James F. Leckman, M.D., Ph.D., is the Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale. For more than 20 years he served as the Director of Research for the Yale Child Study Center. His peers have regularly selected him as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Leckman is the author or co-author of over 450 original scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Leckman has a longstanding interest in Tourette syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). His research on these disorders is multifaceted from phenomenology and natural history, to neurobiology to genetics, to risk factor research and treatment studies. Based on his work on OCD, Dr. Leckman has also been drawn to study normal patterns of evolutionarily conserved obsessive-compulsive behavior. A major focus has been on parenting and the role of the bio-behavioral systems that closely interconnect our affiliative and stress response bio-behavioral systems.
In October 2013, he chaired with Rima Salah and Catherine Panter-Brick the 15th Ernst Strüngmann Forum in Frankfurt, Germany. More than 40 international scholars across diverse fields—from child development to neuroscience and cultural anthropology explored the relevance of early child development to the pursuit of peace. Their deliberations highlighting directions for future research, and proposing novel approaches to translate knowledge into concrete action are summarized in volume entitled, Pathways to Peace: The Transformative Power of Children and Families, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press in 2014. He currently serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC). The mission of the ECPC is to create a legacy of sustained peace by drawing on the transformative power of early childhood development by building a global movement that values the role of young children and families as agents of change in peace building.