IPPA Fellows 2019
Roy Baumeister, PhD
University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Roy F. Baumeister is currently professor of psychology at the University of Queensland, as well as affiliations with Florida State University and University of Bamberg. He grew up in Cleveland, the oldest child of a schoolteacher and an immigrant businessman. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton in 1978 and did a postdoctoral fellowship in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. He spent over two decades at Case Western Reserve University, where he eventually was the first to hold the Elsie Smith professorship. He has also worked at the University of Texas, the University of Virginia, the Max-Planck-Institute, the VU Free University of Amsterdam, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
George Bonanno, PhD
Columbia University, Teachers College, USA
George A. Bonanno is a professor of clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, U.S.A. He is responsible for introducing the controversial idea of resilience to the study of loss and trauma. He is known as a pioneering researcher in the field of bereavement and trauma. The New York Times on February 15, 2011, stated that the current science of bereavement has been “driven primarily” by Bonanno. Scientific American summarized a main finding of his work, “The ability to rebound remains the norm throughout adult life.”
Shelly Gable, PhD
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Shelly Gable received a BA in Psychology from Muhlenberg College and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the College of William & Mary. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Rochester in 2000. She began her career in 2000 as an Assistant Professor at UCLA where she earned tenure and co-founded the Interdisciplinary Relationship Science Program before joining the faculty at UCSB in January 2007. Dr. Gable’s research focuses on motivation, close relationships, and positive emotions. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Positive Psychology Network. She is currently funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant for newer investigators. She serves on the editorial board of several journals and received a distinguished teaching award from the Psychology Department at UCLA. In 2005 she received the Early Career Award from the Close Relationships Group of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; and in 2006 she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President George W. Bush.
Veronika Huta, PhD
University of Ottawa, Canada
Professor Huta obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at McGill University. At the University of Ottawa, she teaches graduate and undergraduate statistics and the occasional course on positive psychology. Her research compares different ways of defining and pursuing the good life, e.g., eudaimonia (the pursuit of excellence, virtue, personal growth), and hedonia (the pursuit of pleasure, enjoyment, comfort). She studies these pursuits in relation to personal well-being (most notably meaning, feeling of elevation, and connection with oneself), the well-being of the surrounding world (pro-social, pro-community, and pro-environmental behavior), cognitive and physiological responses, and predictors (e.g., parenting styles, worldviews). She is a founder of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Happiness Studies, and co-organized the first cross-disciplinary conference on eudaimonia.
Kennon Sheldon, PhD
University of Missouri, USA
Ken received his B.S. in Psychology in 1981, and his PhD in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California-Davis in 1992, mentored by Positive Psychology’s Bob Emmons. After six years at New York’s University of Rochester, where he absorbed and applied Deci and Ryan’s Self Determination Theory, he joined the faculty at the University of Missouri in Columbia where he’s been a full Professor since 2007.Ken was present at the “birth” of positive psychology–the founding conference in Akumal, Mexico, held in January, 1999, and won the John Templeton Positive Psychology Prize” in 2002 for his contributions to this emerging field of positive psychology. He served as the book review editor for the Journal of Positive Psychology from 2006 to 2009, and remains active in the movement to this day. His primary interests are focused on positive psychology: goals, motivation, and psychological well-being.
Ken has been awarded numerous grants from NIMH, NIAAA, and the John Templeton Foundation, as well as the National Science Foundation and university resources, for his research on positive psychology. Most notably, Ken and eminent psychologist Sonya Lyubomirsky were co-primary investigators on a million dollar NIMH grant investigating factors which sustain or inhibit increases in happiness levels, leading to the formulation of a “sustainable happiness model.” He and Sonya have continued their collaboration long after their first grant ended and have applied for additional funding for ongoing research on the factors which sustain happiness. Ken also serves on the Advisory Board of two happiness-related companies — Hapacus and Livifi.
Ken’s research with Deci and Ryan’s Self Determination Theory has explored the optimal motivations for pursuing personal goals. Other research interests include the relationship of creativity to motivational conflict and style, exploring the nature of cooperative and competitive behavior in social dilemmas, investigating factors that promote personal goal attainment, and examining the effects of goal pursuit and attainment on mental health.
A prolific writer and dedicated researcher, Ken has authored over 150 peer-reviewed empirical research articles, published in the most prestigious scientific journals ( Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Review, Psychological Inquiry, American Psychologist, Psychological Science ). He has been associate and consulting editors to Motivation and Emotion, the Journal of Research in Personality, and the Journal of Personality.
