Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr.
Policymaker, clinical and community psychologist, healthcare innovator, Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D, is the new CEO of the American Psychological Association (APA) and just completed twelve years as the Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service (DBHIDS) – a $1 billion healthcare agency.
Serving 120,000 people every year, DBHIDS has undergone a system-wide transformation under the leadership of Dr. Evans, focusing on recovery for adults, resilience for children and self- determination for people in need of intellectual disability services. The transformation of the Philadelphia service system has improved outcomes for people accessing services and has resulted in fewer inpatient admissions, visits to crisis centers, and significant cost savings that the City has reinvested in community-based services and supports. His work as Commissioner continues his lifelong commitment to serving people who are underserved and ensuring that effective, high-quality healthcare is accessible to all.
Dr. Evans holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and has held faculty appointments at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Often hailed as a visionary, Dr. Evans has been recognized nationally for his work in behavioral healthcare policy and the transformation of service delivery systems. In 2015 he was recognized by the White House as an “Advocate for Action” by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In 2013, he received the American Medical Association’s top government service award in health care, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, for his leadership in transforming the Philadelphia behavioral health system, particularly around the adoption of a public health approach. Dr. Evans is also regarded as a strong advocate for people experiencing behavioral health conditions and was recognized by Faces and Voices of Recovery with the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award.
Dr. Evans has served in several national leadership roles, including: Chair of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Partners for Recovery Initiative Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the National Action Group on Fostering System Reform for Adults with Serious Mental Illness, Member of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee, Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Paths to Recovery Project, and President of the Board of Directors of the New England Institute of Addiction Studies. In 2014, the Melville Charitable Trust, the nation’s largest philanthropy focused exclusively on ending homelessness, announced that Dr. Evans has joined its Board of Directors.
Prior to his work in Philadelphia, Dr. Evans was the Deputy Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, where he led major strategic initiatives for the Connecticut behavioral healthcare system. He was instrumental in implementing a recovery-oriented policy framework, addressing healthcare disparities, and increasing the use of evidence- based practices, leading edge research, and community engagement.
With a proven track record of innovative and effective solutions to complex systems change, Dr. Evans brings diverse training and experience as a scientist-practitioner and policymaker. He is in high demand as a resource for his fellow psychologists, healthcare administrators, and community, service, and government leaders. An adept and versatile public speaker, Dr. Evans speaks to behavioral health leaders and organizations across the country.
Arthur Evans lives in the great city of Philadelphia with his wife Claudene Pinder Evans; they have three daughters, Salihah, Akilah, and Jamila.