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Dr. Rachel Nielsen

Director, Preventing Targeted Violence

Dr. Rachel Nielsen is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves as the Director for Preventing Targeted Violence at the McCain Institute. Prior to joining the McCain Institute, Dr. Nielsen served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Resilience Collaborative at the International Disaster Psychology Program at the University of Denver. In that role, she created a training curriculum for multidisciplinary professional audiences and provided planning guidance around the globe to countries regarding targeted violence prevention and recovery, and former terrorists and foreign fighters and their family members. Dr. Nielsen simultaneously worked with Nicoletti-Flater Associates, a prominent police and public safety practice that specializes in behavioral threat assessment and management. Nicoletti-Flater is renowned for decades of work in preventing, intervening, and assisting in psychological recovery efforts after incidents of school violence and attacks on locations.

In her 25-year career, Dr. Nielsen has provided care in numerous settings, including a state psychiatric hospital with adolescents, investigations for child protective services, private K-8 school, daycare, sex offender treatment and evaluation, early child abuse prevention through home visitation with new parents, trauma therapy for survivors of physical and sexual violence, and providing therapy, debriefings, and training to first responders. She has a passion for interdisciplinary, community-driven efforts to combat violence. Dr. Nielsen holds a B.A. in Academic Psychology, Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology, as well as a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. She specializes in behavior, forensic psychology, trauma, and targeted violence.