Harold Pincus, MD

  • Professor of Psychiatry (in Health Policy & Management)

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Harold Alan Pincus, M.D. is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Co-Director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University, and Director of Quality and Outcomes Research at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Pincus also serves as a Senior Scientist at the RAND Corporation an adjunct professor at Weill-Cornell, UCLA and USUHS. Previously, he was Director of the RAND-University of Pittsburgh Health Institute and Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the National Director of the Health and Aging Policy Fellowship (supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies and John A. Hartford Foundation) and previously directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national program Depression in Primary Care: Linking Clinical and Systems Strategies and the Hartford Foundation’s national program Building Interdisciplinary Geriatric Research Centers. Dr. Pincus has also served as the Deputy Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association and the founding director of APA’s Office of Research. Prior to joining the APA, he was the Special Assistant to the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Pincus graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Following completion of psychiatry residency at George Washington University Medical Center, Dr. Pincus was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Pincus served as a professional staff member of the President’s Commission on Mental Health at the White House and, subsequently, as a congressional fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He was Vice Chair of the Task Force on DSM-IV and has been appointed to the editorial boards of eleven scientific journals. He has authored or co-authored over 400 scientific publications in health services and policy research, science policy, research career development and the diagnosis, classification and treatment of mental disorders. He has had a particular research interest in the practice of evidence-based medicine, quality measurement and improvement and the relationships among general medicine, mental health, and substance abuse, developing and empirically testing models of care. He has led major health policy and services research and research training projects totaling over $200 million in external funding. Among other recent projects, he led the national evaluation of veterans’ mental health services, the redesign of primary care/ behavioral health relationships in New Orleans, a National Institutes of Health-funded national study of research mentoring and evaluation of major federal and state programs to integrate health and mental health care, as well as efforts to develop quality measurement strategies at the interface of behavioral health and general health care.

He is co-chair of the Measurement Applications Partnership Coordinating Committee under the Affordable Care Act and co-chairs the World Health Organization's ICD-11 Committee on Quality and Patient Safety and National Quality Forum’s Behavioral Health Standing Committee and Adult Medicaid Task Force. He has also been a consultant to multiple federal and international agencies and private organizations, including the U.S. Secret Service, John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation, World Health Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Dr. Pincus has served on multiple Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences Committees, including Crossing the Quality Chasm in Behavioral Health, as well as the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Disease Revision Steering Committee, World Psychiatric Association Section on Economics, and numerous other national and international committees.


Dr. Pincus received the William C. Menninger Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians for distinguished contributions to the science of mental health, the Research Mentorship Award from the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Association for contributions to the career development of young investigators, Vestermark Award from the National Institute of Mental Health and American Psychiatric Association for contributions to psychiatric education, Health Services Research Senior Scholar Award of the American Psychiatric Association and Columbia University’s Emily Mumford Medal among other honors. He is a member of Columbia’s faculty practice and worked one evening a week for twenty-two years at a public mental health clinic caring for patients with severe mental illnesses.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Psychiatry (in Health Policy & Management)


  • Male


Research Interests

  • Psychiatry