orman B. Anderson has had a wide-ranging career as a national leader, first as a scientist and tenured professor studying health disparities and mind/body health, and later as an executive in both government and non-profit sectors. He has also provided extensive volunteer service to a number of foundations, government agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations.
For 13 years Anderson served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Vice President of the American Psychological Association (APA), and was the first African American to serve as CEO in the 124-year history of the APA. With 120,000 members and affiliates, APA is the largest and oldest of the world’s psychological societies. Headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., APA led a staff of more than 550 and oversaw an annual budget greater than $115 million. In 2014 APA was recognized by the Washington Post as one of the region’s Top Workplaces, and was the only non-profit organization among the top 12 large organizations to receive this honor.
Prior to joining APA, Dr. Anderson was an Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was the first Director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). At NIH, he facilitated behavioral and social sciences research across all of the Institutes and Centers of the NIH. Under his purview was behavioral and social research in such areas as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, children’s health, mental health, minority health, aging, and oral health, among others.
As Associate Director of NIH and as CEO of APA, Anderson has nearly two decades of experience working with and developing senior executives and leaders in complex organizations. He currently has a special interest in using mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology (strength-based approaches) to help established and emerging leaders perform at their best. Anderson uses various assessment instruments to guide his work with leaders (including 360 leadership measures), and is certified in the use and interpretation of the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I 2.0), one of the most widely used measures of emotional intelligence.
In addition to his formal leadership roles, Anderson served as an associate professor at Duke University and as a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is well-known for his research and writing on health and behavior, and on racial/ethnic and economic health disparities. For his research, service, and leadership, he has received a number of significant awards from scientific societies and universities, including four honorary doctorate degrees. He currently serves on the boards of directors and advisory boards of several for-profit and non-profit organizations.
In 2012, Anderson was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) of the National Academies of Science. In 2013, he was inducted into the Black College Hall of Fame for his work in science. Originally from Greensboro, NC, he currently resides in the greater Washington, D.C. area.