Norman B. Anderson, PhD

APA's Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President

Norman B. Anderson, PhD: APA's Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice PresidentNorman B. Anderson, PhD, is the chief executive officer of APA, a position he has held since 2003.

Headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., APA is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 122,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members, along with a staff of more than 550 and a budget of more than $115 million. As CEO, Anderson oversees both the corporate and professional management of the association.

Anderson is the former and founding associate director of the National Institutes of Health in charge of behavioral and social sciences research and was the first director of NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. At NIH, he was charged with facilitating behavioral and social sciences research across all of the then-24 NIH institutes and centers. Under his purview was behavioral and social research in such areas as cancer, heart disease, mental health, diabetes, aging and oral health. His special interest at NIH was on advancing an integrated, transdisciplinary approach to health science, prevention and health care. 

Anderson has served on the faculty at both Duke University Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.


Anderson is a fellow of APA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. He is a past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and past-president of the board of directors for Starbright Foundation (now Starlight Foundation) of Los Angeles.

Awards and Honors

Anderson is well-known for his research and writing on health and behavior, and on racial and ethnic health disparities. For his work in academia, government and the non-profit sector, Anderson has received a number of significant awards from scientific societies and universities, including four honorary doctoral degrees. He delivered a commencement address and received a fourth honorary doctorate in May 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he did his graduate work.  In 2012, Anderson was elected to the Institute of Medicine, part of the national Academies of Sciences. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. In 2013, he was selected for induction into the National Black College Alumni Hall of fame in recognition of his achievements in the field of science.


Anderson is editor-in-chief of "The Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior" and author of a health book for lay audiences titled "Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live." Anderson is also editor-in-chief of APA’s flagship journal, American Psychologist®.

His research and writing on the effects of stress on biology and risk for hypertension have received several awards from scientific societies.

"This is Psychology" Video Series

Anderson hosts "This is Psychology," a video series highlighting some of the most compelling psychological research being published today. These videos are produced by APA. 


A graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., Anderson earned master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received additional clinical and research training at the schools of medicine at Brown and Duke Universities, including postdoctoral fellowships in psychophysiology and aging at Duke. Anderson has held licenses to practice psychology in North Carolina and Maryland.