Senior Research Scientist, Oregon Social Learning Center
Moraga, CA

Sonja K. Schoenwald, PhD photoSonja Schoenwald is dedicated to using science to improve the array and availability of effective community-based mental health treatments for youth and families. Her personal mission is advancing improvements that have societal impact. She is a Senior Research Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, Co-Founding Editor in Chief of the journal, Implementation Research and Practice, and was previously Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Sonja was born in Wisconsin to newly immigrated parents eager to become U.S. citizens. They impressed upon her the gift of her birthright, U.S. citizenship, and the rights and responsibilities associated with that gift. As a first-generation college student whose attendance at Stanford was made possible by academic scholarships and a Pell grant, she was equally excited about biology, psychology, political science, and philosophy, imagining how to help make the world a better place through a career focused on improving health and mental health care, or through law, public policy, or public service.

Subsequent experiences as a master’s level therapist in community mental health agencies solidified her dedication to helping generate the science needed to improve mental health services. After obtaining her PhD in clinical psychology at Duke University, she focused on identifying and evaluating strategies to support the capacity of clinicians, organizations and service systems to implement effective treatment; and of efficient methods to measure key aspects of implementation.

Sonja lives in Moraga, California with her spouse, Keller Strother. They have one grown son and two canine kids.

DCI Partner: Keller Strother