Wendee Wechsberg

“We must listen to the communities, the local people, to understand culturally what is going to fit and what is going to be the language of the research, and not just say we know what to do here.”


Substance abuse treatment

Gender issues and HIV risk

Community-based research

International HIV adaptations


Wendee Wechsberg, PhD, is the Director of the RTI Global Gender Center and the Director of Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research.

She has been an applied community-based and gender NIH researcher since 1994, and has more than 20 years of clinical experience.  She has also directed outpatient drug-free, methadone, and residential substance abuse treatment programs. Dr. Wechsberg has devoted her research career to applied community-based studies, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, to develop and test the efficacy of HIV prevention interventions among different populations of people who use alcohol and drugs. She has served as principal investigator/project director on studies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Wechsberg also serves as a consultant and advisor for various national studies and international studies. She has been conducting international research in South Africa with women who are at-risk or living with HIV since 2001. She has published in the areas of gender and ethnicity, outreach, HIV risk, and women.

In addition to her role as research director, she also leads the RTI Global Gender Center, which brings together experts across numerous disciplines to improve knowledge, policies, and programs worldwide to reduce gender inequities and disparities.


PhD, Community Psychology, North Carolina State University

MS, Human Development Counseling, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

BA, Cultural Anthropology, Social Sciences, University of South Florida

Key Work From Wendee Wechsberg

Seek, test, treat

April 26, 2017

In the Media

Dr. Wechsberg discusses addressing the nexus of HIV, drug use, and violence with evidence-based action