Biographical Sketch: Anthony J. Marsella, Ph.D., D.H.C.


Anthony J. Marsella received his B.A. degree with Honors in Psychology from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, in 1962, a M.A. in physiological psychology from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, in 1968. After completing an internship at Worcester State Hospital, Worcester, Massachusetts, he received an appointment as a Fulbright Research Scholar to Ateneo De Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines, where he taught and conducted research on social stress and psychopathology in urban Manila. He subsequently served as field research director for a large-scale psychiatric epidemiological survey in the jungles of Sarawak (Borneo) designed to determine rates of mental illness among Chinese, Malay, and Iban (an indigenous tribal group) populations. Following a post-doctoral year as a Culture and Mental Health Fellow at the East-West Center/SSRI in Honolulu, he was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawai`i, a position he held until he retired in 2003.

Dr. Marsella is currently Emeritus Professor of Psychology, and Past Director of the World Health Organization Psychiatric Research Center in Honolulu, Past Director of the Clinical Studies Program, and Past Director of the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Program at the University of Hawaii. In 1985-1989, he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Marsella has served a consultant to numerous national and international agencies and organizations. He has been a Visiting Professor in Australia (Melbourne University & Monash University), Korea (Korea University, Seoul, Korea), India (King George Medical College, Lucknow, India), China (Shanghai Psychiatric Institute, Shanghai, China), and the Philippines (Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines). In addition he has been a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland), Clemson University (Clemson, SC), and a Visiting Lecturer at numerous national and international universities and research centers. He is Past-President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

Dr. Marsella has published fifteen edited books, three authored books, and more than 300 book chapters, journal articles, technical reports, book reviews, and popular press/media service articles. He has been awarded numerous research and training grants and contracts in the areas of cross-cultural psychopathology and psychotherapy, PTSD, social stress and coping, schizophrenia, disasters, and the global challenges of our times. Much of his current writing is on peace and social justice. He serves currently on seven journal editorial boards, and scientific and professional advisory committees. He is the co-founder (now emeritus) of the scholarly journal, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (Taylor-Francis). He was an Associate Editor for the Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology (John Wiley & Sons), and was one of twelve Senior Editors for the Encyclopedia of Psychology (Oxford University Press/American Psychological Association). He currently serves as senior editor for the Cultural and International Psychology Book Series for Springer SBM Publications (New York), a 37 volume series helping to define this important area of inquiry.

Dr. Marsella is widely known nationally and internationally as a pioneer figure in the study of culture, psychology, and psychopathology, who challenged the ethnocentric and racial biases of many assumptions, theories, methods, and practices in psychology and psychiatry. One of his frequently cited papers on “global-community psychology” published in the American Psychologist, December 1998, calls for the development of a new psychology relevant and responsive to the challenges of our global era, including the internationalization of the psychology curriculum. In more recent years, Dr. Marsella has written extensively on the challenges of war and peace in our global era, calling for all people to recognize they are first a manifestation of life itself – lifeism – and that this brings with it responsibilities and duties to others and to our earth.

Dr. Marsella directed 96 doctoral dissertations and masters theses, and served as a committee member on scores of others during the course of his 35 year career at the University of Hawaii. He received the College of Social Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence, and was selected by the American Psychological Association as a Master Lecturer Award for 1994 for his contributions in cross-cultural psychology and psychopathology. In 1994, he was selected as the Best Teacher in the "Best of Manoa Student Poll" at the University of Hawai`i. The Hawai`i Psychological Association (HPA) selected Dr. Marsella for its Significant Professional Contribution Award for his scholarly and professional achievements in 1996, and, in 2004, Hawaii Psychological Association presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the Alumni Merit Award from his alma mater, Baldwin-Wallace College, and was subsequently selected as the first recipient of the Kathryn Grover Harrington Scholar Award from Baldwin-Wallace College. He received the Medal of Highest Honor from Soka University in Tokyo, Japan, for his contributions to the academy and to the promotion of international peace and understanding. In 1996, the American Psychological Association selected Dr. Marsella for the Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology Award. He was listed in Who's Who in America in 1996. In November, 1999, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree – Doctoris Honoris Causa by the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark at a ceremony presided over by Queen Margritte. In 2003, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) created the annual Anthony J. Marsella Prize for Peace and Social Justice in honor of his work.

He was awarded the International Psychologist of the Year Award by Division 52 of the American Psychological Association in 2004. In addition, in 2004, the Asian-American Psychological Association awarded him The Presidential Award for contributions to Asian-Americans. In 2007, he received the “Outstanding Retired Faculty Award from the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii. In August, 2009, he was presented with the International Academy of Intercultural Research Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2010, he was awarded the International Mentoring Award from APA Division 52. He received The Columbia University Teachers’ College Counselors Roundtable Award for Distinguished Contributions to Peace and Social Justice in February 2012. In August 2012, the International Section of the APA Division of Counseling presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to internationalizing counseling psychology. In June, 2013, he was selected as one of the pioneers in the field of multicultural counseling and psychology, and invited to submit an autobiographical article to be placed at the beginning of the forthcoming The Handbook of Multicultural Counseling.

Dr. Marsella now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where he continues to lecture and write. He currently enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and learning about life -- its many complexities, beauties, and sorrows -- from people he meets along the way. In his older age, he has taken up writing poetry and short stories for the sheer delight of exploring the power of words.

A partial listing of Dr. Marsella's publications is available here.