JoAnn Bacon is a co-founder and Director of the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation in memory of her six-year daughter, Charlotte, a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.
JoAnn and husband, Joel, co-authored and published the children’s books Good Dogs, Great Listeners – The Story of Charlotte, Lily and The Litter and The Dogs of Newtown written by their son and Charlotte’s older brother. JoAnn is a therapy dog advocate and visionary of the Charlotte’s Litter™ program which supports school-based therapy dog programs. She has served as a commissioner on the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission in Newtown, CT since 2013. JoAnn received her Compassionate Bereavement Care® Certification in March 2017 from the MISS Foundation, and completed the Crisis Intervention and Traumatic Grief training in August 2018.
Yael Danieli, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist/Traumatologist in Private Practice; Director, Group Project for Holocaust Survivor and their Children; Founder,
International Center for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma
Founding Director, Past President, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies; a leading victimologist, active in developing, promoting, adapting and implementing all United Nations victims' rights and optimal care work, including as related to terrorism.
She has done extensive psychotherapeutic work with survivors and children of survivors on individual, family, group and community bases. She has studied in depth post-war responses and attitudes toward them, and the impact these and the Holocaust had on their lives. Most recently, she has created the Danieli Inventory for Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma that allows scientifically valid assessment and comparative international study of the phenomena and founded the International Center for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma.
She has lectured and published worldwide in numerous books and journals, translated into at least 20 languages on post-trauma adaptation, optimal care and training for working with this and other victim/survivor populations, and received several awards for her work, the most recent of which are the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) in 2002 and the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Trauma Psychology of the American Psychological Association Division 56-Trauma Psychology in 2012. In 2008 she was appointed Advisor on Victims of Terrorism for the office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and helped organize the first Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism at the UN. And as (now Emerita) Distinguished Professor of International Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology she helped build the first Ph.D. program in international psychology. She has served as consultant/expert to the ICTY and the International Criminal Court on issues related to victims and staff care, consultant to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Rwanda government on reparations for victims, and has led ongoing projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Promoting a Dialogue: "Democracy Cannot Be Built with the Hands of Broken Souls"), and lectured/taught/trained in Northern Ireland.
Her books are International responses to traumatic stress...; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Fifty years and beyond; Sharing the front line and the back hills (Baywood) - all published for and on behalf of the United Nations; International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma (Kluwer/ Plenum); and The trauma of terrorism: An international Handbook of sharing knowledge and shared care and On the Ground After September 11 [a finalist of Best Books 2005 Award of USA BookNews.com](Haworth Press). Dr. Danieli is also Founding Co-President of the International network of Holocaust and Genocide Survivors and their Friends.
JoAnn Difede, PhD
Director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies (PATSS), Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, and Attending Psychologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
JoAnn Difede, PhD, is the Director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies (PATSS), a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, an Attending Psychologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Dr. Difede is internationally recognized for her pioneering work using virtual reality technology in the treatment of PTSD consequent to the WTC attack of September 11, 2001, and more recently in treatment of combat-related PTSD and burn pain. Notably, she was featured in New York magazine’s Best Doctors issue in 2005 for her work developing a virtual reality-based treatment for WTC related-PTSD.
Her treatment research involving virtual reality simulations spans survivors of burn injuries, terrorism, and occupations at-risk for PTSD, including U.S. soldiers deployed to OIF/OEF, firefighters, police officers, and disaster rescue and recovery workers. She is also currently lead investigator of a project using VR simulations as a distractor during painful medical procedures.
Dr. Difede has served as the principal investigator of several NIH-funded treatment studies concerning the development of innovative treatments for PTSD. Dr. Difede recently completed a multi-site Department of Defense funded clinical trial, “Enhancing Exposure Therapy for PTSD: Virtual Reality and Imaginal Exposure with a Cognitive Enhancer,” where she served as a Principal Investigator. The results of this study may provide a step toward precision medicine in psychiatry providing groundwork for targeting specific PTSD treatments to the individual patient’s neurobiological and genetic profile. She is also currently serving as the lead investigator of a DoD funded phase IIA study of a first-in-class vasopressin receptor antagonist for the treatment of PTSD. Among other honors, she received the American Psychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Trauma Psychology.
