Board Members

Name Appointing
Wong, Christina, Chair Governor June 1, 2017 LCSW
Brown, Deborah, Vice-Chair Governor June 1, 2017 Public
Ashley, Samara Governor June 1, 2017 Public
Bowling, Scott, Dr. Governor June 1, 2018 Public
Brew, Leah, Dr. Governor June 1, 2016 LPCC
Chiu, Peter Governor June 1, 2019 Public
Connolly, Elizabeth "Betty" Governor June 1, 2016 LEP
Kohli, Sarita Governor June 1, 2018 MFT
Lock-Dawson, Patricia Governor June 1, 2017 Public
Lonner, Renee Governor June 1, 2018 LCSW
Pines, Karen Governor June 1, 2017 MFT
Wietlisbach, Christine, Dr., Senate June 1, 2019 Public
Vacant Assembly June 1, 2019 Public

The Board of Behavioral Sciences currently has one Board Member vacancy.

If you are interested in being appointed to the Board of Behavioral Sciences, please visit the Governor's website at

Christine Wong Board member

Christina Wong, LCSW - Chair
Ms. Wong was appointed by Governor Brown as a LCSW member in May 2011. Since 2002, Ms. Wong has been employed by Glenn County Health Services and currently serves as Health Services Program Coordinator. She was formerly the Senior Mental Health Counselor for the Children’s System of Care Program. Ms. Wong is also a Mental Health Clinician for Butte County Probation Department’s Minor Adjustment Program, providing family counseling to the incarcerated minors in juvenile hall and upon release in the community since 2008. Ms. Wong is the Field Instructor for California State University, Chico, School of Social Work and previously served as the Dean of Student Affairs for Hong Kong Shue Yan College from 1993-1997. Ms. Wong received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Hull, United Kingdom. She volunteers as Region D Director of the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter.

Board Member Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown, Public Member - Vice Chair
Ms. Brown was appointed by Governor Brown as a public member in August 2012. Ms. Brown has been a teacher for the Yosemite Unified School District since 1994. She was a part-time accountant at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona from 1991 to 1993 and served as mayor pro tem for the City of Rancho Cucamonga from 1986 to 1991. Brown was a loan officer for Crocker Bank from 1982 to 1985. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Northridge.

Board Member Samara Ashley

Samara Ashley
Ms. Ashley was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as a public member in January 2010. She has served as director of government affairs for the Port of Long Beach since 2007. Previously, Ashley was an account executive for Cerrell Associates from 2004 to 2007, district field representative for Senator Betty Karnette from 2002 to 2004 and social service director and case manager for California Care Center from 1999 to 2002. She is a member of the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, Women's Transportation Seminar and American Association of Port Authorities.

Board Member Scott Bowling

Dr. Scott Bowling
Dr. Bowling was appointed by Governor Brown as a Public Member in September 2014. Mr. Bowling has been president and chief executive officer at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation since 1999. He was associate director at New Horizons from 1989 to 1999. Bowling is a member of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Board member Dr. Leah Brew

Dr. Leah Brew, LPCC
Dr. Brew was appointed by Governor Brown as an LPCC member in August 2012. Dr. Brew is currently an LPCC and serves as the Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton. As part of her 11 years as a faculty member, Dr. Brew has served on other professional boards such as the President of California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, President of the Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and Graduate Representative for the national Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. She became a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas in 1999 and worked with individuals, couples, and children. She has also worked with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder providing neurofeedback, and has published several articles and books in the areas of diversity and basic counseling skills.

Peter Chiu, Board Member

Dr. Peter Chiu
Dr. Chiu was appointed by Governor Brown as a public member in October 2013.  He has been an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University Medical School since 2009 and Hearing Board member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District since 2013.  He was a member of the US Presidential/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management for environmental protection from 1994 to 1997, an Occupational Medicine Department and Emergency Department physician at Kaiser Milpitas/Santa Clara from 1990 to 2012, a practicing family physician in San Jose from 1986 to 1990, and resident physician and chief of resident physicians at San Jose Hospital from 1983 to 1986.  He also served as principal environmental engineer for the Association of Bay Area Governments from 1976 to 1979 and associate water quality management engineer at the Bay Area Sewage Services Agency from 1974 to 1976. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Stanford University, Doctor of Public Health degree in Environment Health and a Master of Public Health degree in Occupational Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Picture of Board Member Betty Connolly

