AFTA's Leadership Team

At the Board meeting held on June 19, 2021, a new Leadership Team and two new Board Members were appointed. Additionally, two existing Board members were appointed for an additional term.*

The Leadership Team (formerly referred to as the “transition team”) aims to have more defined roles that lead the running of AFTA in conjunction with Central Office staff while exploring alternative forms of leadership.

*Per the Bylaws, the Board may, by majority vote, appoint Appointed Directors for a term of three years. By majority vote, the Board may appoint or terminate Appointed Directors at any regular meeting of the Board.

Janessa Dominguez, PhD, BCBA, LMFT, QBA (11/20 - 6/23)

Janessa is the founder and CEO of Shaping Change, LLC. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Qualified Behavior Analyst, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She received her doctorate degree in family therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She has worked in a variety of settings from schools, homes, and clinics to community settings, providing a multitude of services to address challenging behaviors and systemic change. She believes infusing behavior analysis and family therapy in the provision of services is key for a more comprehensive, desirable outcome, which is inclusive of the entire system. 

LauraCarmen Knudson-Martin, PhD, LMFT (7/21 - 6/24)

Carmen is a professor of Marital, Couple, and Family Therapy Program at Lewis & Clark College, Portland OR, USA. She has published over 80 articles and book chapters on the influence of the larger sociocultural context in couple and family relationships and the political and ethical implications of therapist actions on marital equality, relational development, and couple therapy. She is the developer of Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy which addresses the micro-processes by which societal power processes play out in intimate relationships. Carmen is editor/author of three books: Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy–Bridging Emotion, Societal Context, and Couple Interaction; Couples, Gender, and Power–Creating Change in Intimate Relationships; and Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice. She is a former member of the AFTA board and the 2017 recipient of the AFTA’s Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice Award. Carmen is the current series editor of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy.

CharlesEtta T. Sutton, MSW, LCSW (7/21 - 6/24)

CharlesEtta, most noted for her mastery in Train--the Trainer work and facilitation, this family therapist, author, spiritual well-­‐being, health promotion and social justice advocate provides therapy, supervision, training, consultation, and program development. Retired from UMDNJ-­‐OPSR as Director of Training in 2003, her life transitions find her continuing her work as Principal of CTS Group Sutton & Associates, faculty, and clinical supervisor at Center for Family Community and Social Justice, founding faculty of Multicultural Family Institute, faculty, and board of the Turtle Island Project, Master Facilitator, International Black Summit. CharlesEtta brings an irrepressible “joie de vivre” to her work and “walks her talk.”

AFTA Board of Directors

Baima2Timothy Baima, PhD (7/17 - 9/20, 10/20-6/23)

Tim is an Associate Professor in the MA Counseling Program at Palo Alto University where he serves as the coordinator for the Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling emphasis area. He is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Mateo, California. He received his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University in 2009. There, issues related to social privilege and power became central to his understanding of relationships, health, and healing practices. These ideas remain central to informing his therapeutic style, teaching pedagogy, and leadership philosophy. His current research interests center on whiteness and training the “self” of the therapist. He has published in The Expanded Family Life Cycle 5th Edition, The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, and the Journal of Family Psychotherapy.

Gene Combs, MD (7/16 - 6/19, 7/19 - 6/22)

A long-time AFTA member and previous board member, is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, where he is director of behavioral sciences in the North Shore University Health System Family Medicine residency program. He is core faculty at Evanston Family Therapy Center, where he has taught and supervised narrative therapy for a quarter-century. Gene's extensive writings (mostly co-authored with Jill Freedman, M.S.W.) include Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities, and the chapter on narrative couple therapy in the last four editions of the Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy.

Janessa Dominguez, PhD, BCBA, LMFT, QBA (11/20 - 6/23)

Janessa is the founder and CEO of Shaping Change, LLC. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Qualified Behavior Analyst, and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She received her doctorate degree in family therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She has worked in a variety of settings from schools, homes, and clinics to community settings, providing a multitude of services to address challenging behaviors and systemic change. She believes infusing behavior analysis and family therapy in the provision of services is key for a more comprehensive, desirable outcome, which is inclusive of the entire system. 

