Dr. Aparna Samuel Balasundaram (she/her) works as the Global Head for Well-being and Resilience and DEI for an international corporate organization, responsible for 35,000+ employees.
She received her Doctoral degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focused on the creation of a practice manual to help build resilience and self-esteem of adolescent girls raised in South Asian families. She holds a Master’s in Management of Non-Profits from the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU (New York University) where she was honored with the Deans Award for academic excellence. She has her MPhil (Master of Philosophy) in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences), India, and her MSW from TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), India.
Aparna has over 23 years of international experience in the field of clinical social work, mental health, family and marriage therapy, L&D (learning and development), organizational behavior, and life skills education. She is a TEDx speaker, has co-authored a book on the inspirational life journeys of 41 women capturing their trials and triumphs, has numerous published articles, and presented at international conferences.
Aparna’s work experience includes her role as an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) at Carrier Clinic, New Jersey an inpatient psychiatric hospital as a Senior Therapist, and then as the Director of their Counseling and Social Services Department. She has rich clinical knowledge across diverse population groups from a life span perspective (adolescent to geriatric), multiple psychiatric diagnoses and modalities (individual and group work) as well as working with people that come from diverse socio-cultural and racial groups.
She was awarded by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for her contributions in the space of mental health for South Asian families in NJ.
Aparna is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and working towards destigmatizing mental health and giving it the same parity as physical health.
She is based out of Austin and enjoys working remotely across the globe.