Christine Suniti Bhat, PhD, LPC, LSC, OH

Christine Suniti Bhat

President (2024-2025)

American Counseling Association

Dr. Christine Suniti Bhat (Chris) is the elected 73rd president of the American Counseling Association (ACA), taking office as of July 2024. She is a professor and chair of the Department of Counseling & Higher Education at Ohio University. Chris was a counselor educator from 2003-2006 at California State University, Long Beach, and in 2006, she returned to her PhD alma mater Ohio University. In her role as a professor at Ohio University, she trains master’s and PhD students to become licensed professional counselors, licensed school counselors, certified rehabilitation counselors, and counselor educators and supervisors. She takes immense joy in mentoring doctoral and master’s students and new professionals, and she emphasizes engagement and leadership in the counseling profession. 

Chris’ primary identities are as an Asian Indian immigrant cisgender woman. She is the first person of Asian background elected as ACA President. Chris has extensive international experience from her two previous homes, India and Australia, in diverse work environments such as the military, non-profit agencies, schools, and universities. She has served in state and national leadership positions. Her previous service includes president of the Association for Specialists in Group Work (2017-2018), treasurer of Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society (2015-2017), and president of the Ohio Counseling Association (2011-2012). Chris’ recent publications have been on servant leadership, mentoring, strengths development, and group counseling. She is a licensed school counselor and a licensed professional counselor in Ohio and she is a resolute advocate of counselor professional identity.