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Dr. Kathryn Hamel, CEO, of the Hecht Trauma Institute – A Video Biography

Dr. Kathryn Hamel, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of The Hecht Trauma Institute.

Dr. Hamel is a certified trauma and resilience education professional who served our communities for 25 years as a law-enforcement professional for two mid-size Police Departments. During her career in Law Enforcement, she obtained experience in personnel, training, homeland security, criminal investigations, leadership and management, ultimately earning the rank of Lieutenant. During her time spent as a detective, Dr. Hamel investigated hundreds of cases involving rape, domestic assault, child sexual abuse and other forms of violence. Her caseload enabled her to assist victims of these traumatic events navigate the criminal justice system while seeking justice on their behalf.

Preparing for a post-Law Enforcement career, she earned a doctorate in Public Safety Leadership from Capella University, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University.

Transitioning from law enforcement to academia, she assumed a leadership role at a University. In this capacity, she served as the Dean of the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology and later as the Senior Vice-President of Human Resources and Organizational Development. Concurrently, Dr. Hamel was also responsible for the creation of an 18-month post-graduate leadership academy.

A committed community volunteer, she has almost three decades of experience in guiding non-profit and charitable organizations, and is currently a Board Member of KinderVision, a nonprofit co-founded by her late mother, Ashby Sebastian. Dr. Hamel is HTI’s nominee for the 2021 National Women of Influence Award and a 2020 nominee for Executive of the Year.


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