Bob Vallerand, PhD
Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Professor Robert J. Vallerand is Full Professor of Psychology and Director of the Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social at the Université du Québec à Montréal where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Motivational Processes and Optimal Functioning. He has published 8 books and over 325 scientific articles and book chapters. Over 20 of his former students are university professors across Canada and Europe. He has served as President of several associations including the Quebec Society for Research in Psychology, the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Positive Psychology Association and has chaired several scientific conferences including the 2nd World Congress on Positive Psychology. Professor Vallerand has been elected a Fellow of over a dozen scientific societies (including the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, International Association for Applied Psychology). He has received numerous research grants and awards, including the Donald O. Hebb Career Award (for Science) from the Canadian Psychological Association, the Christopher Peterson Gold Medal Award from the International Positive Psychology Association, and the Sport Science Award from the International Olympic Committee. Finally, he has received the William James Award from the American Psychological Association for his 2015 book, The Psychology of Passion with Oxford University Press.
Dianne Vella-Brodrick, PhD
University of Melbourne, Australia
Professor Dianne Vella-Brodrick (PhD) holds the Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology and is Deputy Director and Head of Research at the Centre for Positive Psychology at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. She is the inaugural Director of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (2013 – 2015) and is a registered psychologist and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society and College of Health Psychologists. She founded the Positive Psychology Network in Australia and has served as Treasurer and Secretary of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and is currently on the IPPA Council of Advisors. Dianne has been an inaugural Editor in Chief of the Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice journal (2011-2016) and has Co-Directed the 2008, 2010 and 2014 Australian Positive Psychology and Well-being conferences. She serves on numerous research advisory boards, regularly reviews scientific papers for leading journals and has received around $3 million funding for her research. Dianne’s research interests include the development and evaluation of well-being programs, particularly in the areas of positive education and performance optimization. She specializes in innovative mixed method designs which utilize the latest technology, experience sampling method and biological indices of well-being. Her research has a special focus on young people. She also integrates ethical and professional practice issues in much of her work and is currently the Ethics Chair at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Dianne also has extensive experience with scale development and psychometric testing having been involved in the development of numerous well-being measures including the Wuzzup app, MoodPrism and Wellbeing Profiler.
IPPA Fellows 2017
Meike Bartels, Ph.D.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Prof. dr. Meike Bartels is Professor in Genetics and Wellbeing at the department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Over the past years, she made important progress in quantifying and identifying causes of individual differences happiness and subjective well-being by conducting a large scale meta-analysis that revealed that about 36% of the variance in SWB is accounted for by genetic influences. Furthermore, she published a ground-breaking paper providing the first evidence ever for molecular genetic influences on SWB, and, together with international colleagues, she found the first genomic locations for SWB. The importance of a focus on gene-environment interplay is supported by her recent finding of significant associations of SWB with DNA methylation. To share her ideas with the scientific community at large and to disseminate her findings, she published over 150 peer-reviewed publications, including papers in Nature Genetics, PNAS, Behavior Genetics, Psychological Methods, and JAACA). International acknowledgement of her expertise and scientific accomplishment is reflected in the Thompson Award and the Fuller-Scott Award awarded by the Behavior Genetics Association and her honorary and competitive University Research Chair position.
David Cooperrider, Ph.D.
Case Western University
David L. Cooperrider, Ph.D., is Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and holds the Fairmount Santrol – David L. Cooperrider Professorship in Appreciative Inquiry. He is the faculty founder of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. David is also the Honorary Chairman of TheDavid L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Champlain College Robert P. Stiller School of Business.
David is best known for his original theoretical articulation of “AI” or Appreciative Inquiry with his mentor Suresh Srivastva. He has published 25 books and authored over 100 articles and book chapters. David has also served as advisor to prominent leaders in business and society, including projects with five Presidents and/or Nobel Laureates such as William Jefferson Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter. David advises a wide variety of corporations including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hunter Douglas, Cleveland Clinic, National Grid, as well as the U.S. Navy and United Nations. Jane Nelson, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Leadership recently wrote, “David Cooperrider is one of the outstanding scholar-practitioners of our generation.”
Robert Emmons, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis where he has taught since 1988. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana‑Champaign. He is the author of over 200 original publications in peer‑reviewed journals or chapters and has written or edited eight books, including The Psychology of Ultimate Concerns (Guilford Press), The Psychology of Gratitude (Oxford University Press), Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton-Mifflin), Gratitude Works! A Twenty-One Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity (Jossey-Bass) and The Little Book of Gratitude (Hachette). A leader in the positive psychology movement, Dr. Emmons is founding editor and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. He is Past-President of the American Psychological Association’s Division 36, The Psychology of Religion. His research focuses on the psychology of gratitude and thankfulness in both adults and youth, and also include the psychology and spirituality of joy and grace as they relate to human flourishing. Professor Emmons speaks regularly at medical and psychological conferences, churches and public events. Dr. Emmons has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the John M. Templeton Foundation, and the National Institute for Disability Research and Rehabilitation. His research has been featured in dozens of popular media outlets including the New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Time, NPR, PBS, Consumer Reports, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Today Show.
