Ph.D. Fernando Ortiz     

 From Baja California, Mexico to earning 3 Masters Degrees and a Ph.D. to Successful Psychologist   


Fernando Ortiz was born in Baja California, Mexico, where he spent his childhood. In 1991 after graduating from high school, Fernando moved to California and, with the help of his family and friends, was able to study English as a Second Language program, he only had 20 dollars in his pocket. Soon after he enrolled at Saint John’s Seminary College, in Camarillo, California and earned a B.A. in philosophy.  Fernando then decided to pursue a master’s degree in counseling at the Jesuit University of Santa Clara. He continued his education obtaining two additional advanced masters degrees, one in religious studies (theology) and an MBA in healthcare administration at Gonzaga University, a Jesuit university in Spokane, Washington. Fernando decided to pursue a doctoral degree obtaining a Ph.D. degree in psychology at Washington State University.  Later he completed a one-year post-doctoral specialization in clinical services to multicultural populations at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Fernando has always been very interested in helping people with a desire to alleviate suffering, protect the most vulnerable in the society.  In the course of his professional career with over 10,000 hours of face-to-care encounters with patients and clients, Fernando has used his education and skills to help others and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Given his extensive education and multidisciplinary perspectives, Fernando has been able to exercise leadership in multiple roles.  Fernando was nominated to be an advisor to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the most influential church bodies in the United States.  He is also an active member of the National Review Board, a group of Catholic leaders that consult on the prevention of child abuse in the faith communities and the Worth Motorcycle Co. a nonprofit organization that teaches at-risk youth. He recently brought together a group of Catholic and Protestant leaders and edited a book to promote diversity and develop interculturally competent religious leaders.

Fernando is member of many professional associations including American Board of Professional Psychology, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, the American Board of Professional Psychology, the InterAmerican Society of Psychology, the Mexican Association of Social Psychology and the National Association of Counseling Center Directors.

Ph.D Ortiz is Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and has also teached in International University San Diego and Antioch University in Santa Barbara.  Fernando has been recipient of many awards including the Multicultural Teaching Scholar Award by the University of Missouri and the LeRoy Olsen Memorial Scholarship by Washington State University.

Fernando has published numerous scientific works in peer-reviewed journals and the book Be One in Christ: Intercultural Competencies in Formation and Ministry.

Fernando, now a US citizen, lives with his wife and two children in Washington State.

When asked what means to be a Mexican in the United States Ph.D. Fernando Ortiz said “Since the time I arrived to the US, I have dedicated to demonstrate that we Mexicans are hard-working, competent, and a positive presence in this great country.  I am profoundly proud to be Mexican and to represent my culture, my country, and my people through my dedication and a life of service to others.  I came to this country seeking a better life and with the desire to make a difference in my community. It was through hard work and perseverance that I have become a successful professional”.   

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