About Us

The Professional Development Network (PDN) is a local mental health training resource. PDN aims to provide the highest quality programming. We utilize local professionals from a variety of disciplines who offer training at our continuing education workshops. PDN was established in 2010 by Kristen Chawla, LCSW and Courtney Nathan, LCSW. Courtney and Kristen are two local clinical social workers who saw a need for convenient, local, affordable and interesting continuing education programming post Katrina. They have made it their mission to fill this need. Both are graduates of the Tulane University School of Social Work and have worked in the New Orleans community. In the summer of 2014, Courtney took over management of PDN but she and Kristen continue to share ideas and plans for future programming.

S. Courtney Nathan, LCSW

S. Courtney Nathan, LCSW graduated with a BA in psychology from The University of Kentucky in 1992. She earned her MSW from Tulane School of Social Work in 1993. Courtney worked at Jewish Family Service from 1994-2004 as a clinical social worker. Her clinical focus was adolescents and young adult women. She also served as Coordinator of the Outreach to Intermarrieds Program at JFS.

Courtney is co-author with Leigh Collins of the book “When a Parent is Seriously Ill: Practical Tips for Helping Parents and Children”.

Courtney is married with two children.

Kristen Chawla, LCSW

Kristen Chawla, LCSW graduated from Newcomb College of Tulane University with a BA in 1990. She received her MSW from the Tulane University School of Social Work in 1996. Kristen worked at LSU as a clinical professor from 1996 to 1999. She worked closely with the FINS (Families In Need of Services) program providing mental health consultation to the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court in addition to clinical work with children and families. Kristen served as the school social worker at a local public school from 1999 to 2002. Kristen currently works at KIPP New Orleans schools.

Kristen and her husband have three children.