Judith Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Judith Moskowitz, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Director of Research at the Northwestern Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Trained as a social psychologist, she studies the impact of positive emotion on adjustment to health-related and other life stress. She is the Principal Investigator of several NIH-funded trials of a positive emotion skills intervention that aims to improve psychological and physical well-being. Her research team is currently conducting trials of the intervention in people coping with various types of health related stress including dementia caregivers, those living with elevated depressive symptoms or type 2 diabetes, and people newly diagnosed with HIV.
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D.
VIA Institute on Character
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is Education Director of the VIA Institute on Character, a non-profit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio, that is viewed as the global leader in advancing the science and practice of character strengths. Ryan is author of the new book, Character Strengths Interventions: A Field-Guide for Practitioners and other books including: Mindfulness and Character Strengths and Positive Psychology at the Movies. He’s an award-winning psychologist, certified coach, international workshop leader, and adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Xavier University.At VIA, Ryan develops (or co-develops) VIA’s courses, reports, and programs, and helps professionals around the globe, across disciplines, apply character strengths, personally and professionally. He’s published over 60 peer-reviewed or invited articles on character strengths and related topics. Ryan is especially interested in the intersection of character strengths with resilience, intellectual/developmental disability, mindfulness, savoring, and health.Ryan is creator of the evidence-based, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), the first, structured program for building character strengths. Over the last 15 years, Ryan has led hundreds of mindfulness groups for various audiences and has offered hundreds of presentations on character strengths.On a personal level, Ryan’s signature strengths are hope, love, curiosity, fairness, honesty, and appreciation of beauty.
Tania Singer, Ph.D.
Social Neuroscience Lab, Max Planck Society
Tania Singer is the scientific head of the Social Neuroscience Lab of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany. After doing her PhD in Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, she became a Post-doctoral Fellow at the same institution, at the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, and at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. In 2006, she first became Assistant Professor and later Inaugural Chair of Social Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics as well as Co-Director of the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research at the University of Zurich. Between 2010 and 2018 Tania Singer was the director of the department of Social Neurosciences at the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive and Human Development in Leipzig. Her research focus is on the hormonal, neuronal, and developmental basis of human sociality, empathy and compassion, and their malleability through mental training. She is the principal investigator of a large-scale, nine-month longitudinal meditation based mental training study, The ReSource Project, and investigates together with Dennis Snower how psychology can inform new models of Caring Economics. Tania Singer is author of more than 150 scientific articles and book chapters.
IPPA Fellows 2015
Antonella Delle Fave, MD
University of Milan, Italy
Antonella Delle Fave, MD specialized in Clinical Psychology, is professor of Psychology at the Medical School, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. Her research work is centered on the study of psychological indicators of well-being, daily experience fluctuation, and the process of psychological selection across cultures and among individuals experiencing conditions of diversity and adversity. She developed intervention projects in the domains of health and education. Together with international partners she launched and implemented the project “Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation”, aimed at identifying well-being components across cultures. She is currently conducting research and clinical studies aimed at integrating the bio-psycho-social perspective of Western medicine and the Indian traditional view of health and disease.She contributed to the development of positive psychology, as founding member and President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), the European Network of Positive Psychology (ENPP) and the Società Italiana di Psicologia Positiva (SIPP). Author of over 150 scientific articles and books, since 2010 she is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Happiness Studies.
Jane Dutton, Ph.D.
University of Michigan, USA
Jane E. Dutton is the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology at the, University of Michigan and Professor of Psychology. She does research, teaches and works with organizations on issues related to how to bring out the best in employees and in organizations. She studies and writes about how people build high quality connections, how people craft their jobs, compassion at work (http://www.thecompassionlab.com/) and how they construct self-identities that are strengthening. She is a co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations (http://www.centerforpos.org/) at the Ross School of Business.
She has won research and teaching awards and has written more than 100 research papers and monographs(http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/janedut/). She leads workshops, builds intervention tools for bringing out the best in people (http://positiveorgs.bus.umich.edu/tools/), teaches in executive programs on positive leadership, and loves doing research, teaching and change around the general topic of positive leadership.
