Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith

Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith - Associate Professor -  profile photo

Research Interests

  • Experiences of forced migrants; Impact of torture, human right abuses, armed conflict and displacement; vicarious trauma in service providers; HIV/AIDS risk and preventiative factors among African immigrants; and multicultural issues


  • Ph.D., Columbia University
  • B.A., CUNY Graduate Center

Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith, PHD, ABPP, is a licensed psychologist who is originally from Sierra Leone. She is Board Certified in Group Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Dr. Akinsulure-Smith is a tenured Professor in the Department of Psychology at the City College of New York, the City University of New York (CUNY) and at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She has cared for forced migrants, as well as survivors of torture, armed conflict, and human rights abuses from around the world at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture since 1999. 

A proud co-founder of Nah We Yone, Inc., a non-profit organization (1997-2010) created to proactively respond to war survivors from the African Diaspora, Dr. Akinsulure-Smith and her co-founders at Nah We Yone were among the 2003 recipients of New York City’s prestigious Union Square Awards. In 2005, she received Teachers College, Columbia University’s “Early Career Award.” From 2008-2010, Dr. Akinsulure-Smith served on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Psychological effect of war on children and families who are refugees from armed conflicts residing in the United States (PEWCF).

Dr. Akinsulure-Smith has participated in human rights investigations in Sierra Leone with Physicians for Human Rights and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, Human Rights Division and served as a Joint Expert on Gender Crimes and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the International Criminal Court. She provides forensic evaluations, human rights consultations, and frequently works with attorneys handling cases involving torture, trauma and maltreatment. Through the years, her work has taught her about the impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress, Vicarious Trauma, and Compassion Fatigue, highlighting the importance of self-care. Drawing on her experiences and research in this area, Dr. Akinsulure-Smith has conducted workshops addressing the importance of self-care for mental health service providers nationally and internationally.

In addition to her teaching and clinical work, Dr. Akinsulure-Smith is the recipient of several grants, including a 2014-2015 Fulbright Africa Regional Research Program award and a CUNY Distinguished Fellowship. Currently she is the PI of an NIH-funded project to examine Female Genital Cutting among African immigrants and service providers in the United States.

Dr. Akinsulure-Smith’s work has included developing and examining mental health interventions in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. She has written extensively about service provision to and mental health challenges facing forced migrants, including recent scholarly publications in Journal of Traumatic Stress, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Human Development, PLOS, Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, American Journal of Community Psychology, and Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.