Dr. Kelly Posner

School and Workplace Violence Prevention

Kelly PosnersmDr. Kelly Posner, a leading international expert in the areas of suicide and depression, is the founder and Principal Investigator of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute. She was commissioned by the FDA to lead a study to develop improved methods of suicide risk assessment. The methods developed have been recommended or mandated across numerous areas of medicine. The New York Times called this work “one of the most profound changes of the past 16 years to regulations governing drug development”.

The FDA has characterized this work as “setting a standard in the field.” This work is part of a national and international public health initiative involving the assessment of suicidal ideation and behavior, and encompasses clinical trials, surveillance efforts, clinical practice, general medical and psychiatric emergency departments, hospital systems, managed care organizations, medical homes, community mental health agencies, primary care, clergy, hospices, schools, college campuses, frontline responders (police, fire department, EMTs), substance abuse treatment centers, prisons, jails, juvenile justice systems, judges to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, and all across the military including the Army, Navy, VAs and Air Force.

Of note, numerous states have moved towards system-wide implementation.

Named one of New York Magazine’s “Most Influential” people, Dr. Posner continues to work with the FDA, CDC, NIMH, military health care agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, and other agencies on suicide assessment and surveillance, and publishes and speaks internationally on the risks, benefits, and public health implications encompassed by recent drug safety controversies. In 2007 Dr. Posner was recognized as the most Distinguished Alumna of Yeshiva University in the past 50 years and in June of 2008 she gave the invited presentation on tackling depression and suicide at the first European Union high level conference on mental health. She was also the honoree for the Center Law & Economic Justice joining the ranks of Ted Kennedy.

Dr. Kelly Posner has been a long-standing advocate of education reform. She is the Founding Chairman of the Board of Turnaround for Children, the groundbreaking model that is the first to fix failing schools in high-poverty communities, often referred to as “a missing link” of the education reform challenge. She is also co-founder of The Speyer Legacy School, the first independent school for advanced learners and for her work in both of these innovative educational initiatives, Avenue and New York Family magazines named her “Education Philanthropist of the Year”. In 2011 she was also granted The Turnaround Impact Award, along with John Legend and NBC, joining the ranks of Joel Klein and Meryl Tisch. Contact this Expert Council Member