The International OCD Foundation's staff is a group of dedicated and hardworking individuals all working to provide life-changing programs and create a community of support, with the goal of ensuring that no one affected by OCD and related disorders suffers alone.
Becky Deusser brings an unwavering commitment to mental health awareness and advocacy, coupled with strong expertise in driving impactful change in mission-driven organizations, to the IOCDF. She has a robust background in strategic leadership, change management, organizational design, communications, advocacy, and public and governmental affairs in clinical and non-clinical settings.
Prior to joining the IOCDF, Becky was the vice president for strategy & growth: communications and external affairs at Tufts Medicine, an integrated health system based in Massachusetts. Her diverse experience also includes senior leadership positions for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, such as chief of staff at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and various roles for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, including policy director and deputy press secretary. Notably, Becky was a member and former chair of the Massachusetts Statewide Mental Health Advisory Council.
Becky holds a master's degree in science and medical journalism and an MBA, both from Boston University and an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College. She lives in the Boston area with her spirited, young daughter. Read more >
Director of Operations
Matt joined the IOCDF in July 2019. Coming from a business management background across various industries he has found his passion in the non-profit sector, specifically by working with a foundation that supports a mental health community. Matt oversees finance, HR, and administrative systems for the IOCDF. In his free time, he likes to give back to vulnerable youth populations.
Stephanie Cogen, MPH, MSW
As the Program Director, Stephanie develops new programs for the entire IOCDF community, maintains the quality of the IOCDF’s current programming, and oversees all educational content on our various websites and print materials. Stephanie has worked for the IOCDF since 2013 and is passionate about public mental health. She has a Masters of Public Health (MPH) and a Masters of Social Work (MSW), and is a member of the American Public Health Association’s Mental Health and Public Health Social Work sections. ¡Ella habla español!
Director of Media & Technology
Fran joined the IOCDF in 2010. Fran is a Boston native who calls Jamaica Plain home. He oversees the IOCDF's Communications Department. Fran manages all in-house graphic design, web development, and IT. In his spare time Fran is very involved in the local soccer community. He is a founding member and former president of The American Outlaws Boston Chapter. He also serves on the board for AO Impact and the leadership council for Boston Scores.
Tiia Groden, MA
Director of Systems Operations
Tiia Groden works interdepartmentally to ensure the IOCDF is working efficiently and effectively to create a community of support among those affected by OCD and related disorders. She oversees the One Million Steps for OCD Walk and works operationally with the Development Dept to expand and grow fundraising initiatives and the Events Dept with the execution of events, including the Annual OCD Conference and the Online Conference Series. She joined the Foundation in 2014 after completing her Master's degree in Psychology at Boston University and before that Human Development at Boston College for undergrad. She is a native Rhode Islander currently living in Somerville, MA.
Director of External Relations and Partnerships
Liz is the primary liaison between the IOCDF and the OCD community, including our various partners, affiliates, special interest groups and advocate volunteers. She joined the IOCDF in June 2022. Working closely with all departments, she increases community support, volunteer opportunities and awareness. Her extensive partner management and business development background includes experience in pharma, media advertising and marketing industries. As a parent of someone with OCD, she brings her personal passion of helping others, especially children, to the role. Liz currently resides in Cincinnati, OH.
Sanjaya Saxena, MD
Director of Clinical and Research Affairs
Dr. Saxena joined the IOCDF in December 2023. He serves as the liaison to the IOCDF Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board (SCB), represents the IOCDF to the broader clinical and research community, oversees the IOCDF Research Grant Program, and assists the staff with conference planning and communications. Dr. Saxena previously served as Director of the UCLA OCD Research Program and Director of the UC San Diego OCD Program. He has been elected into Best Doctors in America and US News & World Report’s America’s Top Doctors. His research focused on the neurobiology and treatment of OCD and Hoarding Disorder. He and his colleagues developed the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Hoarding Disorder.
Senior Development Manager
Kristen originally joined the IOCDF in May 2018. She oversees all fundraising activities and philanthropy including donor relations, direct mail appeals, grant writing, sponsorships, and corporate relations. With previous experience at suicide prevention and reproductive health nonprofits, she has a passion for these issues and enjoys volunteering.
