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Wendee Wechsberg

Director, Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions

Wendee Wechsberg, PhD, has more than 20 years of clinical experience and has directed outpatient drug-free, methadone, and residential substance abuse treatment programs. Dr. Wechsberg has devoted her career to applied research, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, to develop and test the efficacy of HIV prevention interventions among different populations of substance abusers. She has served as principal investigator/project director on studies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Wechsberg also serves as a consultant and advisor for various national studies and international studies. She has been conducting international research in South Africa with at-risk substance abusing women since 2001. She has published in the areas of gender and ethnicity, outreach, HIV risk, and women substance abusers.

In addition to her role as research director, she also leads the RTI Global Gender Center, which brings together experts across numerous disciplines to improve knowledge, policies, and programs worldwide to reduce gender inequities and disparities.


  • PhD, Community Psychology, North Carolina State University
  • MS, Human Development Counseling, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
  • BA, Cultural Anthropology, Social Sciences, University of South Florida

Latest Publications

Jones, H.E., Kirtadze, I., Otiashvili, D., Murphy, K., O'Grady, K.E., Zule, W., Krupitsky, E., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2015). Feasibility and initial efficacy of a culturally sensitive women-centered substance use intervention in Georgia: Sex risk outcomes. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 10 :47.
Wechsberg, W.M., Doherty, I.A., Browne, F.A., Kline, T.L., Carry, M.G., Raiford, J.L., et al. (2015). Gang membership and marijuana use among African American female adolescents in North Carolina. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 6 :141-150.
Otiashvili, D., Kirtadze, I., O'Grady, K.E., Zule, W., Krupitsky, E., Wechsberg, W.M., et al. (2015). Comprehensive women-centered treatment for substance use disorders in Georgia: Current status and future directions. Journal of Substance Use , 20 (5):367-374.
Doherty, I.A., Myers, B., Zule, W.A., Minnis, A.M., Kline, T.L., Parry, C.D., El-Bassel, N., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2015). Seek, test and disclose: Knowledge of HIV testing and serostatus among high-risk couples in a South African township. Sexually Transmitted Infections, Advance Online Publication .
Myers, B., Jones, H.E., Doherty, I.A., Kline, T.L., Key, M.E., Johnson, K., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2015). Correlates of lifetime trauma exposure among pregnant women from Cape Town, South Africa. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 13 (3):307-321.
View all publications by Wendee Wechsberg (136)


  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Gender Issues and HIV Risk
  • Community-Based Research
  • International HIV Adaptations