James P. Comer, M.D. is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Comer is one of the country’s leading advocates for the education of poor children, especially poor children of color, in the United States. He is known nationally and internationally for his creation of the Comer School Development Program, (SDP). Created in 1968, SDP has been the forerunner of most modern school reform efforts. He is the author of ten books, including Maggie’s American Dream, Leave No Child Behind, and his most recent book, What I Learned in School: Reflections on Race, Child Development, and School Reform. His pioneering work in school restructuring has been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, and television reports, as well as published in many academic journals. He is a co-founder and past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America, and he has served on the board of several universities, foundations, and corporations. Dr. Comer was a consultant to Children’s Television Workshop and has served as a consultant, committee member, advisory board member and trustee to numerous local and national organizations serving children. He co-chaired an NCATE National Expert Panel on Increasing the Application of Knowledge About Child and Adolescent Development in Educator Preparation Programs.
Dr. Comer has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the John & Mary Markle Scholar in Academic Medicine Award, Rockefeller Public Service Award, Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education, the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, the John Hope Franklin Award, and most recently, the University of Louisville 2007 Grawemeyer Award for Education, as well as forty-seven honorary degrees. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.