Bethsy Plaisir, MPH
Education & Community Support Manager
Bethsy provides information, support, and resources to the OCD and related disorders community via phone, email, and in person at IOCDF events. She also assists in developing new IOCDF programs and the maintenance of existing programs under the guidance of the Program Director. Bethsy started working at the IOCDF in September 2019 and previously worked with Success For Kids and Families as a Family Resource Coordinator doing assessments and providing referrals for Healthy Families and Healthy Start.
Margaret grew up in Southern California. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Music from The University of the Pacific. Margaret joined the IOCDF in November 2022 as our Events Manager. In this role, she will be managing various conferences and events. Prior to joining the IOCDF, for years, Margaret worked planning various educational events and programs for non-profit organizations. She loves serving people and planning meaningful events. She is a transplant to the Boston area and enjoys hiking and spending time with her two dogs Sparrow and Daisy.
Amanda Ota joined the IOCDF in November of 2022 as Communications Manager. A seasoned Communications professional, Amanda has worked over a decade in media relations, social media and corporate communications. A former journalist, Amanda is driven by a passion for phenomenal storytelling and looks forward to helping the IOCDF share its narrative. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys cooking, baking, writing and all things New England Patriots.
Kate Scolatti, MS, LMFT
Kate is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specialized in treating adolescents and adults with OCD and anxiety prior to joining the IOCDF in 2023. As Training Manager, she oversees the Training Institute's in-person and virtual offerings, working to help develop and expand specialized OCD training for mental health professionals, students, and trainees. Kate attended a BTTI in 2021 and is passionate about expanding access to high-quality education to better serve the OCD community.
Digital Marketing Manager
Alex joined the IOCDF in March 2023. His backgrounds come from digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and a strong personal background in fighting mental health struggles. Alex believes that everyone no matter the circumstance should be able to get information regarding mental health support. On top of that, Alex probably knows more random hip hop facts than the average person.
Mary Kate Lang
Mary Kate (MK) joined the IOCDF in January 2024. As Walk manager, MK oversees the planning and execution of the One Million Steps for OCD Walk. She has five years of experience in event planning and a decade of experience in nonprofits. Outside of work MK loves reading, playing with her nieces and nephews, and visiting every museum she can.
Ming joined the IOCDF in February 2021. Raised in Boston, he is an alumnus of Northeastern University and brings four years of direct care experience in mental health. As the Operations Specialist, Ming oversees all data processing, including donations, memberships, event registration, etc. and works to ensure IOCDF databases are accurate. Ming also takes lead of office management for the IOCDF and in his spare time, he is devoted to strategy games such as Go and competes in tournaments.
Boris Litvin, MA
Research Communications Specialist
Boris joined the IOCDF staff in 2022. Raised in Brooklyn, NY, he received an MA in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and has worked in numerous psychology research laboratories over the past five years. Boris is responsible for assistance with the IOCDF Research Grant Program and other research-related activities, as well as writing and editing research-related content for the OCD Newsletter. He enjoys portrait painting, reading, music, and being out in nature.
Brennan Kauffman, MS
Brennan joined the IOCDF in June 2023. Coming from a journalism background, Brennan found a passion for storytelling and visual content. He has a Masters of Science in Journalism: Media Innovation, Data Communication, and Video. In his free time, Brennan is out shooting fine art photography and enjoying nature.
Julie joined the IOCDF in November 2021 after years of event planning in the hospitality industry, book industry, and in higher education. She received an MFA in Writing from Southern Connecticut State University, and worked for non-profits while obtaining her degree. She’s excited to bring those skills together as an Event Coordinator at IOCDF. Julie loves to read, write, and travel, especially if the destination is a tropical locale. She adores her two rescue dogs, Lula and Junebug.
Rae joined the IOCDF in May 2022, providing support for development staff in reaching annual fundraising goals. Rae's interest in fundraising began after volunteering at the Massachusetts Sex Worker Ally Network (MASWAN) for several years.
Finance Administration Associate
Omar Orellana, a dedicated Finance Administrative Associate at the IOCDF, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization. He previously served at the Intergenerational Literacy Program in Chelsea, MA where the desire to help and ensure a positive impact to those around him started. Omar's passions include music and is an avid vinyl record collector.