Scott Huebner, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina, USA
Scott Huebner, a graduate of Indiana University, is a professor and former Director of the School Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association (Div. 16) and International Society for Quality of Life Studies and an elected member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology. His scholarly interests focus on the conceptualization, measurement, and application of positive psychology constructs in children. He is the author of more than 200 publications on child well-being and several youth well-being measures. He is also a co-editor of the Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools.
Willibald F. Ruch, Ph.D.
Zurich University, Switzerland
Willibald Ruch, born in Carinthia, Austria, received his PhD from the University of Graz, Austria, and later worked at a number of universities in Germany and the UK. Between 1992 and 1998 he held a Heisenberg Fellowship, awarded by theGerman Research Foundation-DFG, and since 2002 he has been chair and full professor of personality and assessment in the Department of Psychology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. He has served on the boards of several international societies (including the International Positive Psychology Association-IPPA, the European Association of Psychological Assessment-EAPA, and International Society of Humor Studies-ISHS) and was president of the ISHS twice. He was a member of the editorial board of a dozen scientific journals, co-editor of two book series, and co-authored about 250 journal articles and 5 books. He actively contributed to the development of positive psychology, as participant of the Akumal think tanks, leader of a pod, contributor to the “character strengths and virtues”-handbook, presenter at the Gallup Washington positive psychology summits, invited keynote speaker at international conferences, and founder and first president of the Swiss Positive Psychology Association (SWIPPA). His more recent interest in positive psychology is in character strengths and virtues and their role in the life of children and youth as well as adults. He and his team also work on training of character strengths, assessment of positive emotions, humor, laughter and cheerfulness.
Carol Ryff, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, USA
Carol D. Ryff, Ph.D., is Director of the Institute on Aging and Marie Jahoda Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research centers on the study of psychological well-being, an area in which she has developed multidimensional assessment scales that have been translated to more than 30 different languages and are used in research across diverse scientific fields. Investigations by Dr. Ryff and colleagues have addressed how psychological well-being varies by age, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnic/minority status, and cultural context as well as by the experiences, challenges, and transitions individuals confront as they age. Whether psychological well-being is protective of good physical health is also a major interest, with ongoing longitudinal investigations linking positive psychosocial factors to a wide array of biomarkers (neuroendocrine, immune, cardiovascular) as well as to neural circuitry. A guiding theme in much of this inquiry is human resilience – i.e., how some individuals are able to maintain, or regain, their well-being in the face of significant life challenge and what neurobiology underlies this capacity.Dr. Ryff has generated over 180 publications in the areas described above, and she currently directs the MIDUS (Midlife in the U.S.) longitudinal study, which is based on a large national sample of Americans, including twins. Funded by the National Institute on Aging, MIDUS II has become a major forum for studying health as an integrated biopsychosocial process. She is also Principal Investigator of MIDJA (Midlife in Japan), a parallel to the MIDUS investigation, for which she received an NIH Merit Award.
Lea Waters, Ph.D.
University of Melbourne, Australia
Professor Lea Waters (PhD) holds the Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology and is the Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Lea a registered psychologist (AHPRA), a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and a full member of the APS College of Organisational Psychologist. Lea holds an Affiliate position with Cambridge University’s Wellbeing Institute in the United Kingdom and the Centre for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan in the United Kingdom. She is the Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 4th World Congress of Positive Psychology.
Lea is internationally recognised for her research and has published and presented in the United Kingdom, Canada, U.S.A., Asia and Europe. She has published over 70 scientific articles and book chapter as well as speaking at over 100 academic conferences. She is a regular contributor to the Journal of Positive Psychology.
Lea was named the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Educator of the Year in 2004, received an Australian University Individual Teaching Excellence Award from the Prime Minister in 2007 as well as team Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian Government’s Office for Teaching and Learning in 2013.
IPPA Fellows 2013
Dr. Lopez was the world’s leading researcher on hope. As Senior Scientist at Gallup and Research Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute, Lopez leads research on the measurement of hope, as well as its relationship with strengths development, academic success, and overall well-being. He is coauthor of the statistical reports for the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer. Dr. Lopez has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters and he has edited or authored seven books including the Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology and Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want in Business and Life, which details how hope can be learned and spread to others.
Dr. Lyubomirsky is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, where she has been recognized with the Faculty of the Year and Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards. Dr. Lyubomirsky’s research focuses on the concept of sustainable happiness, practicing gratitude and kindness as interventions, and the impact of genetic and environmental influences to happiness-increasing interventions. Her research has been awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and grants from the Science of Generosity, John Templeton Foundation, and National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Lyubomirsky is a fellow at the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Social and Personality Psychology. She is the author of The How of Happiness, now translated and published in 19 countries, and The Myths of Happiness.
