Heidi Kar, PhD, is the lead for EDC’s violence and trauma team. She develops public health interventions to address the mental health needs of underserved communities. A licensed clinical psychologist and international/cross-cultural public health professional, her areas of expertise are prevention and treatment of trauma disorders, violent behavior, substance use disorders, and suicide.

Kar is the principal investigator and subject matter expert for various domestic and international projects involving community-, school-, and health system-based program and intervention development. She has a broad cross-cultural background and is experienced in working with diverse populations, including veterans, domestic violence survivors and perpetrators, vulnerable youth, and American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. In addition, she serves on the Violence Prevention Alliance of the World Health Organization and the Forum on Global Violence Prevention of the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.

Previously, Kar was the national program evaluator for substance use disorders psychological training programs and 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, and Johns Hopkins University.

Kar has a PhD in clinical psychology from Stony Brook University and a postdoctoral fellowship in trauma and substance use disorders at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. 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.


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


National Suicide Gatekeeper Training Program for Crime Victim Advocates (Office of Victims of Crime, Department of Justice)
Women Veterans on Point
Zero Suicide Implementation in American Indian/Alaska Native Health Systems (Indian Health Service)
Honduras Reading Activity (USAID)

Speaking Highlights

Towards Deeper and More Sustainable Global Violence Interventions

World Health Organization, Violence Prevention Alliance Meeting
October 2017

Psychological Foundations of Intimate Partner Violence—Examining Common Myths

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

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.