Meet Our Founder & CEO

Jonnie Williams, PsyD

Enrolled Member, Tódich’ii’nii Clan, Diné Nation

(Bitterwater Clan, Navajo Nation)

Pronouns: she/her

Dr. Williams is a licensed clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, prevention research scientist, evaluator, and systems-change strategist.

Clinical Psychology Background

Dr. Williams diagnoses and treats mental health disorders in the health service setting. She is a trauma specialist that provides evidence-based treatment to child and adult populations. She also specializes in mood and anxiety disorders, co-occurring disorders, and suicidality. Her approach to evidence-based treatment integrates cognitive behavioral, neuro-relational, and integrated health interventions.

Dr. Williams received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2016 from an American Psychological Association-accredited program, the Wright Institute (Berkeley, CA). She completed her post-doctoral training as the first Indigenous psychologist to be employed at American Indian Health & Services (Santa Barbara, CA). She is a licensed in California, Hawaii, and New Mexico, and is a credentialed by the National Register for Health Service Psychologists.

Research & Evaluation Background

Dr. Williams has seven years of post-doctoral experience in prevention research science for federally-funded projects (Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration and Indian Health Service). She has expertise in trauma-informed program design, and trains and coaches prevention staff in program implementation. As an evaluator, she specializes in mixed-methods approaches to needs assessments, readiness assessments, program evaluation (formative, process, outcome, and impact), and community-based participatory research. Her three years of pre-doctoral child and adult psychological assessment training informs her current trauma-informed approach to evaluation.

Systems-Change Background

Dr. Williams has directed and evaluated federally funded system change grants (SAMHSA Circles of Care) and suicide prevention initiatives (SAMHSA Native Connections). She designs service systems that promote mental health, well-being, and equity for children and families. She engages and trains partners and providers in the delivery of community-based programs and services. As an evaluator, she monitors and evaluates service implementation using a systems lens. Using the power of data-driven storytelling, she advocates for policy change that builds resilience and increases access to resources for those most in need.

Indigenous Community Leadership

Dr. Williams is a recognized Indigenous community leader. In December 2021, she was honored as a recipient of the prestigious “Native American 40 Under 40” award, presented by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. This award acknowledges 40 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian leaders under the age of 40 for their leadership, initiative, and dedication in making significant advancements in their community.


Dr. Williams mentors indigenous scholars and researchers in community-based action projects.


Williams, J. R. (2016). Adverse childhood events and adult substance abuse among urban and reservation American Indians (Doctoral dissertation, The Wright Institute).

Knight, K., Love, M., Williams, J., & Vargas, M. (2023). Central Coast Regional Equity Initiative: Co-Creating and Actionizing a New Community-Led Equity Framework. Social Sciences, 12(8), 441.

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