Skip to main content

Meet us (the people behind the Foundation)

2024 ACBS Foundation Board

According to our Foundation By-laws the Association of Contextual and Behavioral Sciences (ACBS) board is entitled to fill a majority of board positions and the Board of Directors of the Corporation shall fill the other positions. The Directors shall hold office until their successors have been duly appointed and qualified. Each director shall hold office until the expiration of the term for which he was appointed, and until his successor has been duly elected and qualified, or until his prior resignation or removal as hereinafter provided (see the bylaws here for more detail).

The ACBS Foundation board works without pay and consists of:

Nigel Vahey, Ph.D. (President)

He is a tenured lecturer in psychology at Technological University Dublin, Ireland. After completing his PhD with Prof. Dermot Barnes-Holmes in 2015, he worked for three years as a senior post-doctoral researcher with Prof. Robert Whelan at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in collaboration with Prof.’s Louise McHugh and Jonathan Bricker. He is keenly interested in translational research relating the IRAP, RFT and ACT to addiction, impulsivity, neuroscience, open science, web/smartphone-based interventions, and inclusive education. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science and recently served as member-at-large (basic science) on the ACBS board of directors. His research has attracted 550+ academic citations and €500,000+ of grants/awards/scholarships. Latterly, while teaching and working with social workers, community workers and counsellors, he has been particularly interested in the socially-constructed nature of self; and how it relates to prosociality, multi-level group selection, trauma, stigma, inclusion/exclusion, and public health messaging.

M. Joann Wright, Ph.D. (Vice President)

M. Joann Wright is the Founder of ACT One, an online presence dedicated to offering supervision, consultation, presentations, training and therapy utilizing the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (AC1) model. Additionally, she is a licensed clinical psychologist for the Linden Oaks Medical Group in Naperville, Illinois. She is an Association of Contextual and Behavioral Sciences (ACBS) Fellow and Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer. Joann is dedicated to teaching and delivering ACT in order to help people reduce the suffering in their lives. To that end, she has co-authored two ACT books aimed at assisting other therapists with their ACT work; Learning ACT for Group Treatment An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Training Manual for Therapists (Westrup & Wright, 2017) and Experiencing ACT from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists (Titch, Silberstein-Titch, Codd, Brock & Wright, 2019). Throughout her career, Joann was responsible for creating both an ACT-based anxiety intensive outpatient program and a doctoral training program which focused on contextual behavioral sciences. Joann has also served as the director of a university counseling center and has taught at the graduate level at several universities.

Jessica Borushok, Ph.D. (Treasurer)

Jessica Borushok is a psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, California specializing in helping "busy minds" get unstuck, out of their own way, and back to their best selves. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Borushok is an award-winning author, Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer, and consultant. Dr. Borushok has co-authored numerous books and self-growth tools, including The ACT Approach. She has served on the Board of ACBS previously and is currently serving the ACBS community as a member of the Membership Committee as well as Strategic Lead for the Creating a Culture of Empowerment and Productivity Pillar.

Pam Katz, MSW. (Secretary)

Pam Katz is a Licenced Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Chicago, IL for over 20 years. Pam specializes in treating Anxiety, Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, and ADHD. She is the current president of the ACBS Chicago Chapter, and she also sits on the ACBS Social Work Sig Board.

Sarah Cassidy, Ph.D. (Member at Large)

Dr Sarah Cassidy is an  Educational, Child & Adolescent Psychologist, a Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer, the Founder and Director of Smithsfield Clinic, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of New England Centre for OCD & Anxiety, Ireland Branch. Sarah also co-founded and is Chief Education Officer at, a Maynooth University based campus company conducting cutting edge educational technological research using SMART training. Her many other roles include lecturing, training and researching in Child, Educational and Counselling Psychology from the CBS perspective in universities, health service executive, public and private organizations and clinics. She has authored numerous peer reviewed scientific articles in RFT and more recently, two best-selling ACT children’s books in the Tired of Anxiety series with co-author, Dr. Lisa Coyne. 

Kenneth Fung, M.D. (Member at Large)

Dr. Kenneth Fung is Staff Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of the Asian Initiative in Mental Health Program at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He is the Director of Global Mental Health and Associate Professor with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. His research, teaching, and clinical interest include both cultural psychiatry and psychotherapy, especially Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), CBT, and mindfulness. He conducts community-based research in stigma, resilience, mental health promotion, trauma, caregivers for children with ASD, immigrant and refugee mental health, and pandemic response. He is psychiatric consultant to the Hong Fook Mental Health Association and Mon Sheong Scarborough Long-Term Care Centre. He is the immediate Past President of the Society of the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, the immediate past chair of the Transcultural Section of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and a Board Member of the World Association for Cultural Psychiatry. He is a past Chair and current officer and Historian of the Federation of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Medical Societies. He is a past Chair of the Ontario Chapter and current member of the Centering Science Pillar Committee of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). He is recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Fellow of Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). 

Vasilis S. Vasiliou, Ph.D. (Member at Large) 

Vasilis S. Vasiliou is a Clinical Psychologist and Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Oxford, Medical Science Division, UK. He works at the Nuffield Department of Orthopedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) where he leads several studies, involving individuals with various localized chronic pain conditions. His research emphasizes the application of the newest Contextual Cognitive-Behavioral interventions (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, etc) in pediatric and adults with chronic illness and chronic pain conditions. He is a current President of the Greece & Cyprus ACBS local chapter and a member of the editorial board of the JCBS.


This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.