Floyd “Shad” Meshad
President and Founder, National Veterans Foundation
For more than 40 years, NVF Founder and President Shad Meshad has worked as a therapist for veterans and an advocate for veterans’ rights. After receiving his master’s degree in psychiatric social work from Florida State University, he enlisted in the army in 1970 and served as a counselor for U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.
Upon his return to the U.S., Meshad founded and directed the Vietnam Veterans Re-Socialization Unit at the VA Hospital in Los Angeles, California. It was the first program of its kind, focusing on the readjustment problems of Vietnam veterans. During this time, Meshad was among the first to study the disorder now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
In 1978, he worked to develop and lobby for the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Bill. In 1979, he founded the Vet Center Outreach Program, which now serves veterans in more than 300 locations across the country.
In 1980, Meshad was nominated for the first Olin Teague Medal of Service Award. In 1982, he published a memoir of his experiences in Vietnam, Captain for Dark Mornings. In 1985, he founded the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation, which was later renamed the National Veterans Foundation.
He has served on the faculty of the International Critical Incident Foundation, as President and Board Member of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists and on the Board of Directors of the Green Cross Project.
In the wake of the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, Meshad was called upon by the U.S. government to help train the critical incident and trauma teams at Ground Zero.
Today, Meshad consults and teaches stress reduction and anger management techniques to mental health, law enforcement, and critical incident professionals through Quantum Performance Institute, a firm he established in 2001. He continues his work with veterans in the Los Angeles area, helping them through the process of healing and readjustment. Shad raises awareness about the issues returning Veterans face at his regular blog at the Huffington Post.