In addition to her scholarly endeavors, Dr. Difede’s work has been featured in many popular media venues including the New Yorker, the NY Times, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and Scientific American as well as on many television programs including the Charlie Rose Show Brain Series, CNN, NBC and ABC’s World News Tonight. [AJ2]She has advised many corporations, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies in the U.S. and internationally regarding the implementation of best practices for the screening, evaluation, and treatment of trauma and PTSD. She established and directed a screening and treatment program for WTC disaster recovery workers, which screened over 3800 workers and treated several hundred in clinical programs and NIH clinical research studies in the decade following 9-11. Dr. Difede also served as a mental health advisor for the NYC Mayor’s Advisory WTC Working Medical Group.
John Feal founded the Fealgood Foundation was founded in the wake of 9/11. The foundation assists First Responders and other people who have been physically or mentally injured as a result of their rescue, recovery and clean up efforts at the WTC site after 9/11.
FealGood Foundation (FGF) advocates for First Responder rights. John Feal and FGF provide financial assistance, medical and legal contacts, and other advocacy needs.
On September, 12, 2001, John and his team of Construction Demolition experts were called to Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan to aid in the cleanup and recovery mission. While supervising his team, roughly 8,000 pounds of steel came loose from the huge pile and crushed his left foot. After 11 weeks in the hospital, doctors amputated half of John's left foot. John went through years of surgeries and innumerable hours of therapy; as well as extensive hospital stays and mounting medical expenses.
Once out of the hospital, John made it his mission to alleviate the Heroes of 9/11 from the burdens he experienced and created the FealGood Foundation. John's team at the foundation made it their mission to ensure that every United States Senator, Congressman and Congresswoman knew the FealGood Foundation's name, their determination and their inflexibility to never accept "No" for an answer.
On December 22rd, 2010, just three days before Christmas and while holding the US Senate & Congress from starting their holiday break, John and his team of Responders and Volunteers watched the proud moment of a unanimous vote by the entire Senate to pass HR 847.
John and The FealGood Foundation have now made it their mission to assure transparency in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation law. John spreads himself between fund-raising for important causes directly related to the responders and all those affected by 9/11 and its aftermath, to lobbying the many sub-committees involving the Zadroga law and holding forums to ensure that responders know their rights as they pertain to the law. John has now been influential in the passing of two bills since 2004, and continues to strive with his grass roots activism.
Mary Fetchet is the driving force behind VOICES, a non-profit organization she co-founded in 2001 following the death of her 24 year old son Brad at the World Trade Center. Her unique background as a mother of a victim, along with over 20 years of expertise as a clinical social worker, influenced VOICES innovative approach to creating a new paradigm in providing long-term support services.
Using social work practices, she guided the development of programs that provide continuity of care and promote resiliency in the lives of victims' families, responders and survivors. Today, Ms. Fetchet is also helping communities heal after other traumatic events through VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience, an initiative that she launched in 2014.
Under her leadership, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial Project in advance of the 5th anniversary to document the nearly 3,000 lives lost and stories of survivors. As a clinician, she recognized the importance of commemoration and supporting families through the emotional but therapeutic process of honoring their loved ones in a meaningful way. The 9/11 Living Memorial Project is now an extensive digital collection of over 70,000 photographs and personal keepsakes contributed by thousands of family members. The collection is located on VOICES website and is also a core component of the In Memoriam exhibit at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.
A strong advocate for the rights of victim's families and survivors, and public policy reforms to make the country safer, Ms. Fetchet advocated for an appropriate process for the notification of human remains, the Victim's Compensation Fund and the creation of the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. She was also instrumental in campaigning for the 9/11 Commission and the implementation of reforms based on their recommendations. She testified before the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress on five occasions.
Ms. Fetchet's work through the VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience includes establishing public-private partnerships, educational initiatives and research projects to document best practices in preparing communities to more effectively respond to the long-term needs of victims' families, responders and survivors. Through a U.S. Department of Justice grant, VOICES produced a publication, Preparing for After, a resource kit of best practices based on interviews conducted with those who responded to the 9/11 attacks; the Oklahoma City bombing; and the shootings at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and Tucson, Arizona. Currently, she is leading several research projects that are examining the long-term needs of families and communities impacted by traumatic events.
An expert on the long-term needs of victims and survivors, mental health care, preparedness, and national security reforms, she has personally advised organizations and federal agencies both nationally and internationally. Ms. Fetchet has made hundreds of appearances on national television and at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and contributes regularly to print and radio. Her awards include induction into the Hall of Fame at Columbia School of Social Work in NYC, the Social Work Managers Award, Hometown Heroes on DIRECTTV, ABC News Person of the Year, Moffly Media Light A Fire Award and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Making a Difference.
