Robert S. Pynoos, MD, MPH
Dr. Robert Pynoos is Professor of Psychiatry in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Pynoos is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He is Co-Director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and Director of the UCLA Trauma Psychiatry Service.
In his current role as Co-Director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Dr. Pynoos is responsible for leading and coordinating a nationwide network of 47 academic- and community-based centers dedicated to raising the standard of care and improving access to services for traumatized children, families, and communities throughout the United States.
Over the past two decades, Dr. Pynoos has made significant contributions to understanding the impact of children’s exposure to violence and disaster and to elevating the standards of mental health care for child victims and witnesses. He has written extensively about child development and the impact of disaster, violence, and loss on families and school communities. He has edited several widely respected books on posttraumatic stress in children and adolescents, and is a leader in research into the neurobiology of childhood trauma and the impact of trauma on moral development.
Dr. Pynoos has served as Chair for the William T. Grant Consortium on Adolescent Bereavement and for the MacArthur Foundation Network Study Group on Children’s Responses to Traumatic Stress. He has been a consultant to UNICEF for Kuwait after the Gulf War and has had a collaborative partnership with UNICEF to conduct a long-term post-war recovery program for adolescents in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was an invited participant to the 1999 White House Strategy Session on Children, Violence and Responsibility; the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health; and the 2000 White House Conference on Teenagers. Dr. Pynoos provided consultation with First Lady Laura Bush in regard to the needs of children and family after 9/11. He served as a consultant to the United States Department of Education after the Oklahoma City bombing and hurricanes Katrina and Rita; to the Springfield, Oregon Public School District after the Thurston High School shooting; to Jefferson County Mental Health after the Columbine High School tragedy; to the New York City Board of Education, the New York State Office of Mental Health, and the New York City Department of Health in planning post-September 11 mental health responses.
Dr. Pynoos has received numerous honors including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Award for his outstanding contribution on child witnesses to homicide, the National Organization for Victim Assistance Award for research, the American Psychiatric Association Bruno Lima Award for excellence in disaster psychiatry, and the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. In August 2004, he received the America Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, and most recently the 2005 UCLA Center for Community Partnership’s Ann C. Rosenfeld Special Recognition Award for his efforts following the December 2004 tsunami disaster in Asia.