Invited Speakers for the World Conference 16

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Lisa W. Coyne, Ph.D.

Dr. Coyne is the Founder and Director of the McLean OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents at McLean Hospital, and is on the Faculty of Harvard Medical School. She is a Research Associate Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, and is on the Faculty of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). She is also a licensed psychologist and an internationally recognized ACT trainer with extensive experience using ACT with young people with OCD and their families.


Susan David, Ph.D.

Susan David, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Her new #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility based on the concept Harvard Business Review heralded as a Management Idea of the Year and winner of the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award, describes the psychological skills critical to thriving in times of complexity and change. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and guest on national radio and television. Named on the Thinkers50 global list of the top management thinkers, Susan is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, with clients that include the World Economic Forum, EY, United Nations, Google, Microsoft, NASDAQ, and many other national and multinational organizations. Her focus is on defining and executing effective strategy, especially in the areas of engagement, high-performance leadership, and culture change. Susan is the CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, a Cofounder of the Institute of Coaching (a Harvard Medical School/McLean affiliate), and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Thrive Global and Virgin Pulse. Susan is also core faculty of the global Homeward Bound, an all-women leadership program that culminates in an expedition to Antarctica and aims at increasing the influence and impact of women in the sciences.


Sue Johnson, Ed.D.

Sue Johnson, Ed.D. is the leading developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (or EFT). She is a Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Distinguished Research Professor in the Marital & Family Therapy Program at Alliant University in San Diego, Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and Director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute Inc. Sue received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1984. She is a registered psychologist in the province of Ontario, Canada, and a member of the many editorial boards of professional journals.

Dr. Johnson has received a variety of awards acknowledging her development of EFT and her significant contribution to the field of couple and family therapy and adult attachment. Sue has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to Canada. In 2016, she was named Psychologist of the Year by APA, and has been honored by AAMFT for her Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Couple and Family Therapy. Sue has numerous publications in the field of couple therapy and attachment. Her most recent research in her lab includes Changes in Relationship-Specific Attachment in Emotionally Focussed Couple Therapy (JMFT) and Soothing the Threatened Brain: Leveraging Contact Comfort through Emotionally Focused Therapy (PLOS ONE). This study included a brain scans showing how contact with a loving partner mitigates threat and fear responses. Sue’s most recent book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science in Romantic Relationships, outlines the new understanding of why and how we love based on scientific evidence and cutting-edge research. Sue is also the author of the bestseller, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. Sue’s other books include The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Creating Connection (2nd Ed, Routledge, 2004) - the basic text on EFT for couple therapy, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors (Guilford, 2002) and edited books such as Attachment Processes in Couples Therapy (Guilford, 2003).


Giovambattista "Nanni" Presti, M.D., Ph.D.

Nanni was trained as a Medical Doctor and attended a Clinical School in Psychotherapy as a post-doc, and received his Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis. As Associate Professor at Kore University in Enna, he coordinates the undergrad program in Psychology. Nanni has a broad experience of teaching and living outside Italy and helped establishing as Treasurer the European Association for Behavior Analysis. He founded and co-managed IESCUM, which has fostered the diffusion of CBS in Italy. He deepened his research interests in BA and ABA focusing on the early equivalence studies and then RFT. Alternating clinical and basic science interests, he encountered ACT at the turning of the millennium, after knowing its first steps. Nanni served ACBS co-chairing the meeting in Parma and serving on the Conference Committee for Washington. He has served on the ACBS Board as a member-at-large for the past two years and co-founded the Italian ACBS Chapter.


Peter Turchin, Ph.D. 

Peter Turchin is an evolutionary anthropologist who works in the field of historical social science that he and his colleagues call Cliodynamics. His research interests lie at the intersection of social and cultural evolution, historical macrosociology, economic history and cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. Currently he investigates a set of broad and interrelated questions: How do human societies evolve? In particular, what processes explain the evolution of ultrasociality—our capacity to cooperate in huge anonymous societies of millions? Why do we see such a staggering degree of inequality in economic performance and effectiveness of governance among nations? Turchin uses the theoretical framework of cultural evolution to address these questions. Currently his main research effort is directing the Seshat Databank project, which builds and analyzes a massive historical database of cultural evolution that enables us to empirically test theoretical predictions coming from various social evolution theories.

Turchin has published 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals that include Nature, Science, and PNAS. His publications are frequently cited and in 2004 he was designated as “Highly cited researcher” by ISIHighlyCited.com. Turchin has authored seven books. His most recent books are Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth and Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History. Turchin is Editor-in-Chief of Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution.


Robert Whelan, Ph.D.

Bio coming soon.

Here is a bit about him for now.