Fred Guttenberg's professional life includes over a decade of experience in sales and management with Johnson and Johnson, followed by almost 15 years as an entrepreneur, having built a business that consisted of 19 Dunkin Donuts, which he sold in November 2016.
Fred was hoping to take some time to relax before figuring out his next endeavor. Then tragedy struck. Fred's brother Michael, one of the original first responders during 9/11 at the WTC with a team of doctors got trapped in the WTC as it collapsed. Amazingly, the room that they hid out in did not collapse and Michael and his team of physicians spent 16 days at ground zero taking care of others. As a result of the ground zero exposure, Michael was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which he battled, along with Fred's help and support until October 2017, when he passed away.
Following Michael's funeral, Fred understandably still trying to recover from the passing of his brother also recognized he needed something else to do. In February of 2018 he was actively looking for a new purpose when Fred and his family were again struck by another National American tragedy; only this one was far worse. His 14-year-old daughter Jaime, a freshman at Marjory Stone Douglas High School was one of 17 victims brutally murdered in the Parkland Florida school shooting. From that day forward, Fred's life would be forever changed. While grieving, Fred found himself unable to stand still. The day after the murder, he attended a vigil and while there was asked to speak. That was the start of a new public life for Fred. He was angry and quickly realized his new purpose as an American advocate in the fight for common sense gun safety.
Fred and his wife Jennifer now spends time challenging our elected officials to do more and is aggressively pursuing strategies to break the grip that the gun lobby has on our elected officials through their non profit organization dedicated to Jaime's life called "Orange Ribbons for Jaime". He has been a regular on TV news programs and myriad of online and print media. Through the formation of the non-profit, this is now his full time mission.
Fred Guttenberg moved to Florida from Long Island in 1989 shortly after graduating from Skidmore College in New York in 1988. Fred, his wife Jennifer, and their son Jesse currently reside in Parkland, FL.
Dr. Mollie Marti is President and CEO of the National Resilience Institute, a nonprofit organization that equips community helpers with evidence based solutions to strengthen others.
As a social psychologist, attorney, and author, Mollie has researched and taught in the fields of human resilience and leadership for the past two decades, including as an elite performance coach, university professor, and trauma response educator. Host of the Resiliency Matters TV show, Mollie is known for providing practical resilience tools directly to mental health providers, educators, and other community helpers to grow hope and offer help even in the most challenging circumstances.
Throughout her career, Sue O'Sullivan has been an advocate for safe and healthy communities and for increased services to victims. Ms. O'Sullivan began her distinguished career in policing in 1981, holding numerous leadership positions throughout her 30 years of service until retiring as Deputy Chief of Police (Ottawa).
Continuing forward with her work, and drawing on her background and interest in assisting those affected by crime, Ms. O'Sullivan began an appointed term as Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime on August 16, 2010 and completed her term on November 15th,2017.
During her time as Ombudsman, Ms. O'Sullivan continually placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that victims' voices were heard at the federal level and pushed for positive change for victims of crime in Canada, including making recommendations to the Government of Canada on legislative and policy amendments.
She is currently the Chair of the International Framework for Dialogue and Information Sharing for victims of terrorism and a member of the International Victims Advisory Committee for Operation Kenova. Sue is also a past president of the Leadership in Counter Terrorism Alumni Association and a member of the Executive Advisory Board.
Rebecca Rosen is a licensed clinical psychologist at the NYU Medical School. As the Mental Health Director of the World Trade Center Environmental Health Center, she has made significant strides in helping those afflicted by 9/11 with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Rosen earned her PhD from The New School for Social Research.
David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP established and directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (www.schoolcrisiscenter.org), located at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in the University of Southern California. He is Professor of the Practice in Social Work and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Prior faculty positions have been in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine; Head of the Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; and Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and Chair of Pediatrics at Drexel University School of Medicine.
For over 30 years, he has provided consultation and training to schools on supporting students and staff at times of crisis and loss in the aftermath of numerous school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings and stabbings in Parkland, FL, Newton, CT, Benton, KY, Las Vegas, NC, Spokane, WA, Marysville, WA, Osaka, Japan, Corning, CA, Aurora, CO, Platte Canyon, CO, Chardon, Oh, and Townville, SC; flooding from Hurricanes Maria in San Juan, Sandy in NYC and NJ, Katrina in New Orleans and Ike in Galveston; tornadoes in Joplin, MO and Alabama; wildfires in Sonoma County, CA and in the Great Smoky Mountains in Sevierville, TN; and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China.
