Executive Advisory Board


The UCLA CARES Center would like to recognize the Executive Advisory Board members for their support and guidance.


Peter Whybrow, M.D.

Dr. Whybrow is Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California in Los Angeles. He is also the Judson Braun Distinguished Professor and Executive Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine and CEO of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. Peter Whybrow is an international authority on emotion and its disorders, particularly depression and bipolar illness and the effects of thyroid hormone on brain and human behavior.

Born in England, Dr. Whybrow received his training in endocrinology and psychiatry in London and North Carolina and was a member of the scientific staff of the British Medical Research Council before migrating to America to join the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School where he served as Chairman of Psychiatry and later as Executive Dean. He was subsequently the Ruth Meltzer Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania before being recruited to UCLA in 1997.

He is a founding member and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Psychiatrists, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. A frequent adviser to universities, foundations, and government agencies, Dr. Whybrow has lectured widely across the United States and Europe, and is the recipient of many awards. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and six books, including A Mood Apart; The Thinker’s Guide to Emotion and its Disorder, which is widely acclaimed as the definitive guide to the experience and science of mood and its disorder, written expressly for the general public. Dr Whybrow's provocative books have been translated and published widely in an array of languages, including German, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Finnish, Russian, and Chinese.

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Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Ph.D.

Dr. Suárez-Orozco is Wasserman Dean, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He leads two academic departments, 16 nationally renowned research institutes, and two innovative demonstration schools at UCLA’s oldest School. He is the award-winning author and co-author of multiple books published by Harvard University Press, Stanford University Press, University of California Press, New York University Press, Cambridge University Press, inter alia.

His scholarly papers, in a range of disciplines and languages, have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Harvard Educational Review, Harvard Policy Review, Revue Française de Pédagogie, Cultuur en Migratie, Harvard International Review, Temas: Cultura, Ideologia y Sociedad (Havana), Ethos, International Migration, The Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Annual Reviews of Anthropology, and others. He regularly contributes to national and international media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S News and World Report, The Huffington Post, CNN, NPR, CNN Espanol, MSNBC, and others. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, W. T. Grant Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and by multiple anonymous donors.

The recipient of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle - Mexico's highest honor bestowed on a foreign national, he was Special Advisor to the Chief Prosecutor, The International Criminal Court, The Hague, and has authored multiple texts for Pope Francis’ Pontifical Academies. At Harvard, he served as the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Harvard Immigration Projects. At NYU he served as the inaugural Courtney Sale Ross University Professor, at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton he was the Richard Fisher Member, and at Stanford he was Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has been Visiting Professor at the école des hautes études (Paris), at the University of Barcelona, at the Catholic University of Leuven, and has lectured at the German Foreign Office, the Mexican Foreign Office, the Vatican, US Congress, the Federal Reserve Bank, the UN, the World Economic Forum, and in multiple other scholarly and policy venues in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and a Trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Dean Suárez-Orozco was educated in public schools in his native Argentina and at U.C. Berkeley where he received his AB, MA and Ph.D.

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James McCracken, M.D.

Dr. McCracken is the Joseph Campbell Professor of Child Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA NPI-Semel Institute (formerly the Neuropsychiatric Institute) in Los Angeles. Dr. McCracken is the principal investigator of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Center, "Translational Research to Enhance Cognitive Control," which aims to develop and test innovative treatments for cognitive defects associated with child psychiatric illness.

His other current areas of research include family-genetic studies of childhood disorders and the testing of new pharmacologic treatments for a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders in children, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders.

Dr. McCracken received medical and postgraduate training at Baylor College of Medicine, Duke University, and UCLA before joining the faculty at UCLA in 1987. He is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Young Psychiatrist Research Award. He has published more than 150 papers in the area of child psychiatry and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Dr. McCracken holds memberships in various local, national, and international professional organizations, including the APA, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, and the Society for Neuroscience. He is listed in both the Best Doctors in America and America's Top Doctors databases.

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Tom Strouse, M.D.

Dr. Strouse is Maddie Katz Chair in Palliative Care Research and Education, Medical Director of the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He returned to UCLA after a 13 year hiatus at Cedars, where he was Director of Psychosocial Services and Cancer Pain Management Services at the Outpatient Cancer Center. Dr. Strouse’s clinical expertise is in psychiatric aspects of medical illness and palliative medicine.

Dr. Strouse is a Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has also published and lectured widely.

Dr. Strouse received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1987, and completed the UCLA NPI Psychiatry residency in 1991. He worked for many years as a psychiatric consultant both at UCLA Medical Center and at Cedars with the liver transplant programs. Dr. Strouse is certified both in Psychiatry and Pain Management by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and holds additional certification from the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine. He is currently Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Test Writing Committee that creates the board certifying exam for Hospice and Palliative Medicine physicians in the United States. In 2004, he completed the UCLA/Helms Medical Institute physician training program in medical acupuncture.

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Laura Wasserman

Ms. Wasserman is a Trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association where she serves as Vice Chair, in addition to serving on the Development and Nominating committees. She is passionate about animals and wildlife and is on the boards of the Children's Defense Fund, New Profit Imagine Learning Domain, the Los Angeles Committee of Common Sense Media, and the newly created UCLA Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support (CARES) Center. She is involved with the family's Wasserman Foundation in many aspects of the education work that they are doing.

She is married to Casey Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group and President and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation. She is a graduate of Cal Berkeley. She and Casey reside in Beverly Hills with their two children, Emmet and Stella.

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Joe Donahoo, M.S.

Mr. Donahoo is the Senior Executive Director of UCLA Health Sciences Development. He earned a baccalaureate degree in finance from the University of Dayton, and a master of science in computer information systems from the University of Miami. Owing to his work with physician-researchers in the Semel Institute, Donahoo has become interested in brain science and mental illnesses. As an active volunteer and the father of two, Donahoo is particularly concerned with the mental health of children.

Donahoo enjoys time with his family, reading, cooking, sailing, live music, youth soccer, and film.

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