Dr. Park is a Professor in the Psychology Department and the Director of the Michigan Positive Psychology Center at the University of Michigan. Her main research reflects a psychology of human strengths. Her research topics include character strengths, moral excellence, positive relationships, life meaning, positive experiences, and strength-based practice, and their role in resiliency, well-being, health, family, work, and education. She has taken the lead in developing ways to assess character strengths among children and youth and in conducting cross-cultural investigations. She played a major role for US Army-Soldier resilience and psychological fitness project and Positive Education project in Australia. She is a fellow at the Association of Psychological Science and International Positive Psychology Association, and a former Templeton Research Fellow at the Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) steering committee, a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Positive Psychology, and a former Associate Editor for the Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being.
IPPA Fellows 2011
Professor Csikszentmihalyi is the director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC) at Claremont Graduate University. The QLRC-as described on the Claremont website-is a non-profit research institute that studies “Positive Psychology”; that is, human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.
Professor Csikszentmihalyi is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Studies. He is the author of numerous books: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millenium; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention; Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life; Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet; Good Business: Flow, Leadership and the Making of Meaning.
Ed Diener was a professor at the University of Illinois from 1974 until 2008 and is now Professor Emeritus, and a Senior Scientist for the Gallup Organization. Diener is now also a Professor of Psychology at both the University of Virginia and University of Utah. He was the president of three scientific societies and the editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Diener was the founding editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science and a co-founder of Journal of Happiness Studies. He has over 340 publications and 110,000 citations of his work, and has been awarded many of the top scientific recognitions in psychology, as well as honorary doctorates. Diener explores the personality and cultural influences on SWB, as well as the influences of income on well-being. He works on the development and validation of diverse measures of SWB. He recently has been exploring the beneficial effects of subjective well-being on health, social relationships, productivity, and citizenship. Diener spearheaded the drive to use national accounts of subjective well-being for policy purposes. In 2000 Diener proposed that nations establish national accounts of well-being, and he has a number of publications explaining and defending this idea.
Raymond D. Fowler was an American psychologist and Professor Emeritus of the University of Alabama. He was president of the American Psychological Association (1988) and served as APA’s executive vice president and chief executive officer (CEO) from 1989 to 2003. His academic contributions spanned more than four decades, from innovative work on personality assessment in the 1960s to his role as a leading voice for the study of positive health in the early years of positive psychology. Dr. Fowler conceived of the idea for the International Positive Psychology Association in 2006 and International Positive Psychology Association and served as Senior Advisor to the Executive Committee in the first years of the Association.
Christopher Peterson was the Arthur F. Thurnau professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the former chair of the clinical psychology area. He was science director of the VIA Institute on Character, and co-author of Character Strengths and Virtues for the classification of character strengths. He is noted for his work in the study of optimism, health, character, well-being and one of the founders of positive psychology. In 2010, Dr. Peterson won the 2010 Golden Apple Award – the most prestigious teaching award at the University of Michigan. After his untimely death in 2012, IPPA created the Christopher J. Peterson Golden Medal Award, the highest honor the organization bestows.
Martin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family professor of psychology and director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focuses on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, ethno-political conflict, and optimism. He is a best-selling author of several books including, most recently, Flourish. He received the American Psychological Society’s William James Fellow Award for basic science and Cattell Award for the application of science, and two Distinguished Scientific Contribution awards from the American Psychological Association. In 1996, Seligman was elected president of the American Psychological Association by the largest vote in modern history. His current mission is the attempt to transform social science to work on the best things in life—virtue, positive emotion, good relationships, and positive institutions—and not just on healing pathology.
Dr. Vaillant is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital. He is graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School; Dr. Vaillant did his psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He has spent his research career charting adult development, the importance of involuntary coping mechanisms, and recovery from alcoholism. From 1970 to 2005 he was Director of the Study of Adult Development at the Harvard University Health Service. The study is arguably the longest (75 years) prospective psychosocial and medical study of males in the world. At age 80 he is now the beneficiary of his own research.
More recently Vaillant has been interested in positive emotions and their relationship to positive psychology.
In 2000 he became a founding member of positive psychology. He has been a Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a past Class A (nonalcoholic trustee) of Alcoholics Anonymous and is a Fellow of the International Positive Psychology Association. He has received the Jellinek Memorial Award and American Psychiatric Association Distinguished Service Award.
His published works include Adaptation to Life, 1977, The Natural History of Alcoholism-Revisited, 1995, Aging Well, 2002, Spiritual Evolution, 2008 and Triumphs of Experience, 2012.