He coordinated the training for school crisis response teams for the NYC DOE after the events of September 11, 2001. Dr. Schonfeld frequently speaks (with over 1,000 presentations) on the topics of crisis and loss and has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters, and books. He has conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T Grant Foundation, and other foundations) involving children's understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death and school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.
Dr. Schonfeld is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB)/National Preparedness and Response Science Board (NPRSB). He served as a Commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in CT. He served as President of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 2006-7.
Dr. Suarez-Jimenez is a postdoctoral research fellow who was awarded his doctorate in Neurosciences at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - University College London (UCL) partnership program. He is currently working on brain circuit dysfunctions in PTSD and Anxiety disorders, mainly, why patients lose their ability to learn to discriminate between threat & safety within an environment.
At the Military Family Wellness Center at Columbia, Dr. Suarez-Jimenez does fMRI research using virtual reality as well as doing intakes and evaluations of patients in our clinic. Also, Dr. Suarez-Jimenez has two brothers who have been serving in the military for more than ten years now.
Carol Tosone, PhD is Professor and Director of the DSW Program in Clinical Social Work at New York University Silver School of Social Work, as well as recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Tosone is a Distinguished Scholar in Social Work in the National Academies of Practice in Washington, DC.
She completed her psychoanalytic training at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York City where she was the recipient of the Postgraduate Memorial Award. Dr. Tosone received the Fulbright Senior Specialist Award for teaching at the Hanoi University of Education in Vietnam, and also served as visiting professor at universities in Asia and the Middle East. She taught as Distinguished Visiting Lydia Rappaport Professor at Smith College for Social Work, and as Visiting Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Clinical Social Work Doctoral Program.
Prior to her appointment at NYU, Dr. Tosone was Assistant Professor of Social Work in Psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Tosone is Editor-in-Chief of the Clinical Social Work Journal and serves on the editorial boards or as a consulting reviewer to many other professional journals. Dr. Tosone is editor of 3 books, author of 50 professional articles and book chapters, and executive producer and writer of training and community service media.
Since joining the NYU faculty, Dr. Tosone has delivered over 150 professional papers and presentations in academic, medical, and mental health settings in the United States, as well as international venues in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Kathryn M. Turman has served as the Assistant Director over the FBI's Victim Services Division in Washington, D.C. since January 2002. She oversees assistance to victims of federal crimes across the FBI, including services to child victims, Native American victims, victims of domestic and international terrorism, and U.S. citizens who are taken hostage in foreign countries.
Along with Victim Specialists in FBI field offices, the FBI's victim assistance program includes forensic child interview specialists, a forensic pathologist, social workers, psychologists, and rapid response teams that have deployed to assist victims of numerous mass casualty crimes and disasters. The program is in the process of incorporating crisis response canines for victim support. The FBI's victim assistance provides information and assistance to tens of thousands of victims each year.
Ms. Turman served in the Department of Justice from 1991 until 2002, first as Director of the Missing and Exploited Children's Program, as Chief of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and as Director of the Office for Victims of Crime. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, she was special assistant to the late Senator John Heinz. She has served on numerous national task forces and advisory boards focused on forensic science, crime victims, and abused children, including the National Commission on Child Abuse and Neglect (1991-1995), National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence (1998-2001), the White House Hostage Policy Review (2015), and National Forensic Science Commission (2013-present).
She has authored publications for victims and victim services providers on issues such as assisting torture victims, reunification of abducted children, coping after terrorism, understanding DNA evidence, and best practices for addressing the needs of child victims for criminal justice professionals. Under her leadership, the Department of Justice developed "telemedicine" programs to link rural providers with experts in child abuse injuries at major medical centers. She pioneered Kid's Court, the first children's court school program in the federal criminal justice system. Ms. Turman was responsible for developing a unique partnership between the Department of Justice, the government of Scotland, and the Syracuse University Law School to ensure that more than 700 family members of Pan Am 103 bombing victims were able to participate in the trial of two Libyan intelligence officers in the Netherlands by supporting travel to the trial, remote Scottish Court sites in the US and UK for closed circuit viewing, and a trial website where court transcripts were posted daily.
Ms. Turman received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the highest honor provided by the Department of Justice, in 2000. In 2001, she received the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service and the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for her work on the Pan Am 103/Lockerbie prosecution. Ms. Turman was twice recipient of the National Crime Victims' Service Award and received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 2007.