Melba Nicholson Sullivan

Clinical Director

Melba SullivanMelba J. Nicholson Sullivan, PhD is a graduate of Howard University, and earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in clinical-community psychology with a specialization in developmental psychology. She completed her clinical internship and postdoc at Duke University where she started working with children, couples, and families negotiating histories of neglect, abuse and trauma. At Northwestern University, she directed the Family Institute’s Community Outreach Program, taught in the Marital and Family Therapy and Counseling Psychology programs, and served as Resource Director for the law school’s Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic.

Dr. Sullivan has more than three decades of experience in nonprofit management and leadership. Prior to joining the Ackerman Institute for the Family as Clinical Director, she served as the Director of Training for the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, and created the American University of Nigeria’s Human Development and Counseling Centre. Using mindfulness and compassion-informed approaches, she trains US immigration officials and advises human rights organizations globally. Dr. Sullivan is committed to promoting individual, team, and organizational wellness.


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