Phyllis Magrab, PhD

Georgetown UCEDD
Center for Child and Human Development
Georgetown University
3300 Whitehaven Street, NW, Suite 3300
Mailing address Box 571485
Washington, DC 20057-1485
Phone: 202-687-8837
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: October 09, 2018

Phyllis Magrab

Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: International Projects
Discipline(s): Human Development/Child Development
Person with a disability or special health care need
International literacy and advocacy for children
AUCD Council Membership: No Council Membership


Professor of Pediatrics
Georgetown University Medical Center

Dr. Phyllis R. Magrab, Professor of Pediatrics, has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life of vulnerable children and their families. For the past forty years she has provided service, conducted research, and trained other future professionals in the care of children with chronic illnesses, disabilities and mental health needs and their families. She has been Director of the Center for Child and Human Development, a major research and training and public policy program since 1975 and also has been Chief of Pediatric Psychology since 1969. Dr. Magrab has written/edited ten major books as well as written numerous articles and chapters that reflect her personal commitment and philosophy of caring.

She was one of the founders of the field of pediatric psychology and her text, Psychological Management of Pediatric Problems, represents one of the firsts works in the field that established its academic presence. She received the Distinguished Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association, Society of Pediatric Psychology for her efforts in 1985.

She has contributed significantly to the field of training clinical psychologists and has served as chairperson of both committees and conferences that have further defined the field. For these contributions, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association in 1991. In 1999, she was honored by Georgetown University for her teaching when she received the inaugural Estelle Ramey Medical Women Faculty Award, a tribute to her commitment to sharing knowledge and creating a community of caring professionals.

Over the past two decades she has been actively involved in developing public policy to insure society's commitment to children and youth with special needs. She was one of the pioneers in the field of maternal and child health and children's mental health to establish community-based, family-centered systems of care for children and youth with disabilities, chronic medical conditions and mental health needs. She has consulted with professionals and public health leaders in practically every state in this country around developing policies and implementing systems change towards this goal. She was the recipient of the Surgeon General's Award for Distinguished Service for this work in 1988 by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and appointed by President Reagan to the Maternal and Child Health Research Committee and the John C. Mac Queen Award of the Association of Maternal and Child Health in 2002. In the early 1990's she was asked to work with the Ministries of Health in Hungary and Czechoslovakia to apply these concepts to the decentralization of health care that has taken place in Central and Eastern Europe. One of her recent books, Where Children Live, is a compendium of effective community solution to serving children and their families, both nationally and internationally.

Currently, Dr. Magrab is actively involved in global issues related to social exclusion - informing, guiding and developing policy and practice. She is working with UNESCO on their agenda of Education For All (EFA) and with the OECD on policies for serving at-risk children in their communities. She is especially concerned with the social justice issues surrounding global initiatives that relate to children and the human rights agenda. In 2006 Dr. Magrab was named to a UNESCO Chair to honor this work and to establish her continuing role in implementing EFA.