Carmen R. Valdez, Ph.D., is an associate professor, chief of the Division of Community Engagement and Health Equity and faculty director of Community-Driven Initiatives in the Department of Population Health. She is also an associate professor in The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work.
Valdez is a community-based participatory researcher with a special interest in mental health promotion and intervention with Latinx immigrant families. She is also interested in understanding the role of social policy, neighborhood and family factors on immigrant health. She aims to address health equity through partnerships, community-grounded research and mentoring of health equity scholars. She has collaborated with local residents, community organizations, binational organizations and city offices to improve health equity.
Prior to 2018, she was associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At UW she was the academic lead of the Latino Equity Collaborative, an advisory board of community and academic partners that leverages social capital, community experience and university research and resources to address educational and health equity for latinos in Madison and across the state. Leadership on this and other projects, such as Fortalezas Familiares (Family Strengths) and the Lives of Immigrant Families, received recognition in the form of community engagement and excellence in diversity awards. While at UW, Valdez was the faculty director of the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity program, of the Collaborative Center for Health Equity, UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
At a national level, Valdez has actively contributed to the American Psychological Association. She chaired the APA’s Committee on Children, Youth and Families in 2015 and in 2017 was a member of the APA Working Group on Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She served as associate editor of the journal Family Process between 2017 and 2020.