Request a speaker for your next event!
Our National and Lead Advocates have a passion for sharing their stories and raising OCD and related disorder awareness. Through our IOCDF Advocate Speaker Program, your organization can book a speaker to present at your next online or in-person event.
To request a speaker, please fill out the speaking request form below. Once you’ve completed the request form, you will be contacted by an IOCDF representative regarding your request. The speakers generously volunteer their time to help spread awareness by presenting at events. The program is made possible through the dedication of our advocates along with the support of our donors.
Are you looking for an advocate to interview? Please visit our Contact Us page to submit your media request.
Are you an IOCDF Affiliate? Please contact us directly for any speaking request needs and we will be happy to connect you with one of our IOCDF Advocates.
Meet our Speakers:
Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD is the director of the McLean Houston OCD Program. She was the founder of the Peace of Mind Foundation — now a part of the International OCD Foundation — and helps run OCDChallenge.org, a self-help website for OCD. Elizabeth was the first-ever national spokesperson for the IOCDF, where she now serves as a board member. She was diagnosed with OCD at age 12 and underwent both inpatient and outpatient therapy. Elizabeth engages in clinical work, research, and advocacy with the goal of improving access to care and OCD treatment. Her life goal is to make a difference in the lives of those with OCD. View Sample Speech
Ethan S. Smith currently lives in the Los Angeles and Atlanta areas working as a writer/director/producer and OCD advocate and consultant. Ethan was born with OCD and struggled the majority of his life until receiving life-changing treatment in 2010. Ethan was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles. He served as an IOCDF National Spokesperson from 2015–2017, as the IOCDF National Ambassador from 2018–2020, and currently serves as an IOCDF National Advocate. He’s devoted his life to reducing stigma around OCD and mental health, to education, and to supporting the OCD community. You can see Ethan every week moderating a virtual IOCDF town hall event, or hosting his popular IOCDF live stream “JUST, Ethan.” Ethan is currently a girl dad to two adorable kitties. View Sample Speech
Valerie Andrews is a retired schoolteacher and full-time wife, mother, and grandmother. Following her OCD diagnosis in 2011, she began advocating in hopes of bringing awareness and inclusion within her own community and communities of faith. Today, she spends the majority of her time focusing on her new nonprofit (msmablesparrows, Inc) a nonprofit for women of age, color, and faith. Her goal is to continue working as an IOCDF Advocate and promoting change.
Rev. Katie O'Dunne graduated from Candler School of Theology at Emory with her master of divinity and certificate of religion & health in May 2015. She has spent the last five years serving as the academy chaplain and the Pauline and R.L. Brand Jr. '35 Chair of Religious Studies at Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. There, she seeks to inspire students of various faiths to develop a sense of empathy through respectful, ecumenical dialogue by teaching religious literacy. Katie hopes to develop programs to encourage a deeper understanding of mental illness within diverse religious communities, while fostering positive, collaborative relationships between religious practitioners and mental health providers. She also helps to inspire those struggling to live joyfully, as she seeks to do through running, triathlon, and kitty snuggles.
Tom Smalley, MS, CSCS is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association living in New York, NY. He has masters degree in exercise and sport science from Merrimack College. He was diagnosed with OCD in 2014 at the age of 16 and shortly after became passionate about spreading awareness about what OCD really is in an effort to break down the wall of stigma around the mental disorder and mental health in general. Tom was the recipient of the 2019 IOCDF Hero Award. Tom speaks at the Annual OCD Conferences along with different schools around the northeast. He has also appeared on a variety of blogs and podcasts as well. A topic Tom is particularly passionate about is athletes and OCD and how it affects performance along with the stigma of mental health in sports.
Chris Trondsen suffered from undiagnosed, severe OCD, BDD, major depressive disorder, and anxiety and panic attacks beginning as a young child. It was not until his early 20s that Chris received both a formal diagnosis and specialized treatment. Chris began advocating publically for mental health and shared his story of recovery on TV, including the Dr. Drew Show, as well as in various newspapers. Chris treats individuals with OCD and BDD at The Gateway Institute in Costa Mesa, California. He also currently serves as the vice president of OCD Southern California, and is a member of the BDD Special Interest Group. As a lead advocate, Chris's passions include expanding BDD awareness and education, addressing LGBTQ+ issues in mental health treatment, and expanding the IOCDF's services to the young adult community.
Speaker Request Form: