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Dr. Carlotta Arthur, Engineer and Psychologist, will be the New Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academies

January 27, 2022 

Dr. Carlotta M. Arthur has been selected to take the reins as the new executive director at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE), starting on February 14th. She will succeed Mary Ellen O’Connell, who has served the Academies for 20 years and as the executive director of DBASSE since 2016.  

FABBS is grateful to O’Connell for her leadership advancing FABBS’ sciences by leading studies in a wide range of brain and behavioral topics, including the prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders; ethics in research, and evaluations in education programs, among others. She was also instrumental in launching the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN), a special unit of DBASSE, which brings evidence-based policy recommendations of the nation’s leading experts in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences directly to decision makers to address critical questions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, O’Connell also served as deputy director of the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS), providing vision on how to advance public policy and practice using research in our sciences. FABBS is a sponsor of the BBCSS study Accelerating Behavioral Science Through Ontology Development and Use, which aims to define the scope of ontology development for behavioral science research. 

“Dr. Arthur knows well that the impact of behavioral and social science depends on our ability to address the nation’s questions without jargon and without delay. I look forward to the opportunity to work together with her as we strive to be responsive and effective.” 

– DBASSE Advisory Committee Chair Mike Hout, Professor of Sociology at New York University
 National Academy of Sciences. (2022, January). National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Newsletter. Retrieved from National Academy of Sciences (campaign-archive.com).

Dr. Arthur trained as an engineer, being the first African American woman to earn a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from Purdue University, and worked in the aerospace and automotive industries for a decade before completing an M.A. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (specializing in Psychophysiology/Health Psychology) at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE), one of the seven major programs at the National Academies, advances the application of research to policy and practice by gathering professionals from varied disciplines to volunteer their services on study committees and to provide independent, expert advice to federal agencies, Congress, foundations, and others through publicly issued reports. From science education to artificial intelligence, convergences in science and engineering to racial inequalities, DBASSE reports help to inform a breadth of issues that the behavioral and social sciences research investigate. 


You can learn more about Dr. Arthur’s leadership and her diverse psychology solutions on her website here

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