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Dr. Robert Mays, Jr., Acting Director Office of Special Populations; Acting Director Office of Rural Mental Health, Office of the Director, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH

Biosketch for Dr. Robert A. Mays, Jr., Ph.D. (Rmays@mail.nih.gov)

Robert A. Mays, Jr., Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, LFMT, BCD (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired) is the Acting Associate Director, Office for Special Populations and Office of Rural Mental Health Research, Office of the Director, National Institute of Mental (NIMH).

Dr. Mays (Bob) joined NIMH as staff, in September 2000, bringing a thirty-year mix of senior leadership and expertise in graduate medical education, clinical practice, and research from the United States Army Medical Service Corps.  During that time as a Behavioral Science Officer he practiced as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker; a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work; a researcher; and an academician in urban, rural, frontier, remote, and isolated locations in the Republic of South Viet Nam, the Republic of Panama, the Federal Republic of Germany, Thailand, and the United States.

In addition to serving as a Department Chief at Landsthul Army Regional Medical Center, Germany and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C., Dr. Mays has served as the Director of a Research and Evaluation Division in a military correctional unit; the Director, of the Behavioral Science Division at the Army Medical Department Center and School; the Program Director and Teaching Chief for the Social Work Fellowship in Family Practice Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; and the Principal Consultant for Social Work to three consecutive Surgeons General of the Army (Lieutenant Generals  Frank Ledford, Alcide LaNoue and Ronald Blanck).  In this position Dr. Mays provided the definitive policy and clinical practice statements for matters related to the profession of social work and the assignment of all commissioned officer personnel who practiced social work in the U.S. Army.

In 1996, Dr. Mays was appointed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, to represent the military on the National Advisory Mental Health Council, where he served from 1996-2000. As a member of Council he was a key participant in the preparation of numerous reports which addressed research education, research training, and the translation of mental health research into practice.

Dr. Mays’ final military assignment, culminating with his retirement in September 2000, was Inspector General, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command (an organization covering 21 States, with 10,000 employees for 100,000 beneficiaries, with a billion dollar budget).

Dr. Mays’ academic background includes a B.A. in Criminology and Sociology from the United States International University; a Master of Social Work degree in Gerontology and Administration from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Organization, Planning, and Administration; with a focus on clinical research), from the University of Southern California.  He is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, the Inspector General University (Class President), and the United States Army War College.

Dr. Mays has diagnosed, treated, and studied the effects of stress and trauma; suicide; substance abuse; family violence; war, natural disasters, and technological accidents; and incarceration.  Additionally, he has direct experience as a “mental health first responder” in the combat environment, police operations, correctional settings, and as a leader in the development, implementation, and use of research-based outcomes to generate policy for the delivery mental health services and use of mental health assets during critical events, extraordinary situations, and significant circumstances of organizational change.

Dr. Mays’ numerous military decorations include: The Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medical (5 OLCs); the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal (Operation Eagle Pull); The Republic of Viet Nam Cross for Gallantry with Palm Device; The Viet Nam Campaign Ribbon (two campaigns); The Meritorious Unit Citation (Viet Nam); The Expert Medical Field Badge; and The Parachutist Badge.