Heidi Kar, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and public health professional. She oversees the development, implementation, and dissemination of evidence-based mental health interventions, both domestically and internationally. Her research and clinical areas of expertise include prevention and treatment of trauma disorders, substance use disorders, suicide, and violent behavior. She is experienced in working with diverse populations, including veterans, domestic violence survivors and perpetrators, and vulnerable youth and has lived and worked across Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, Iran, Kosovo, South Africa, and the United States.

Kar currently directs federal and private contracts focused on implementing the Zero Suicide initiative in large health care systems. She is also the trauma/violence specialist to a USAID-funded project for building resiliency in gang-affected, out-of-school youth in Honduras, and she directs a psychotherapy website development project to reach veterans at the highest risk of suicide.

Previously, Kar served as the national program evaluator for substance use disorders psychological training programs and was a subject matter expert on intimate partner violence for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. She also worked with the International Center for Research on Women, the International Rescue Committee, Johns Hopkins University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kar completed a PhD in clinical psychology and a postdoctoral fellowship in trauma and substance use disorders. She holds an MHS in international health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in neuroscience from Smith College.

"Mental health needs of vulnerable populations must be addressed to achieve comprehensive and  sustainable change."


Promoting Veteran Awareness of and Motivation to Engage in Evidence-Based Psychotherapies
Empleando Futuros: Increasing Employment and Protective Factors for At-Risk Youth in Honduras

Speaking Highlights

Psychological Foundations of Intimate Partner Violence—Examining Common Myths

National Task Force on Intimate Partner Violence, Department of Veterans Affairs
February 2015

Assessment, Safety Planning, and Treatment of Intimate Partner Violence in Veterans

Training course for mental health providers, Department of Veterans Affairs
Charlotte, NC

Selected Publications

Kar, H. L., & O’Leary, K. D. (2013). Emotional intimacy mediates the relationship between PTSD and intimate partner violence perpetration in OEF/OIF/OND veterans. Violence & Victims, 28(5), 790–803.

Kar, H. L., & O’Leary, K. D. (2013). Patterns of psychological aggression, dominance, and jealousy within marriage. Journal of Family Violence, 28(2), 109–119.

O’Leary, K., D., & Kar, H. L. (2010). Partner abuse: Assessment and treatment. In J. C. Thomas & M. Hersen (Eds.), Handbook of clinical psychology competencies. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

Kar, H. L., & Garcia-Moreno, C. (2009). Intimate partner violence across cultures. In K. D. O’Leary & E. M. Woodin (Eds.), Understanding psychological and physical aggression in couples: Existing evidence and clinical implications. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.