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Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., Is Named APA President-Elect

  • February 15, 2022

The members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have elected Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., as the medical society’s next president-elect. Dr. Levounis is the first openly gay psychiatrist elected to the presidency of the APA. The results were released today but are not official until the APA Board of Trustees confirms them at its March meeting.

Dr. Levounis is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and associate dean for professional development at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is also the chief of service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Levounis came to Rutgers from Columbia University where he served as director of the Addiction Institute of New York from 2002 to 2013. Dr. Levounis received his medical education at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Medical College of Pennsylvania and his training in psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute of Columbia University. He completed his fellowship in addiction psychiatry at New York University.

Dr. Levounis has had numerous leadership positions within APA and other national organizations. He currently serves on the Psychiatric News Editorial Advisory Board, and he has also served as vice chairperson of the APA Publishing Editorial Board, and member and vice chairperson of the Council on Addiction. Dr. Levounis has served on the boards of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. In 2017, he was elected as an honorary member of the World Psychiatric Association. Dr. Levounis is the author of numerous books, including “Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice,” “Pocket Guide to Addiction Assessment and Treatment,” and “Technological Addictions.”

“I am honored and grateful to have been elected by my fellow members to help lead the APA,” Levounis said. “I look forward to helping build APA’s leadership role in mental health both within American medicine and in collaboration with our colleagues across the world."

“Congratulations to Dr. Levounis and the other candidates on their election,” said APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. “I look forward to working with these enthusiastic and dedicated newly elected APA leaders in the coming years to advance the important efforts of the APA and its members.”

Among Dr. Levounis’ priorities as APA president, when he assumes that role in May 2023, is to capitalize on this unique moment when people’s awareness of and interest in mental health is at its highest. To achieve this goal, he plans to:

  • Expand the workforce through building more residencies and developing innovative career pathways for young psychiatrists.
  • Fight for parity in reimbursement of clinical services on par with other medical specialties.
  • Amplify the psychiatrist’s voice on critical social issues, such as systemic racism, homophobia, and climate change.

“Dr. Levounis’ leadership and commitment will greatly benefit the APA,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “APA members and the profession of psychiatry will be well-served by his guidance and leadership. I also want to personally congratulate all the winners and to salute the other candidates.”

Dr. Levounis’ term as president-elect of the APA will begin this May at the conclusion of the APA Annual Meeting, when current President-Elect Rebecca Brendel, M.D., J.D., begins her one-year term as president.

Other successful APA leadership candidates who will take office after the APA Annual Meeting in May 2022 include:


Richard F. Summers, M.D.


Michele Reid, M.D.


Geetha Jayaram, M.B.B.S., M.B.A.


Barbara Yates Weissman, M.D.


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 37,400 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

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