Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, Ph.D.

Founder and Director

Dr. Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber is a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and her work is saving lives all over the globe. The former President of the American Psychiatric Association noted her work with the Columbia Protocol could be “like the introduction of antibiotics.” The U.S. Department of Defense said her work is “nothing short of a miracle” and that “her effective model of improving the world will help propel us closer to a world without suicide.” The CDC noted that her work is “changing the paradigm in suicide risk assessment in the U.S. and worldwide.”

Dr. Posner’s work has been noted in a keynote speech at the White House and in Congressional hearings, and she gave the lead presentation in a U.S. Senate forum on school safety in her partnership with the Parkland community. Jim Shelton, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, says her work “has the potential to keep the 64 million children in our schools safe physically and mentally by helping prevent school violence.” Israeli officials said her work “is not only saving millions of lives but in Israel it is literally changing the way we live our lives.” Through her advocacy she has helped change local, national, and international policy, which in turn has contributed to reductions in suicide across all sectors of society.

The Columbia Protocol is now policy across all 50 states, national agencies, and most countries. The FDA has characterized her work as “setting a standard in the field” and a lead article in The New York Times called it “one of the most profound changes of the past sixteen years to regulations governing drug development.” Her scholarly work has been included in the compendium of the most important research in the history of the study of suicide, and was recognized as one of top 20 most cited papers from Columbia faculty over the past 10 years.

Dr. Posner has been awarded the United States Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.