Gerard Lawson, an associate professor in the counselor education program of the Virginia Tech School of Education, assumed the presidency of the American Counseling Association on July 1.

Lawson is a past president of both the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the Virginia Counselors Association.

Since joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Lawson has published his research — including articles on counselor wellness and resilience, particularly when working in disaster mental health — in many prestigious journals. He has presented at national and international conferences on a range of topics, including counselor wellness, crisis response and resilience, and clinical supervision.

A trustee of the American Counseling Association Foundation, Lawson has also chaired the American Counseling Association Taskforce on Crisis Response Planning.

Lawson received the American Counseling Association’s Robert Rencken Professional Leadership Award in 2011, the John R. Cook Award by the Virginia Counselors Association in 2012, and the inaugural Martin Ritchie Award for Advocacy in 2015. Under his leadership, Virginia Tech’s counselor education program received the Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award in 2009.

Lawson is a licensed professional counselor, a national certified counselor, and an approved clinical supervisor. He earned a bachelor’s degree in family and child development at Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in community and college counseling at Longwood College, and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision at the College of William and Mary.

The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, it is the world’s largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.