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Leah McGowan Fletcher, MSW, LCSW, BCD

Senior Operations Manager, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
Department of Psychiatry
Uniformed Services University

Leah currently serves as the Senior Operations Manager for the National Guard Programs supported by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

She is a licensed clinical social worker and board-certified diplomate with a wealth of diverse experience at the National level. Prior to joining CSTS, Leah served as the US Navy Suicide Prevention Team Lead under the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in the Navy Culture and Force Resilience Office. As the Supervisory Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the Navy, she directed suicide prevention programs, drafted policy (including the 2023 Self-initiated Mental Health Referral NAVADMIN) and supervised a team of clinicians and policy analysts.

Prior to her work with the CNO office, she served as the Chief of Reserve and Family Programs and the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). She directed, managed and provided clinical, financial and policy leadership and oversight for BUMED Reserve Psychological Programs. She acted as the Subject Matter Expert for Suicide Related Initiatives, Reserve Psychological Health and general Mental Health Issues and Projects. She was the Program manager for the Reserve Psychological Health Outreach Program (PHOP). She provided oversight to 3 national contracts as a Contracting Officer Representative (COR) to support the Navy Surgeon General’s submissions for the Navy Budget.

Leah served on Active Duty as the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the Army National Guard from 2018-2021. In this role, she directed the ARNG psychological health and prevention programs to maintain a deployable ARNG warrior population. She managed behavioral health and prevention activities between the Army, NGB and the ARNG, while leading and mentoring 161 full-time ARNG Directors of Psychological Health (both Federal Employees and Contractors) in the 54 States, Territories and the District of Columbia. Additionally, she served as a clinical therapist in the Pentagon’s Defense Stress Management Clinic, providing individual adult outpatient behavioral health treatment in a multidisciplinary setting. Prior to this, she served as the full time Behavioral Health Officer for the California Military Department High Desert Region covering the largest county in the United States. She has worked in the homeless clinic, mental health clinic and Domiciliary programs with the Department of Veteran Affairs from 2006-2013.

She began her military career in April 2000 as an Active Duty enlisted Medic and Mental Health Specialist. She was the Honor Graduate of her Advanced Individual Training Course. She earned her commission through the ROTC program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was named top third of her Advanced Leadership Course. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Northridge. She was awarded the first ever Outstanding Graduating Veteran Award and was acknowledged by the Governor of California.

Leah concurrently serves as the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the Maryland Army National Guard. She is a wife and mother of two who enjoys singing and working out in her free time.