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James Comer, MD, MPH

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



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

  • Psychiatric Fellow
    Hillcrest Children's Center (1968)
  • Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine (1967)
  • Psychiatry Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine (1966)
  • MPH
    University of Michigan, Public Health Administration (1964)
  • MD
    Howard University (1960)
  • BA
    Indiana University, Zoology/Social Science (1956)

Honors & Recognition

University of Louisville, Grawemeyer Award for Education2007
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Legacy of Lifetime Achievement Award2007
John Hope Franklin Award2006
Howard University College of Medicine Dean's Recognition Award2005
John P. McGovern Behavioral Science Award, Smithsonian Institutes2004
EdWeek feature, "100 Faces of a Century" December 15, 19991999
Medal for Distinguished Service, Teachers College, Columbia University1997
Heinz Family Award1996
Healthtrac Foundation Prize1996
Redlich Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences1994
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences1994
Member, National Academy of Education1993
Member, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies1993
Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award1992
Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education1991
Council of Chief State School Officers Distinguished Service Award1991
James Bryant Conant Award, Education Commission of the States1991
Speical Presidential Commendation, American Psychiatric Association1990
Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School Distinguished Alumni Award1989
Newsweek Feature "25 Americans on the Cutting Edge" October 2, 19891989
Henry J. Kaiser Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences1976
Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry1976
Howard University Distinguished Alumni Award1976
Who's Who in America1970
John and Mary Markle Foundation Scholar in Academic Medicine1969

Professional Service

Faculty Athletics CommitteeMember

Departments & Organizations