Scott Johnson, director of the Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech, has been voted president-elect of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Starting in January, Johnson will serve two years as president-elect, followed by two years as president, and one year as past president. Johnson, an associate professor in Human Development who also directs Virginia Tech's Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Ph.D. program, is the first Virginia Tech faculty member, and first Virginia Tech graduate, to be elected to this position.

Anna Beth Benningfield, who served as a visiting faculty member in Virginia Tech's doctoral MFT program until last July, served two terms as AAMFT president before she joined Virginia Tech from 2001-2004.

"This is very significant because Scott is the first ethnic minority president of the organization," Benningfield said. "He has an incredible wealth of experience because of his work in the state of Virginia for MFT. Scott is an excellent program director and a wonderful teacher. Virginia Tech is lucky to have him."

Johnson was instrumental in getting MFT licensure in the state of Virginia, and the Ph.D. program he heads is widely regarded as one of the best in the field. It enrolls about 18 students from around the nation and other countries, and is the oldest continually accredited program of its kind. The Family Therapy Center is its clinical training facility and has provided therapy for thousands of southwest Virginia families, couples, and individuals for more than 25 years.

Founded in 1942, AAMFT has about 24,000 members in the U.S. and Canada and is the oldest and largest national professional association for family therapy practitioners. Through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, it accredits more than 100 graduate and post-graduate family therapy training programs in both countries, including Virginia Tech's master's degree program in family therapy in the nation's capital region (recently designated an exemplary university program), and the Blacksburg Ph.D. program. AAMFT is involved in research, training, credentialing, professional discipline, public education, protection and advocacy on behalf of marriage and family clinicians, individuals, couples and families. It hosts conferences, training institutes, symposia, and public forums, and is the publisher for the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and other periodicals and books.

In addition to holding a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, Johnson has a bachelor's in English literature from Lincoln University, a master's in creative writing from Johns Hopkins, and a bachelor's of music from Peabody Conservatory. Johnson's expertise is in family systems theory and in using the arts in psychotherapy. He serves as an advisory editor for the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, and was the AAMFT Treasurer from 1999-2001.

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Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.