Katie McLaughlin to Lead the University of Oregon’s Ballmer Institute

Katie McLaughlin has been selected to lead the Portland-based Ballmer Institute for Childrenʼs Behavioral Health of the University of Oregon, effective August 1. As executive director, McLaughlin will lead efforts to create a new national model of mental and behavioral health care for youth.

The Ballmer Institute, made possible by a $425 million gift from Steve and Connie Ballmer, seeks to address the growing crisis in children’s behavioral health and well-being. The clinical institute will strive to effect change across family, community, and school aspects of children’s lives. Steve Ballmer is the former CEO of Microsoft.

Dr. McLaughlin has been serving as a professor of psychology and director of the Stress and Development Laboratory at Harvard University. Her research has focused on how adverse environmental experiences shape emotional, cognitive, and neurobiological development throughout childhood and adolescence.

“I am passionate about developing strategies to support the well-being of children and adolescents and ensuring that families have the tools they need to thrive,” said Dr. McLaughlin. “The vision of the Ballmer Institute — to promote the behavioral health and wellness of children and adolescents through the early detection and prevention of mental health problems — is profoundly resonant for me. The Ballmer Institute will provide an unprecedented platform to stimulate innovation in youth behavioral health at a moment when new approaches to intervention and service delivery are desperately needed.”

Dr. McLaughlin joined the Harvard faculty in 2018 after teaching at the University of Washington. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Pennsylvania State University. Professor McLaughlin also holds a master’s degree and a joint Ph.D. in clinical psychology and chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University.

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