Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP

Palo Alto University Faculty Lisa_Brown


Director, Trauma Area of Emphasis
Director, Risk and Resilience Research Lab
Co-Chair, Palo Alto University Institutional Review Board
Faculty Advisor, Association of Traumatic Stress Studies

Contact Information:
(650) 433-3843

Faculty Status:

Core Full Professor


PhD Clinical Psychology


PhD, Clinical PsychologyPacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University (2002)

MS, Clinical PsychologyPacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University (2002)

BS, Gerontology, City University of New York (1980)


Lisa M. Brown, PhD, ABPP is a tenured Professor, Director of the Trauma Program, Director of the Risk and Resilience Research Lab at Palo Alto University, and faculty advisor for the Association of Traumatic Stress Studies. Her clinical and research focus is on trauma and resilience, global mental health, aging, and vulnerable populations. As a researcher, she is actively involved in developing and evaluating mental health programs used nationally and internationally, crafting recommendations aimed at protecting individuals and communities during catastrophic events, facilitating participation of key stakeholders, and improving access to resources and services. Dr. Brown’s current funded research is focused on developing a suicide assessment and treatment educational program for students at the Navajo Technical College and the development and evaluation of trauma and peace building interventions to reduce the likelihood of further escalation of conflict in Central African Republic. 

From 2007 to 2014, Dr. Brown served as the Assistant Clinical Director of Disaster Behavioral Health Services, Florida Department of Health where she helped write the state disaster behavioral health response plan, develop regional disaster behavioral health teams, and conduct program evaluations of SAMHSA and FEMA crisis counseling programs. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Brown was appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Biodefense Science Board Federal Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she contributed to the development of a national behavioral health response to disasters, terrorism, and pandemics. Her research experience and collaborative relationships with first responder groups and long-term care organizations led to the development of the 2nd edition of the Psychological First Aid Field Guide for Nursing Home Residents. 

Dr. Brown is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Division 20, Gerontological Society of America, and a Senior Fellow of the Palo Alto University Institute of Global Mental Health. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Specialist awards with the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (2014) and with Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (2015).

Areas of Interest:

Trauma; stress; resilience; assessment; treatment; aging; suicide; disasters and terrorism; violence; vulnerable and underserved populations.

Talks and Lectures:

How to Help Staff and Residents Prepare, Respond, and Recover from Disasters. Michigan, Region 8 LTC Workshop (2016). Marquette, Michigan.
Older Adults during Disasters: Facilitators and Barriers in Less and More Developed Countries (2017). 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics. San Francisco, California.
Disaster Literacy to Improve Preparedness of Older Adults (2016). International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference on Ageing. Brisbane, Australia.
Post Sendai: Engaging and Enlisting Older People in Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction at the Local Level (2016). International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference on Ageing. Brisbane, Australia.
Reducing Risk and Enhancing Resilience of Older Adults during Disasters: The Growing and Evolving Role of Psychologists (2014). 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Paris, France.

Selected Publications:

* denotes student or postdoctoral author

Gibson, A.K., Walsh*, J., & Brown, L.M. (2017). Disaster mental health services review of care for older persons after disasters. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.

Barks*, L., Garvan, C., Crane, B., Peterson, M., Brown, L.M., & Powell-Cope, G. (in press). Reliability and criterion-related validity of the Seated Posture Scale. Rehabilitation Nursing Journal.

Kok*, B., Reed*, D. Wickham, R., & Brown, L.M. (2016). Adult ADHD symptomology in active duty Army personnel: Results from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (STARRS). Journal of Attention Disorders. doi: 10.1177/1087054716673451

Walsh*, J., Gibson, A., & Brown, L.M. (2016). Peace of mind’s price tag: The psychological costs of financial stressors on older adults postdisaster. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, Vol 2(4), 408-417.

Nicolay*, M., Brown, L.M., Johns, R., & Ialynytchev*, A. (2016). A study of heat related illness preparedness in homeless veterans. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 18, 72-74. doi: org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2016.05.009

Edwards, J., Lister, J., Lin, F., Andel, R., Brown, L.M., & Wood, J. M. (2015). Association of hearing impairment and subsequent driving mobility in older adults. The Gerontologist55(S2), 137-138. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw009

Brown, L.M., Christensen, J.J., Ialynytchev*, A., Thomas, K.S., Frahm, K.A., & Hyer, K. (2015) Experiences of assisted living facility staff in evacuating and sheltering residents during hurricanes. Current Psychology, 34, 506–514. doi: 10.1007/s12144-015-9361-7

Ali, N., Luther, S.L., Volicer, L., Algase, D., Beattie, E., Brown, L.M., Molinari, V., Moore, H., & Joseph, I.  (2015). Risk Assessment of Wandering Behavior in Mild Dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31(4), 367-374. doi: 10.1002/gps.4336

Brown, L.M., Framingham, J.L., Frahm, K.A. & Dempsey*, L. (2015). Crisis counselors’ perceptions and assessment of suicidal behavior among hurricane survivors receiving crisis counseling services. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 9(3), 291-300. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2015.41

Barks*, L., Luther, S. L., Brown, L.M., Schulz, B., Bowen, M.E., & Powell-Cope, G. (2015). Development and initial validation of the seated posture scale. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 52(2), 201-210. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2014.04.0100

Brown, L.M., Barnett, S., Frahm, K.A., Schonfeld, L., Schinka, J. A., & Casey, R. (2014). Health risk factors and differences in outcomes between younger and older veterans using VA transitional housing. Psychiatric Services, 66(1), 33-40. doi: 10.1176/

Brown, L.M., Haun, J., & Peterson*, L. (2014). A Proposed Disaster Literacy Model. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 8(3), 267-275. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2014.43

Reid, W.M., Brown, L.M., & Landis, D.C. (2014). Leadership, collaboration, and effective training principles and practices from a decade of training by a Center for Public Health Preparedness. Journal of Emergency Management, 12(1):31-44. doi: 10.5055/jem.2014.0160

Crocker*, T., Powell-Cope, G., Brown, L.M., & Besterman-Dahn, K. (2014). Toward a Veteran-Centric View on Community (Re)Integration. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2014.01.00111

Frahm, K.A., Gardner, P. J., Brown, L.M., Rogoff, D. P., & Troutman. (2014). A community-based disaster coalition training. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 20(5), S111–S117. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000058

Hites, L.S., Sass, M.M., D’Ambrosio, L., Brown, L.M., Wendelboe, A., Peters, K.E., & Sobelson, R.K. (2014). The Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers: An innovative model to advance standardized evaluation of public health preparedness and response trainings. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000066

McCabe, O. L., Everly, G.S., Brown, L.M., Wendelboe, A.M., Hamid, N.H., Tallchief, V.L., Links, J. (2014). Psychological first aid: A consensus-derived, empirically-supported, competency-based training model. American Journal of Public Health, 104(4), 621-628. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301219



Websites and Other Relevant Links:

Risk and Resilience Research Lab Website