center (NHC), Institute for Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder. Her connection with the NHC began in 2013, as she was co-leading research collaborations between the NHC, TPO Nepal, and SLM Haiti.

With over 15 years of research and evaluation expertise, Courtney 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. In collaboration with partners and community members, 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, among others. 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. Courtney's experience includes work in emergency preparedness and response in several additional countries in Asia, East and North Africa, and elsewhere. She has experience with the United Nations as well as global and local civil society organizations in roles encompassing direct services, 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, clinical and cognitive psychology, and research methods.