Norman B. Anderson

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For others of the same name, see Norman Anderson.

Norman Bruce Anderson, PhD (born October 16, 1955) was Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional association for psychologists in the United States. Anderson became the APA’s first African-American CEO when he was named to the post in 2003. He retired under pressure from the Board of Directors effective 12/18/2015.[1] He is the editor for the APA journal American Psychologist.[2]

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born October 16, 1955, in Greensboro, North Carolina, to Charles W. and Lois J. Anderson. A graduate of the 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.[3] 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 was the founding director of the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.[4] While with NIH from 1995 to 2000, he was charged with facilitating behavioral and social sciences research across all NIH institutes and centers. He was an associate professor at Duke University Medical School from 1991 to 1999, and the Harvard School of Public Health from 2000 to 2002. While at Harvard, Anderson sat on faculty recruitment, scholarship funding and graduate school admissions boards. Much of his research and writing focused on the effects of stress on biology and risk for hypertension.

In 2012, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academy 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.

With his wife, P. Elizabeth Anderson, he wrote a health book for the general public, Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live,[5][6] released in 2003.

Anderson became CEO of the American Psychological Association in 2003. On July 14, 2015, in the wake of a 542-page independent review report relating to ethics guidelines conducted by former assistant Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Hoffman and submitted to the special committee of the board of directors, the APA announced that Anderson would be retiring at the end of 2015.[7] Two other APA officials, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michael Honaker, and executive director for public and member communication Rhea K. Farberman retired the following day.[8][9] The announcement by the APA said

"Dr. Anderson felt that moving up his retirement date to the end of 2015 would allow the association to take another step in the important process of organizational healing."[1]


He is a member of the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Professional affiliations[edit]

  • Editor in chief of “The Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior"[10] and APA’s flagship journal, "American Psychologist."[11]
  • Fellow of APA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science,[12] the American Psychological Society,[13] the Society of Behavioral Medicine[14] and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.[15]
  • Past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine[16]
  • Past president, Steven Spielberg’s Starbright Foundation Board of Directors.[17]


  • American Association of Applied and Prevention Psychology, Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Psychological Study of Diversity, 1996;[18]
  • Third National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Dalmas Taylor Award, 2003;[19]
  • Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, Career Service Award, 2003;[20]
  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Honorary Doctorate of Psychology, 2003;[19]
  • Lonnie Mitchell Annual Conference on Race, Ethnicity, and Substance Abuse, Award for Enduring Contributions in the Interest of Science, 2004.[19]


  1. ^ a b "APA Announces Retirements and Resignation of Senior Leaders" (Press release). American Psychological Association. July 14, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Anderson biography at". Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) - Staff: Norman B. Anderson". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Norman B.; Anderson, P. Elizabeth (2004, ©2003). Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780142003954.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Roger Hobbs. "Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live". 
  7. ^ July 2, 2015 report to the special committee of the board of directors of the American Psychological Association
  8. ^ "Inquiry: Psychologists group colluded with Pentagon, CIA on interrogations" by Greg Miller The Washington Post, July 10, 2015
  9. ^ Ackerman, Spencer (July 14, 2015). "Three senior officials lose their jobs at APA after US torture scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
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