Dr. dwayne Buckingham – Founder, CEO

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, President and CEO of The Empathy and Resilience Center, founded the organization in 2015 out concern for the declining mental health of active military military members, veterans, African Americans and other underserved, underinsured and disadvantaged populations.

Dr. Buckingham is an empathy and resilience expert and prominent psychotherapist in Washington D.C. He has an affinity for empowering individuals, families and communities. Over the past 24 years, he has dedicated his life to helping distressed individuals reach their full potential by providing world-class empathy and resilience counseling. Dr. Buckingham is well respected among his professional colleagues and is known as “The Empathy and Resiliency Doctor or The E.R. Doctor”.

As a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force for nearly a decade, he provided psychological assessments, treatment and psycho-educational training to over 40,000 individuals, couples, and families worldwide. In recognition of his expertise as a superb psychotherapist and consultant, Dr. Buckingham received six Commendation medals, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and five Achievement/Unit Medals.

Dr. Buckingham holds a B.S.W. in Social Work from Jackson State University, a M.S.W in Clinical Social Work from Michigan State University, a Ph.D. in Human Services from Capella University and is Board Certified by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.

He retired in 2021 after serving 22 years of combined active-duty services in the United States Air Force and United States Public Health Service.

Verona Boucher – Executive Consultant

Verona Boucher is the Executive Consultant for The Empathy and Resilience Center, Inc. (TERC), and is responsible for for providing strategic guidance and assistance to the CEO in the planning and implementation of training, educational forums and fund raising. She provides staff recruitment and retention advise, program management support and logistical planning.

As an Occupational Therapist, she has the skill set and credentials to serve as an OT providing Mental Health intervention. She completed a Combat Stress Management course and was imbedded with an Army Reserve unit where she successfully directed twenty rotating one-week in-house stay Combat Stress Resilience program focused on shoring up the resilience of over 100 warfighters.

Born in Jamaica, West Indies, Verona Boucher is a 31-year veteran of the United States Army and Air Force. She severed in the US Army for 3 years on active duty (1979-1982) and the US Army Reserve (1982-1991).

She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force (USAF) in 2015.

TERC’s board of directors are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future through sound governance and financial management policies, and ensuring adequate resources. Our board of directors do an outstanding job of providing program and fiscal guidance to the executive director.

Also, our board of directors excel in performing their three primary legal duties:

  1. Taking care of TERC by ensuring prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and good will; and provide oversight for all activities that advance TERC’s effectiveness and sustainability. (Duty of Care)
  2. Makes decisions in the best interest of TERC; not in his or her self-interest. (Duty of loyalty)
  3. Ensure that TERC obeys applicable laws and acts in accordance with ethical practices; that TERC adheres to its stated corporate purposes, and that its activities advance its mission. (Duty of obedience)

Our board directors is composed of a very diverse group of professionals who possess a wealth of knowledge and experience essential to carrying out TERC’s mission.

  • CAPT Indira Wallace Harris, DSW, LCSW-C (United States Public Health Service) – President 
  • CAPT Deirdre Presley (United States Public Health Service) – Vice President
  • Sharon Rogers (Retired Master Chief, Unite States Navy) – Secretary
  • Joseph D. Cooper, LCPA – Treasurer
  • Shonta Smith, Ed. D., Assistant Professor – Board Member
  • Spring Meyers, LCSW-C (Retired Maj. United States Air Force) – Board Member

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