2015 Pardes Humanitarian Prizewinners in Mental Health
David and Betty started their careers jointly studying human coping processes under severe stress, from physical stress to mental illness, severe depression, poverty and war. David set up the first Mental Health Clinical Research Center at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and initiated a line of research on the role of stress biology in severe mood disorders, an area that continues to be a major focus of research to date. As Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, he created a visionary, highly multidisciplinary department that became a prototype for others across the nation.
The kidnapping of four Stanford students in rural Congo brought him to the international scene and showcased his unique skills in negotiating complex situations in conflict. His focus shifted to health and science policy as he became the President of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), followed by a stint at Harvard University as Director of the Division of Health Policy Research and Education, and then almost 20 years as President of the Carnegie Corporation. More recently, he chaired commissions for both the United Nations and the European Union with important results. A mark of his unparalleled contributions is his receipt of the highest civilian award in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.