In Memoriam: Norman B. Anderson, 1955-2024

Norman B. Anderson, assistant vice president for research and academic affairs at Florida State University, passed away on March 1. He was 68 years old.

Dr. Anderson’s career began with Duke University in 1983, where he started as a postdoctoral fellow, eventually becoming a tenured associate professor of medical psychology and psychology. During his time with Duke University, he served as the founding director of the program on health, behavior, and aging in Black Americans, as well as director of the Exploratory Center for Research on Health Promotion in Older Minorities. Dr. Anderson left Duke University in 1999 and went on to serve as a professor of health and social behavior at Harvard University for three years. From 1995-2000 he also held the title of associate director at the National Institutes of Health where he served as the first director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research.

In 2003, Dr. Anderson became the first-ever African American chief executive officer and executive vice president of the American Psychological Association, a position he held for 13 years before stepping away to serve as principal of Anderson Leadership Coaching and Consulting. He returned to higher education in 2017 as assistant vice president for research and academic affairs and research professor of social work at Florida State University. In this role, he founded and directed the Florida State University Faculty Leadership Development Program.

Throughout his career, Dr. Anderson received numerous awards for his leadership and research in the psychology and social work fields. In 2012, he became an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of four honorary doctorates from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina Central University, the University of Maryland, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

At the time of his death, Dr. Anderson was president-elect of the Federation of Associations in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and was slated to assume the presidency of the organization for the 2026-2027 term. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Dr. Anderson was a graduate of historically Black North Carolina Central University where he majored in psychology. He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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