Gerard Lawson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS is the 66th president of the American Counseling Association. He is an associate professor in the counselor education program at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Dr. Lawson’s area of specialty is trauma and disaster mental health. His published work includes articles exploring the experiences of professional counselors and clinicians in the aftermath of natural disasters such as the Gulf coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita and traumatic events such as the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. Dr. Lawson is the author of the Virginia Tech disaster behavioral health plan.
He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor.
Previously, Dr. Lawson served as the chair of the American Counseling Association Taskforce on Crisis Response Planning. He is a past president of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the Virginia Counselors Association.
Dr. Lawson joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2002. His research has appeared in journals including the Journal of Counseling and Development, Counselor Education and Supervision, and The Clinical Supervisor. In addition, he has presented his studies at national and international conferences on topics such as crisis response and resilience, counselor wellness, and clinical supervision.
He has earned numerous awards for his work, including the American Counseling Association Robert Rencken Professional Leadership Award, the Virginia Counselors Association John R. Cook Award, and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs Martin Ritchie Award for Excellence in Advocacy.
Dr. Lawson earned a Ph.D. in counselor education at William & Mary, a Master’s degree in counseling at Longwood College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in human development at Virginia Tech.
His term of office as ACA president runs from July 2017 through June 2018.