In Memoriam: Dr. John R. Anderson, Former Senior Director, APA Office on AIDS
John Anderson, PhD, a distinguished and pioneering clinical psychologist and therapist passed away on Sept. 17, 2012. Anderson was the former Senior Director of the Office on AIDS — a position he held since 1994. Anderson began his APA career in 1988 as assistant director for the AIDS Community Training Project, the predecessor to the HIV Office for Psychology Education (HOPE) Program.
Career & Milestones
Anderson forged the creation and sustainability of the HOPE, Behavioral and Social Science Volunteer and Cyber Mentors programs, and with two additional special projects: the Tabano and End-of-Life projects. In his position at APA, Anderson was awarded federal funding totaling more than $14 million from federal agencies including The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health. Through his leadership, the Office on AIDS and its programs have trained tens of thousands of mental health professionals about HIV and mental health and provided ongoing capacity building assistance to over 700 organizations to support CBOs within their communities. He was also a coauthor and editor of six APA-published books, which included "Ethics in HIV-Related Psychotherapy: Clinical Decision-Making in Complex Cases." As the staff liaison for the Ad Hoc Committee for Psychology and AIDS (COPA) Committee, he led collaborative efforts to establish numerous APA policy positions and statements. Most recently, the APA Council of Representatives passed the Resolution on Combination Biomedical and Behavioral Approaches to Optimize HIV Prevention.
Anderson led two APA Working Groups on Assisted Suicide and End of Life Decisions, which led to final reports including recommendations and two resolutions passed by the Council of Representatives. Anderson played a pivotal role in creating one of the most ground-breaking, Internet-based educational programs for end-of-life issues to any professional who cares for the terminally ill population. The 10 online modules are hosted by the APA Office of Continuing Education in Psychology. In addition, the following Associations/Organizations have approved these courses: the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), National Association of Social Workers, Association for Death Education and Counseling Certification in Thanatology, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and The American Geriatrics Society.
Anderson was known nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of psychology, developing numerous national evidence-based HIV prevention programs. His innovative approaches to cutting edge approaches and interventions for HIV made him a vanguard in the community.
He was also a clinical psychologist who conducted a private psychotherapy and case management practice in Washington, D.C., since 1986. He specialized in individual, couple, family and hypnosis therapies for people living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
The APA, Public Interest Directorate and the Office on AIDS salute John Anderson, PhD, for his many years of dedicated service in the fight against HIV. He will be greatly missed.