Sislena Ledbetter has been hired as executive director for Counseling, Health and Wellness at Western Washington University.
Ledbetter, who will start at Western in July, was hired following a national search. The executive director provides strategic, financial and budgetary leadership and management of Counseling, Health, and Wellness services at Western.
“Dr. Sislena Ledbetter is a dynamic, highly skilled leader who will help us take Counseling, Health, and Wellness to new levels of excellence,” said Melynda Huskey, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at Western.
Sislena Ledbetter is a social psychologist, researcher, lecturer, author and life coach. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from North Carolina Central University, Magna Cum Laude. She earned, with honors, her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Howard University. Her post-graduate studies included educational leadership training at Georgetown University Graduate School of Professional Studies and Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has received several fellowships and internships, including as an intern during the Clinton administration.
Ledbetter’s higher education leadership roles have included director of Counseling and Student Development and associate vice president of Student Development, where within four years she wrote and attracted more than $5 million in grant funds for behavioral health.
She is currently teaching in the Psychology programs at the University of the District of Columbia and George Washington University in Washington D.C. Ledbetter has written and attracted millions of dollars in behavioral health grants to build peer-led programs addressing HIV AIDS, substance abuse, suicide prevention, and domestic violence.
Her research interests include exploring wellness, power, and politics for women of color in leadership roles in the workplace, and exploring factors that enhance healthy intimate relationships in the Black community. She is the host of the DC Cable Television program "A Healthy Mind," where she interviews guest on topics related to mental health.
As a leader in the Division of Enrollment and Student Services, the executive director for Health and Wellness leads a talented, integrated, multi-disciplinary team of mental health and healthcare professionals and support staff who oversee, and administer the delivery of innovative and high-quality campus-based community health services to Western students. Services include student-oriented outpatient primary medical care and behavioral health services, counseling services, health education and health promotion programs, campus public health programs, educational outreach and student health insurance programs.