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New director to hold joint appointments in social work, counseling and counseling psychology

Frank Dillon has been named the new director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy


Frank Dillon, CABHP, SIRC, School of Social Work, counseling, counseling psychology, CISA, Watts College,

Frank Dillon, director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy in the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center. ASU photo

July 23, 2021

Frank Dillon is the new director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy in the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Dillon’s appointment to the directorship, as well as a joint appointment in Arizona State University's School of Social Work and in counseling and counseling psychology at the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, became effective July 1.

“Our school is very fortunate to have Dr. Frank Dillon join us as the new director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy within SIRC,” said School of Social Work Director Elizabeth Lightfoot. “His research focus on health and mental health disparities, with a particular interest in issues facing the Latinx population and sexual minorities, fits perfectly with the mission of the School of Social Work. I look forward to working with him.”

The Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center and the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy are both housed in the School of Social Work, which is based in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. The two centers integrated in February 2021 to strengthen their research capacities and community partnerships.

Dillon will work from the centers' offices at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix.

Dillon said he is mainly interested in building from the strong foundation established by his director predecessors, Natasha Mendoza and Michael Shafer.

“(The center) is known as the center to look toward for behavioral health-related program evaluation and research in Phoenix. I’d like to continue growing that,” said Dillon, who plans to continue with the center’s training initiatives. These would provide an opportunity to train local behavioral health workforce organizations as well as be a resource for the university in training needs, he said.

Dillon said he had a similar joint appointment at Florida International University where he became a tenured associate professor at the university’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work earlier in his career. After Florida International University, he returned to his roots in counseling psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, before coming to ASU in 2017.

“Now I have a joint appointment that finally integrates the two,” he said.

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