Maryam Kia-Keating


Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.

After graduating from Punahou School, she attended Dartmouth College, and completed her graduate studies at Harvard University and Boston University. As a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Diego and an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Diego, she was the clinical director of a school-based prevention program for adolescents. Her fellowships with the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) focused on youth programs. She developed an expertise in childhood traumatic stress through her work at the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center, and the Center for Refugee Trauma at Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical Center, both National Child Traumatic Stress Network sites. Her scholarship focuses on promoting resilience and thriving among children, families, and communities facing toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and collective trauma, including war, mass violence, and climate change related disasters.

Dr. Kia-Keating has worked with displaced populations, including those from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico, El Salvador, and around the globe. She utilizes participatory and human-centered design approaches to empower communities and form multisector collaborations to find innovative solutions to public health challenges and to reduce disparities. She served on the American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children and Families who are Refugees from Armed Conflict Residing in the United States. Her multidisciplinary work and perspective draws from and has relevance for psychological science, design and social innovation, integrated behavioral health, education, global studies, and public health.

Dr. Kia-Keating’s research has been funded by NIH. Her articles have been published in high impact academic journals, such as the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychologist. Her interviews on significant psychosocial topics such as violence and mass trauma, and ways to build youth resilience, are in outlets with high volume readerships, including the Washington Post, ABC news, and CNN. She is on Twitter @drkiakeating

Her deep investment in her recognizing and promoting youth resilience draws from her own personal experiences of forced migration due to armed conflict during childhood, including the challenges and opportunities of attending seven schools in seven years, in four different countries and three different languages. Her global experience provides her with an international lens, an appreciation for common and shared humanity, and a unique and authentic vantage point from which to positively impact young people’s lives, and truly believe in their power to create hope, recognize and cultivate interconnectedness, and to forge a path towards resilience in themselves, their families, and their communities.

Latest Posts