Alan Kazdin Named New Director of Yale Child Study Center

President Richard C. Levin has named professor and former chair of psychology, Alan Kazdin, as the new director of the Yale Child Study Center.

President Richard C. Levin has named professor and former chair of psychology, Alan Kazdin, as the new director of the Yale Child Study Center.

Kazdin, the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology and professor in the Yale Child Study Center, will begin his duties on April 1. He succeeds Donald Cohen, who died in October.

“Alan Kazdin is a distinguished scholar and an extraordinarily successful chair of the department of psychology,” Levin said. “I’m confident that the Child Study Center, one of the University’s great treasures, will flourish under his leadership.”

In announcing Kazdin’s appointment, Yale School of Medicine Dean David Kessler highlighted Kazdin’s deep commitment to child psychiatry and the Child Study Center. “Kazdin is one of the country’s foremost authorities on childhood disorders and their diagnosis, assessment and treatment,” Kessler said. “His academic credentials and clinical experience speak volumes about his ability and dedication to take on the important work that lies ahead.”

In addition to his other duties at Yale, Kazdin also directs the Yale Child Conduct Clinic, an outpatient treatment service for children and their families. His work has been recognized through ongoing National Institutes of Health funding support, including a 10-year MERIT award from 1987 to 1997. He has also published over 500 articles and has authored or edited about 35 books.

Kazdin completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at San Jose University and received a doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern University. After several years on the faculty of Pennsylvania State University, where he studied adult psychotherapy and childhood emotional disorders, he moved to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. At Pittsburgh he directed both inpatient and outpatient services for children with psychiatric disorders. In 1989, Kazdin joined the faculty of Yale’s Department of Psychology, with a joint appointment in the Child Study Center. He served as chair of the Psychology Department from 1997 to 2000. As chair of that department, Kazdin hired over a dozen new faculty members, including five in the senior ranks. In addition, under his leadership, the department established a number of new programs, including one in neuroimaging and cognition.

“I am very committed to enhancing the special qualities of the Child Study Center,” said Kazdin. “I’m delighted to report that with my appointment come some special commitments from Dean Kessler, including positions to hire new faculty.”

The Yale Child Study Center is one of the world’s leading centers of child psychiatry. It is internationally recognized for its multidisciplinary programs of clinical and basic research, professional education, clinical services and advocacy for children and families. It also offers a series of programs to assist children exposed to violence and disaster.

One such program, the Yale-New Haven Child Development Community Policing Program, trains police officers to work with a team of Child Study Center clinicians to respond to children and families who have witnessed or committed a violent crime. These specially trained officers help children cope with the trauma of exposure to violence and with the longer-term aftermath of such trauma. The program has been widely admired and replicated. The Department of Justice designated the Child Study Center as the site of the new National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, to disseminate knowledge about children and trauma and provide a national focal point for research, evaluation and training.

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