Arthur Evans, Jr., PhD
Clinical and community psychologist and health care innovator, Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, is CEO of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. With more than 133,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students as members, APA promotes and disseminates psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve lives – a mission consistent with Evans' life work.
Before joining APA in March 2017, Evans spent 12 years as commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. In that post, he led the transformation of that agency's approach to serving a wide range of individuals with complex needs. The transformation of the $1.5 billion Philadelphia system has relied heavily on public health strategies that contribute to better community health.
He emphasized a data-driven, population health approach to improve outcomes for people and increased system efficiency. Over his tenure, the agency saved more than $110 million that the city reinvested in improving and expanding services and employing innovative strategies to reach more people. The work in Philadelphia has become a national and international model, with over 25 states and more than a dozen countries having either visited the city or invited Evans to speak about the Philadelphia model.
An unconventional leader, he employed science, research, community activism, spirituality, traditional clinical care, policy, and cross-system collaborations to change the status quo.
His approach gave voice to and empowered individuals and communities that have been historically marginalized. He ensured those with lived experiences were involved with every policy decision. He enlisted political and community leaders, grassroots organizations, academic institutions, and advocates in a citywide commitment to think differently about behavioral health and intellectual disabilities.
Evans has been honored nationally and internationally for his work. In 2015, he was recognized as an “Advocate for Action” by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. In 2013, he received the American Medical Association's top government service award in health care, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. In 2017, he received the Visionary Leadership Award from the National Council of Behavioral Health and was inducted into the Florida Atlantic University Alumni Hall of Fame. His work as a strong advocate for social justice has led to his receiving three different awards named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Evans has held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Drexel School of Public Health. He also held a faculty appointment at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Prior to his work in Philadelphia, Evans was the deputy commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, where he led major strategic initiatives for the state's behavioral health care system. He was instrumental in implementing a recovery-oriented policy framework, addressing health care disparities and increasing the use of evidence-based practices, leading-edge research, and community engagement.
An outspoken proponent for psychological science and mental health, Evans has been featured in major media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, NBC Nightly News, The TODAY Show and ABC News.