Location: United States
Area of expertise provided as part of the CIS Affiliated Consultant Network:
- Student Wellbeing: Protection, Safety, & Security
Dr. Walker has worked with the international school community for the past eleven years of his two decades of practice as a Clinical Psychologist. He received his doctorate from the University of North Texas where he participated in the emerging field of Psychoneuroimmunology, studying the impact of stress upon the human immune system. Dr. Walker’s early career focused on Pediatrics, treating children suffering from traumatic injury, chronic and/or life-threatening illness, and major reconstructive surgery. His post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital New Orleans allowed him to focus on traumatic brain injury and recovery as the consulting psychologist to the hospital’s rehabilitative unit. As a Harris Fellow at Louisiana State University Health Science Center’s Harris Center for Infant Mental Health, Dr. Walker expanded his clinical expertise to include children ages 0-4, many of whom were witnesses or victims of community and domestic violence.
In response to Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Walker created Project Fleur-de-lis, New Orleans’s largest school-based mental health program devoted to students struggling emotionally and academically in the years following the storm and destruction. Project Fleur-de-lis, a trauma-focused, school-based mental health program currently supports 60 New Orleans area schools and is a member site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Since having created Project Fleur-de-lis, his expertise in responding to the mental health needs of large-scale natural disasters has been utilized to create culture-specific, trauma-informed mental health programming across the United States and abroad.
Dr. Walker has served as technical advisor to the US State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools in Central America and Africa. From 2008 – 2011 he worked alongside Guyana’s Ministry of Health to disseminate trauma focused, evidence – based practices throughout the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. Over the past several years, he has held a close relationship with the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA), functioning as a technical advisor and trainer for the implementation of trauma-informed treatment, crisis response and programming for over 75 international schools in 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In March 2016, Dr. Walker completed a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in Fukushima City, Japan where he conducted lectures in disaster mental health, and collaborative research into peer-to-peer support post 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and level 7 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Dr. Walker is currently a contributor and keynote speaker within the Council of International School’s Child Protection Workshop series. He has been active as an international speaker at school and mental health conferences, and has recently delivered the following workshops and presentations:
- Child Protection and International Schools
- Current Best-Practices in the Treatment of Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress
- The Impact of Childhood Trauma on Learning
- Crisis Response and Disaster Mental Health in Schools: AISA’s Updates and Revisions of US State Department’s Security Guide
- Improving the Delivery of Community Mental Health Services in the Recovery Phase
- Addressing Compassion Fatigue in Education
Dr. Walker provides confidential consultation for schools experiencing external and internal threats and crises that impair learning environments and the social-emotional well-being of students, faculty and administration. As a master trainer of Psychological First Aid (PFA), Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), he assists schools in updating and improving their crisis response and recovery plans. Dr. Walker is an authorized facilitator of Stewards of Children which educates adults in keeping children safe from sexual abuse and how to spread prevention messaging within their organization and community. Dr. Walker’s success in serving the international community is rooted in the strong and lasting relationships he has made while helping school communities prepare or respond to internal or external crises.