James Comer, MD, MPH

Maurice Falk Professor in the Child Study Center; Associate Dean for Student Affairs, School of Medicine

Departments & Organizations

Child Study Center: Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program | Comer School Development Program


Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. James P. Comer is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine's Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut. He is known nationally and internationally for his creation of the Comer School Development Program in 1968. This teamwork concept promotes the collaboration of parents, educators and community to improve student development that, in turn, helps them achieve greater academic and overall school success.

Dr. Comer's pioneering work in school restructuring has been featured in numerous newspaper, magazine and television reports and has been published in many academic journals. He is a co-founder and past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America. He has been a consultant to the Children's Television Workshop and has devoted his efforts to numerous local and national organizations serving children.

He is the author of ten books, including Maggie's American Dream and Leave No Child Behind and the recipient of many honors and awards, including forty seven honorary degrees.

In 2014 President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Comer to the President's Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

Education & Training

MPH University of Michigan, Public Health Administration (1964)
MD Howard University (1960)
BA Indiana University, Zoology/Social Science (1956)
Psychiatric Fellow Hillcrest Children's Center
Fellow Yale University School of Medicine
Psychiatry Fellow Yale University School of Medicine

Honors & Recognition

  • University of Louisville, Grawemeyer Award for Education (2007)

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Legacy of Lifetime Achievement Award (2007)

  • John Hope Franklin Award (2006)

  • Howard University College of Medicine Dean's Recognition Award (2005)

  • John P. McGovern Behavioral Science Award, Smithsonian Institutes (2004)

  • EdWeek feature, "100 Faces of a Century" December 15, 1999 (1999)

  • Medal for Distinguished Service, Teachers College, Columbia University (1997)

  • Heinz Family Award (1996)

  • Healthtrac Foundation Prize (1996)

  • Redlich Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1994)

  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994)

  • Member, National Academy of Education (1993)

  • Member, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies (1993)

  • Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1992)

  • Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education (1991)

  • Council of Chief State School Officers Distinguished Service Award (1991)

  • James Bryant Conant Award, Education Commission of the States (1991)

  • Speical Presidential Commendation, American Psychiatric Association (1990)

  • Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School Distinguished Alumni Award (1989)

  • Newsweek Feature "25 Americans on the Cutting Edge" October 2, 1989 (1989)

  • Henry J. Kaiser Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1976)

  • Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry (1976)

  • Howard University Distinguished Alumni Award (1976)

  • Who's Who in America (1970)

  • John and Mary Markle Foundation Scholar in Academic Medicine (1969)

Professional Service

  • Faculty Athletics Committee Member

Edit this profile