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News Release


Release No: NR-045-15
February 09, 2015

Defense Department Names New Suicide Prevention Office Director

The Department of Defense announced that Dr. Keita M. Franklin is the new director of the DoD Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO) effective today. This marks elevation of DSPO leadership to a career Senior Executive Service (SES) position, reinforcing the department's commitment to decreasing the incidence of suicide and increasing resiliency across the armed forces.

"I am very pleased to have Dr. Franklin take the lead in this very important mission," said Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness Jessica Wright. Adding about the outgoing director, "Jackie Garrick's work is characterized by her passion and dedication. I'm grateful for her service."

Dr. Franklin arrives with 14 years of experience working with service members and their families. Most recently, Franklin was Behavioral Health Branch Head at Headquarters Marine Corps, charged with leading five behavioral health programs, including suicide prevention.

Prior to working for the Marine Corps, Dr. Franklin worked for both the Air Force and the Army, supervising family programs at the installation and regional levels. Dr. Franklin's area of interest is posttraumatic stress symptoms and how those symptoms impact family functioning.

Franklin, a licensed clinical social worker, has a PhD in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her post-doctoral research explored the impact of deployment and psychological well-being on family relationships.

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