Jodi Vermaas

Contributing Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Health
School of Counseling
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Jodi Vermaas began her career in New York City where she earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature at Columbia University while interning in the non-profit sector. From New York City, she lived and worked in Qatar, India, and China serving women and children in crisis through non-profit leadership. She adopted 10 of her 12 children from the orphanages in these locations and founded the non-profit organization, Priority One Worldwide, to meet the needs of missionaries, orphans, and widows via interprofessional collaborations between clerical and mental health practitioners. To strengthen her professional voice, she earned a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Walden University. While studying, she demonstrated advanced scholarship and advocacy leadership, for which I earned the prestigious $10,000 Scholars of Change Award. More than five years ago, she began working for Base4 as Chief Leadership Officer, traveling through the United States and the world to counsel, coach, or mentor hundreds of executive leaders. Throughout this time she continued to counsel survivors of trauma and conduct ongoing research into the helpfulness of the servant leadership model across cultures. She has since resigned from the corporate world and leads her own counseling practice, Dark Horse Counseling, where she serves survivors of trauma.

As contributing faculty at Walden University's School of Counseling, she hopes to leverage her unique combination of counselor education, corporate experience, and social change skills to impart knowledge and purpose to the next generation of counselors and counselor educators.


BA, Columbia University

MS, Walden University

PhD, Walden University

Public Service

Priority One Worldwide, Board Member -

Awards / Honors

2017 ASERVIC Research Award , ASERVIC, 2017

Commitment to Social Change Award, Walden University, 2012


Vermaas, J. D., Green, J. W., Haley, M. A., Haddock, L. R. (2017). Predicting the Mental Health Literacy of Clergy: An Informational Resource for Counselors. . Journal of Mental Health Counseling

Vermaas, J. D. (2020). Get Money Do Good: A True Story How-To.


Vermaas, J. D. (2015). Vermaas, J. D. (2015, July). Clergy recognition of mental health disorders. . ASERVIC