Our Staff

Director of the Student Wellness & Counseling Center

Mahnaz Mousavi

Mahnaz N. Mousavi

SWCC Director Mahnaz Nowrozi Mousavi established the center in 2006.  Prior to coming to Qatar, she worked for the counseling center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and worked at a medical university in Iran as a faculty member, researcher, and practitioner at the university clinic.  

Dr. Mousavi earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Akron and maintains a license in the District of Columbia, and is BCIA Board Certified in General Biofeedback. Her doctoral training included counseling experience in community mental health centers, child guidance centers, and university counseling centers.  Prior to that, she earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Iran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Mousavi is an integrationist in her approach and some of her other areas of interest include crisis intervention, childhood abuse, trauma, psychological assessment, mindfulness, and biofeedback. Dr. Mousavi’s academic contributions include a book on childhood abuse in Iran, articles in peer-reviewed journals, and regularly presents at conferences.  Lately, many of her contributions focus on multicultural counseling and counseling university students.


  • Licensed Psychologist in the District of Columbia, USA
  • BCIA Board Certified in Biofeedback (2015)
  • Postdoctoral Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology (2011), California School of Professional Psychology, California, USA
  • Doctor of Philosophy (2006), Counseling Psychology, The University of Akron, Ohio, USA
  • Master of Science (1992), Clinical Psychology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Bachelor of Arts (1987), Clinical Psychology, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

Assistant Director

Elena Lopez-Khoury

Elena Lopez Khoury

Assistant Director Elena Lopez Khoury has been a counselor at the center for the past nine years.  She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, USA.  Throughout her training, she gained counseling experience in community mental health centers, Veteran’s Hospitals, cancer centers, and university counseling centers.

Elena’s interests include health psychology, such as weight management, pain management, and smoking cessation and she is also trained in areas of mindfulness, meditation, and somatic therapies.  Many of these skills can help clients who are suffering from negative mental health issues as well as to provide skills which build resiliency among those who are not currently facing a mental health issue. 


  • Licensed Psychologist in the District of Columbia, USA
  • Doctor of Philosophy (2008), Clinical Psychology, University of South Florida, USA
  • Master of Arts (2004), Clinical Psychology, University of South Florida, USA
  • Bachelor of Science (1997), Psychology and Biology, Duke University, USA

SWCC Program Manager

Sarah Holt

Program Manager Sarah Holt previously worked as a Writing Specialist in the GU-Q Writing Center for 2 years. For over 10 years before coming to Qatar she supported international students from over 100 different countries make the transition to university life at University College Dublin in Ireland.

Sarah holds an M.Phil. from Trinity College and an M.A. from Dublin City University. As an undergraduate, she spent an academic year at Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg and later returned to Germany as the recipient of a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. Sarah’s areas of interest are women’s health and wellness, yoga, pilates, and intercultural communication.


  • A.B. (1999) Bowdoin College in English and German 
  • Master of Philosophy (2004), Anglo-Irish Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • Master of Arts (2008), Intercultural Studies from Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland