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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

Kirtadze, I., Otiashvili, D., O'Grady, K., Zule, W., Krupitsky, E., Wechsberg, W., et al. (2015). Women who inject drugs in the Republic of Georgia: In their own words. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 47 (1):71-79.
Reed, E., Myers, B., Novak, S.P., Browne, F.A., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2015). Experiences of violence and association with decreased drug abstinence among women in Cape Town, South Africa. AIDS and Behavior, 19 (1):192-198.
Zule, W., Myers, B., Carney, T., Novak, S.P., McCormick, K., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2014). Alcohol and drug use outcomes among vulnerable women living with HIV: Results from the Western Cape Women's Health CoOp. AIDS Care, 26 (12):1494-1499.
Raiford, J.L., Herbst, J.H., Carry, M., Browne, F.A., Doherty, I., & Wechsberg, W.M. (2014). Low Prospects and High Risk: Structural Determinants of Health Associated with Sexual Risk Among Young African American Women Residing in Resource-Poor Communities in the South. American Journal of Community Psychology, 54 (3-4):243-250.
Johnson, J.E., Peabody, M.E., Wechsberg, W.M., Rosen, R.K., Fernandes, K., & Zlotnick, C. (2014). Feasibility of an HIV/STI Risk-Reduction Program for Incarcerated Women Who Have Experienced Interpersonal Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance Online Publication .
View all publications by Wendee Wechsberg (129)


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