Jerry Gale, PhD (7/18 - 6/21, 7/21 - 6/24)

Jerry is the Program Director of the Family Therapy Doctoral Program at the University of Georgia. He has been an AFTA member since the mid-90’s and received the AFTA 2006 Outstanding Research Award. With Roxana Llerena-Quinn he co-chaired the 2014 AFTA annual conference in Athens, Georgia. He has over 80 publications and has authored/co-edited three books. He is presently co-Pi on a 5-year, 8-million-dollar grant, The integration of marriage and relationship education into family and children services: A Campus-Community partnership.   He is involved in extending systems practices through projects implementing relational financial therapy and relational meditation, and he is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary ASPIRE Clinic. Attending to social justice and addressing social determinants of health is of primary importance to Jerry.  He gave an invited presentation When the right answer is wrong: Addressing multiculturalism and diversity for financial therapists at the seventh annual Financial Therapy Conference.  He has presented on incorporating relational meditation into social justice work at AFTA and in a webinar for the Taos Institute.

Mariana Juras, MS, PhD (6/20 - 6/22)

Mariana Juras, MS, Ph.D., is a psychologist and marriage and family therapist from Brazil. She came to the US in 2015 as a visiting research scholar in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology of Eastern Illinois University (EIU), she teaches clinical courses to undergraduate students and to graduate students of the Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program. She is also an internship academic supervisor, thesis advisor and mentor undergraduate and graduate-level research studies. Her research agenda includes forensic psychology, divorce and remarriage, domestic violence, and parenting interventions.

Kyle Killian - Toronto, CanadaKyle Killian, LMFT (7/17 - 9/20, 10/20-6/23)

Kyle is faculty at Simmons University and Capella University. He has 70 publications on immigrant, refugee, and multiracial families, intercultural couples, vicarious resilience, and self-care. Kyle's books include Interracial Couples, Intimacy & Therapy (2013) and Time, Temporality and Violence in International Relations (2016). A diversity consultant for government departments and organizations, he is co-founder of Global Change Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus, an NGO advocating for immigrants’ rights, and a founding member of a consortium promoting understanding of secondary traumatic stress in helping professionals. Kyle has served on the Executive Board for three years, and on AFTA’s Nominations, Awards, and Research Committees.

LauraLana Kim, PhD, LMFT (7/19 - 6/22)

Lana is an Associate Professor in the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy Program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and AAMFT approved clinical supervisor at the Lewis & Clark Community Counseling Center. She earned her PhD and MS degrees in MFT, with a concentration in Medical Family Therapy, from Loma Linda University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. In her clinical work, she draws from narrative approaches and socio-emotional relationship therapy, and is interested in the ways in which power, culture, and larger social contexts shape lived experience, relationships, problems, and the process of change in therapy. Her research interests include second generation Asian-American families, parent-child relationships, culturally responsive MFT practices, clinical supervision, and medical family therapy and collaborative care practices. 

LauraCarmen Knudson-Martin, PhD, LMFT (7/21 - 6/24)

Carmen is a professor of Marital, Couple, and Family Therapy Program at Lewis & Clark College, Portland OR, USA. She has published over 80 articles and book chapters on the influence of the larger sociocultural context in couple and family relationships and the political and ethical implications of therapist actions on marital equality, relational development, and couple therapy. She is the developer of Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy which addresses the micro-processes by which societal power processes play out in intimate relationships. Carmen is editor/author of three books: Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy–Bridging Emotion, Societal Context, and Couple Interaction; Couples, Gender, and Power–Creating Change in Intimate Relationships; and Socioculturally Attuned Family Therapy: Guidelines for Equitable Theory and Practice. She is a former member of the AFTA board and the 2017 recipient of the AFTA’s Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice Award. Carmen is the current series editor of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy.

