Board Members

Board of ACBTA 2021-2024

Executive Committee:


Professor Firdaus Mukhtar, PhD

Dr Firdaus Mukhtar is a Professor and Deputy Dean at School of Graduate Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia.  She received her PhD from University of Queensland, after completing a Master of Clinical Psychology at Edith Cowan University and Bachelor of Human Sciences in Psychology at the International Islamic University Malaysia. Her PhD thesis was on Group Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Unipolar Depression. She was a CBT consultant for WHO Malaysia to develop a CBT manual to manage chronic medical illness at primary care level and gave intensive CBT training to Family Medicine Specialists. Dr Firdaus was the recipient of the 2012 L’Oreal Malaysia Young Women Scientist for her vast contribution to research on depression, anxiety and weight management. She has 20 years of experience in providing CBT and DBT training to medical, allied health and mental health professionals around South East Asia. With over 50 scientific articles and CBT books, she is a renowned Subject Matter Expert in the region.


Associate Professor Dr Nimisha Kumar, PhD

Dr Nimisha Kumar is the Founder and Director of Ascend-Psy Care, as well as an Associate Professor at SGT University, India. She is a Senior Consultant Psychologist and trained CBT Therapist. She is also the Founder President of the Indian Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (IACBT). She has a Masters in Applied Psychology (Clinical Specialization) and a Doctorate in Psychology from University of Delhi, India. In 2003, Dr Nimisha received the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship for a Master’s degree in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy at the University of Derby, United Kingdom.

Past President

Professor Ning Zhang, MD, PhD

Professor Ning Zhang is a leading psychiatrist and researcher on cognitive behavioral therapy in Nanjing. He holds many positions in mental health organizations. He is the Deputy Director of Jiangsu Provincial Center of Mental Health, Director of Nanjing Institute of Neuropsychiatry, and Director of Institute of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of Nanjing Medical University. Prof Zhang was also one of the representatives of Asian Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association (ACBTA) in WCCBT during his tenure as the President of the ACBTA between 2018 to 2020. He has published more than 200 papers and edited more than 60 books. He has won 20 awards for scientific and technological progress and teaching.


Professor Alvin Lai Oon Ng, DPsych

Dr Alvin Ng is currently Associate Dean (Engagement and Internationalisation) at the School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University, Malaysia. He is a clinical psychologist by training, with a Doctor of Psychology degree from Murdoch University, Western Australia. His research area includes mental health literacy, mindfulness-based interventions, cultural validation of psychometric inventories and cross-cultural aspects of psychotherapy. He was formerly the Head of the Health Psychology Unit at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia) where he led the Master of Clinical Psychology Program from 2003 to 2013. Dr Ng was the Founding President of the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology as well as the Secretary of ACBTA from 2014 to 2018. He is the Chair of the 7th Asian Cognitive Behavior Therapy Conference 2021.

Treasurer (until July 2022)

Professor Younghee Choi, MD, PhD

Dr Younghee Choi is a psychiatrist and the Director of the Mettaa Institute of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Schema Focus Therapy, as well as Clinical Professor of Department of Psychiatry, Paik Hospital of Inje University, South Korea. He is a Certified Therapist of both the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT), and the International Society for Schema Therapy (ISST). Dr Choi is also the Chair of the Scientific Committee of coming World Congress of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies 2023, in Seoul, South Korea.

Treasurer (from July 2022)

Associate Professor Dr JongSun Lee, PhD

Dr JongSun Lee is an associate professor in the department of psychology, Kangwon National University, South Korea, and worked here from 2015. Dr Lee obtained her BA and MA from Korea University and PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK. She then worked as a research professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology(KAIST) & Korea University. She is a clinical psychologist and CBT therapist in Korea. Dr Lee focuses her research interest on the investigation of the effects of CBT and CBM (Cognitive Bias Modification) in depression and social anxiety. Dr Lee is currently the Vice President of the Korea Association of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (KACBT).

Research and Innovation

Professor Muhammad Irfan, MD, PhD

Dr Muhammad Irfan is Professor, Head of Department and Director of Research at the Department of Mental Health, Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, Peshawar Medical College, Pakistan. He holds many posts, notably Director of World Association of Cultural Psychiatry; Member, Global Mental Health Caucus of American Psychiatric Association; General Secretary, Pakistan Association of Cognitive Therapists (PACT); Ex-Provincial Chapter Chief, Pakistan Psychiatric Society. Dr Irfan has regularly been involved in capacity building activities in the fields of research and publication ethics. He is an International Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. His professional interests include Global Mental Health, Digital Mental Health, Non-Pharmacological Interventions and Genetics in Psychiatry.

Training and Development

Professor Shin-Ichi Ishikawa, PhD

Dr Shin-ichi Ishikawa is a professor at the Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. He is a certified public psychologist, professional behavioral psychotherapist, and clinical psychologist. He obtained his undergraduate and MA degrees from Waseda University and his PhD from Health Sciences University of Hokkaido. He was a Fullbright Scholar at Swarthmore College in 2011-2012 and a Visiting Professor at Macquarie University in 2018-2019. His research focuses on clinical child and adolescent psychology, especially in treatment and prevention of psychopathology. He has received awards from the Japanese Psychological Association, the Japanese Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, and the Japanese Association of Counseling Science. He is an executive board member of the Japanese Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (JABCT).

Board Members (in alphabetical order):

Professor Jenny Huei-Chen Ko, PhD – Asia University, Taiwan  

Professor Emeritus Jung Hye Kwon, PhD – Korea University, South Korea

Professor Freedom Leung, PhD – Chinese University of Hong Kong

Professor Zhanjiang Li, MD, PhD – Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing

Professor Akiko Nakagawa, PhD – Chiba University, Japan

Professor Emeritus Tian Po Oei, PhD – The University of Queensland, Australia

Assistant Professor Md. Shahanur Hossain, PhD– University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Professor Chun Wang, MD, PhD – Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing

ACBTA Boardmembers at the 9th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies 2019, Berlin, Germany. (L-R): Nimisha Kumar, Chun Wang, Jenny Ko, Yuji Sakano, Shin-Ichi Ishikawa, Young-Hee Choi, Firdaus Mukhtar, Ning Zhang, Shahanur Hossain, Zhanjiang Li and Alvin Ng
Board members during the ACBTA Annual General Meeting at the 2018 World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Melbourne, Australia. (L-R): Akiko Nakayama, Alvin Ng, Jenny Ko, Ning Zhang, Tian Po Oei, Jung-Hye Kwon, Young-Hee Choi, Shin-Ichi Ishikawa, Firdaus Mukhtar, Zhanjiang Li.
Board members at the 5th Asian Cognitive Behavior Therapy Conference, Nanjing, 2015
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