Elizabeth “Betty” Connolly, LEP
Ms. Connolly was appointed by Governor Brown as a LEP member in August 2012. Ms. Connolly has been with the El Dorado County Office of Education for over 30 years, first as a School Psychologist and later as a Program Specialist and Principal. She currently works as the Director of Student Programs for Special Services. Betty is a Licensed Educational Psychologist and has done extensive training throughout the State in behavior and autism. Betty is a past president of the California Association of School Psychologists and was appointed to the Board in August, 2012.

Picture of Board Member Sarita Kohli

Sarita Kohli, LMFT
Ms. Kohli was appointed by Governor Brown in June 2011 as an LMFT member. Ms. Kohli has been working in community mental health for over twelve years. Currently, she serves as Director of Mental Health Programs at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) in San Jose, overseeing outpatient Mental Health programs and the Center for Survivors of Torture. Ms. Kohli is in the Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program of the National Council of Community Behavioral Health, a national leadership program for developing leaders from ethnically diverse communities. Previously, Ms. Kohli was on the Board of West Valley Community Services, a community services organization providing basic needs, family support and housing services. She serves on the Santa Clara County Social Services Advisory Commission and has been on the Executive Committee for the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs. Ms. Kohli is a passionate advocate for mental health and social services for underserved populations.

Picture of Board Member Patricia Lock-Dawson

Patricia Lock-Dawson
Ms. Lock-Dawson was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as a public member in January 2010. She has served the city of Riverside as planning commissioner since 2007 and director of the Santa Ana River Trail and Parkway Partnership for Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione since 2005. Additionally, Lock-Dawson has been principal of PLD Consulting since 2003. Previously, she worked for Riverside County's Executive Office as environmental programs advisor from 2000 to 2006. Lock-Dawson was an ecologist, ecosystem planner and a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Geological Survey from 1994 to 2001 and state wetlands coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources from 1992 to 1994. She is a member of the Riverside Land Conservancy Board of Governors, Raincross Group, and President of the Inland Empire Chapter of CA Women Lead, a statewide women's leadership organization.

Picture of Board Member Renee Lonner

Renee Lonner, LCSW
Ms. Lonner was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as a LCSW member in January 2007. From 1992-2008, she served as the clinical director and chief clinical officer for Robert T. Dorris & Associates, a management consultation firm. Ms. Lonner has maintained a private practice specializing in individual, marital and family psychotherapy since 1976. From 1999-2001, she served as President of the California Society for Clinical Social Work. Ms. Lonner is a member of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work and the National Association of Social Workers.

Picture of Board Member Karen Pines

Karen Pines, LMFT
Ms. Pines was appointed by Governor Brown as a LMFT member in April 2011. She previously served as a member of the Board of Behavioral Sciences from July 24, 1999 to July 31, 2006. During her tenure with the Board, she served three terms as the Board's Chair and one term as the Board's Vice Chair. In addition to her previous Board service, Ms. Pines has also served as public member for the Physical Therapy Board and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University, with a minor in Education, and her Master of Education and Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Ms. Pines holds numerous certifications and has participated in various trainings including, but not limited to, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Certification, Critical Incident Debriefing Specialist Certification and Pain Management Training.

Picture of Board Member Christine Wietlisbach

Dr. Christine Wietlisbach
Dr. Wietlisbach was appointed by the California State Senate as a public member in January 2010. Dr. Wietlisbach has over 20 years experience in the health and higher education fields. She is a practicing occupational therapist at Eisenhower Medical Center, and a faculty member at Loma Linda University. In April 2011, she was granted her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree with a dual emphasis in Hand Therapy and Administration/Practice Management. She also has a master's degree in Public Administration. Dr. Wietlisbach is past-president of the Occupational Therapy Association of California, and recently completed two terms as a governor-appointee to the California Board of Occupational Therapy. She is a nationally-known speaker and author. Dr. Wietlisbach resides in the Palm Springs area.