Roxana Llerena-Quinn, Ph.D. (7/19 - 6/22)

 is a senior attending psychologist in the Department of Outpatient Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she has co-directed the Latino Team. She has faculty appointments from Harvard Medical School and Boston University Medical School. At Boston Medical Center, she works with immigrant Latino families undergoing cultural transition, confronting stressors associated with reunifications after prolonged or most recent border separations. Her clinical, teaching, writing and research interests are in the area of immigration, Latino mental health, cross-cultural care and prevention.  Advocacy and community service efforts have aimed for a more equitable access to resources for cultural and linguistic minorities.  She mentors first generation, college-bound students, through the Seeds of Hope Program at  Harvard Medical School. She has taught at several local universities in the Boston area and in Latin America.  An AFTA member since 1998, she has served the organization in many capacities:  Contributor to the AFTA Newsletter 2001-2002. Monograph series 2005; People of Color Network meeting planner and co-facilitator 2001-2002,2019; Dialogue Groups Facilitator 2001-2003.  Cultural and Economic Diversity Committee at various times since 2004. Nominating Committee 2004, 2011- 2013. Interest Group Co-Chair 2004, 2005-2007, 2011-2013, 2018. Board Member 2009-2012, Annual Program Co-Chair 2013-2014. Awards Committee 2014 to present. 

LauraLaura Roberto-Forman, PsyD (7/15 - 6/18, 7/18 - 6/21, 7/21 - 6/24)

Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School who specializes in women’s health, couples and families, and eating disorders. Past Editor-in-Chief of the AFTA Monograph Series and past Secretary of AFTA, she is on the editorial boards of JMFT, JFFT, and Family Process (ad hoc), and writes extensively on transgenerational couple and family therapy (Transgenerational Family Therapies, Guilford). Laura is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 43). Past Board experience: Secretary, Awards Chair, Publications Chair. Committee Service: Cultural and Economic Diversity; Program; Membership; Nominations; AFTA Futures; Women’s Institute; Human Rights. Additional interests: interfaith dialogue; mindfulness; yoga.

LauraLaurel Salmon, LMFT (7/19 - 6/22)

Laurel Salmon is a NYS licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been an active member of AFTA since she joined as a student in 2013. She has a strong background in socially just mental health, domestic violence as well as training and education. Her primary area of focus has been integrating strategies for understanding oppression dynamics into clinical work and clinical supervision. She has given presentations and written about the various ways that racism, sexism, hetero-sexism and religious oppression impact the work we do with our clients. Laurel's roles in AFTA include being a member of the Cultural and Economic Diversity Committee and Membership Committee. She has served on Nominations and been chair of the committee. She is the current facilitator of the People of Color network and chair of the Early Career Membership Committee. Laurel received AFTA's Early Career Award in 2018. She is committed to expanding the presence of Marriage and Family therapists in New York State. She is the former Program Director of the Courtland Avenue clinic. Laurel is currently the Senior Director of Therapeutic and Support Services for the Center for Safety and Change wher she oversees supportive counseling and clinical programs for clients who are survivors of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking. 

CharlesEtta T. Sutton, MSW, LCSW (7/21 - 6/24)

CharlesEtta, most noted for her mastery in Train--the Trainer work and facilitation, this family therapist, author, spiritual well-­‐being, health promotion and social justice advocate provides therapy, supervision, training, consultation, and program development. Retired from UMDNJ-­‐OPSR as Director of Training in 2003, her life transitions find her continuing her work as Principal of CTS Group Sutton & Associates, faculty, and clinical supervisor at Center for Family Community and Social Justice, founding faculty of Multicultural Family Institute, faculty, and board of the Turtle Island Project, Master Facilitator, International Black Summit. CharlesEtta brings an irrepressible “joie de vivre” to her work and “walks her talk.”

Navid Zamani, LMFT (9/20 - 6/23)

Navid is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist practicing in San Diego. His work is structured around supporting families experiencing domestic violence, and conceptualizes these experiences from a poststructural, decolonial feminism situated in Narrative practices. His interests in counseling, philosophy, and music are blended together with an interest in relational ethics, the politics of revolutionary love, and leaning into complexity. He currently teaches at San Diego State University and is the Head of Clinical Services at License to Freedom, a non- profit that supports refugees and immigrants from the Middle East who are experiencing domestic violence issues.