Skip to content

Dr. Rebecca W. Brendel Takes Office as APA President

  • May 26, 2022
Dr. Brendel headshot

Washington, D.C., May 26, 2022 – Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D., began her term as President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the 2022 APA Annual Meeting. She has had extensive APA experience, having served in numerous leadership roles, including as chair of the APA Ethics Committee and member of the Board of Trustees, the Committee on Bylaws and the APA Conflict of Interest Committee. Brendel has also served as a member of the APA delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) and is an APA Distinguished Fellow.

Dr. Brendel is director of the Master's Degree Program at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, of which she is also an associate director. She bases her clinical work in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital where she is the director of Law and Ethics at the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is currently chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Ethics, Grievances, and Professional Standards, and in the third year of a seven-year term on the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

Dr. Brendel earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. She completed her psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals, a forensic psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an ethics faculty fellowship at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. She is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

“As a proud member of APA for nearly two decades, I am so honored to assume the presidency in this important national moment,” Brendel said. “As APA, we have an unprecedented opportunity to advance psychiatric treatment for those with mental illness, and to set the path forward for psychiatry’s promising future.”

Other successful APA leadership candidates who took office at the close of the APA Annual Meeting include:

  • President-Elect
    Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A.
  • Treasurer
    Richard F. Summers, M.D.
  • Trustee-at-Large
    Michele Reid, M.D.
  • Area 3 Trustee
    Geetha Jayaram, M.B.B.S., M.B.A.
  • Area 6 Trustee
    Barbara Yates Weissman, M.D.
  • Resident-Fellow Member-Trustee Elect
    Seth L. Daly Stennis, M.D.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit

Medical leadership for mind, brain and body.

Join Today