Founder of the Hecht Trauma Institute, Philanthropist, & Author.
Dr. Hecht began her career at the age of 20 as a co-founder of the Long Beach Rape Crisis Hotline (est. 1975), which was followed by years of service in Hospice as a therapist and interfaith chaplain. In 2009, she founded the House of Ruach, a 501c3 committed to creating a world in which God would choose to live by providing low-cost psychological therapy and spiritual counseling, supporting interfaith organizations, and feeding the homeless. In 2017, after decades of Board service to nonprofits, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of California Southern University (founded 1978), subsequently becoming only its ninth President.
In 2020, she founded the Hecht Trauma Institute, a California non-profit dedicated to providing trauma-informed training and services to benefit victims of trauma worldwide. In 2021, she and her husband created the Don and Gwen Hecht Foundation, dedicated to helping individuals and organizations realize and manifest their potential. Dr. Hecht is retired, after a very satisfying career as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Expert Witness, specializing in grief, loss issues, and trauma. Today, her efforts are directed toward philanthropy, with a heartfelt focus on a range of interfaith causes; providing educational opportunities for women and children, both in the US and internationally; and supporting Jewish causes. She is the author of, Finding the Gems: The Search for Meaning in Trauma and Loss. Available from the Hecht Trauma Institute at www.TraumaInst.org or (888) 990-5445.