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EXCOM Member

Keita Franklin, PhD


National Director, Suicide Prevention

Dr. Keita Franklin, serving as a member of Senior Executive Service, serves as the National Director of Suicide Prevention for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior, she was the Director for the Defense Suicide Prevention Office where she was responsible for policy and oversight for the Departments Suicide Prevention programs. Franklin previously served as the Behavioral Health Branch Head where she was charged with leading the integration of USMC behavioral health programs. In this capacity, she was responsible for the administration of a number of key program areas, including Research; Program Evaluation; Data Surveillance; Program Development; Functional Systems; and Prevention and Clinical Services comprised of Substance Abuse, Family Advocacy, Suicide Prevention, Combat Operational Stress Control and non-medical counseling programs.

Franklin directed the policy, future planning, training, technical assistance, resource management, and advocacy efforts for 17 installations and over 200,000 Marines and families across the Corps. Her focus centered on leveraging the science to develop and execute an integrated service delivery built on common risk and protective factors. In this capacity, she led a team of cross-disciplinary professionals in setting up a comprehensive system of care composed of a number of new programs while ensuring strong program evaluation processes were in place for monitoring program effectiveness. She also transitioned the United States Marines Corps non-medical providers from paper-based files to an IT care management documentation system. Franklin’s specialty area of focus is on impact of deployment and trauma on military and family relationships, particularly spouses and children. Franklin has published on deployment and psychological well-being on family relationships and alcohol related issues. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and has lectured on numerous topics impacting military service members, including deployment stress, secondary trauma, women's mental health issues in the military, parenting in the military, and behavioral health needs of today's service members. Prior to working for the Marine Corps, she served at the installation and regional levels for both the United States Air Force and United States Army. She has worked in the areas of prevention, clinical treatment, child welfare and program administration over a variety of programs. Franklin has also worked in the non-profit sector in the area of adoptions.

Franklin is a licensed social worker with a specialization in children and families and has a PhD in social work with specialized training/certifications from the Center for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis. She received a leadership award from Virginia Commonwealth University for leading efforts to help train and advise the social work profession on working with military families.

National Action Alliance
for Suicide Prevention

1025 Thomas Jefferson St., NW, Ste 700 W
Washington, DC 20007