About Dr. Figley



to my world



Charles Ray Figley was born in Chicago, grew up in Ohio, joined the Marine Corps out of high school. His life has been about collaboration, cooperation, and innovation. This web page is about what he helped to accomplish during his career and life.

  • High School Public Service to Vietnam: Charles served in Vietnam as a corporal and volunteered working with Vietnamese children during his free time. This led to motivating his former high school (Springboro, Ohio) to donate 2 tons of school and hygiene supplies for these and other children in DaNang, South Vietnam in 1965-1966.

  • Costs of the Vietnam War: During his final year in the Marine Corps at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, he was promoted to sergeant. He volunteered as a member of the Station's speaker’s bureau to tell about the Vietnamese people and appeal for donations to help them in 1966-1967.

  • Completed his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Hawaii in human development in 1970.

  • Completed his Master of Science Degree from Penn State and joined the Bowling Green State University faculty and taught family psychology courses before returning to Penn State for his PhD, 1971.

  • Created a course in human sexuality and taught them throughout the state of Pennsylvania, 1972.

  • Completed his PhD in human development at Penn State with a dissertation and graduated in 1974

  • Joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1974 and worked in the historic department of child development and family studies.

  • Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure at Purdue University, 1977.

  • Published his first book, Stress Disorders among Vietnam Veterans (Brunner/Mazel) that contributed to the invention of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), 1978.

  • Established the Family Research Institute to study traumatized families (e.g., due to war, disasters, violence, and later the families of the US hostages finally freed in 1980 after 444 days of captivity), 1978.

  • Established the Task Force on Families of Catastrophe to provide an extensive report to the Carter administration’s State Department who were working to free the Americans held hostages including members of the US Foreign Service, 1979.

  • Appointed Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Payne Whitney Clinic, Cornell University New York City, 1982.

  • Established the Book Series (Routledge) on Psychosocial Stress in 1982.

  • Appointed Visiting Professor and Fellow, Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 1982.

  • Promoted to Full Professor at Purdue University, 1983.

  • Founded the Journal of Psychotherapy and the Family with Hawthorne Press., 1983.

  • Co-founded the Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) as its first President, 1985 and 1986.

  • Co-founded the Journal of Traumatic Stress and gave it the Society as its Founding Editor, 1986.

  • Appointed a full professorship at Florida State University School of Social Work and the Marriage and Family PhD Program, 1989.

  • Appointed Program Director of the Program in Marriage and Family (the oldest PhD program focusing on families, established in 1950) in 1990.

  • Founded the online journal Traumatology in1994 that is currently published and owned by the American Psychological Associations.

  • He edited the book Compassion Fatigue in 1995 that started a movement focused on managing work-place stress in the human service community of professionals and volunteers, 1995.

  • Appointed Visiting Professor of Psychology, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, 1997 where he co-taught a course on trauma and secondary trauma.

  • Co-founded the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology as its first President in 1996.

  • Co-founded the Green Cross Certification Program in Trauma in 1997.

  • Coordinated the Certification Board of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology in 1998.

  • Co-authored the Green Cross Academy Standards of Practice for Practitioners and Researchers, 1999.

  • Co-authored the Green Cross Standards of Self Care for those who work with the traumatized, 2000.

  • Established the Florida State University Traumatology Institute to support the mission of the Green Cross, 1997.

  • Established the Traumatology Institute Training and Certification Program through the Green Cross, 1998.

  • Co-led the Green Cross response to New York City after 9-11 (invitation of the Service Workers Union, 32-BJ) and helped establish the New York chapter of the Green Cross, 2001.

  • Awarded the Fulbright Senior Scholar and Visiting Distinguished Professorship, Kuwait University College of Social Sciences, 2004.

  • Part of the Green Cross response to Katrina, focusing on the Human Society of the US efforts to rescue animals in the wake of the failure of the levee system. who assisted relief workers responding to Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

  • Awarded the Frontiers of Science Lecturer, University of Ottawa, November 16, 2005 Awarded the Donna Cox Bridger Endowed Lectureship in Nursing and Health Care, University of Alabama, April 12, 2006.

  • Organized the first symposium on combat stress injury (FSU Traumatology Institute, Tallahassee, Florida), 2006.

  • Named the Kurzweg Chair in Disaster Mental Health, 2008 a joined the faculty of Tulane University

  • Moved the Traumatology Institute to New Orleans and the Tulane University to become the Tulane Traumatology Institute.

  • Co-founded the The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy was founded at Tulane through a large federal grant, 2009.

  • Co-founded the City, Culture, and Community PhD Program was established through a grant from Tulane University, 2010.

  • Co-founded the Disaster Resilience Leadership Master of Science Program, 2011.

  • Named the first Associate Dean for Research for the Tulane University School of Social Work, 2012-2017.

  • Completed his 25th book in 2013, First Do No Self Harm: Understanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience co-edited with Peter Huggard (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Charlotte Rees (University of Sydney) published by Oxford University Press.

  • Named the Guest Professor, Japan College of Social Work, 2012-2015.

  • Awarded an honorary degree (Humane Letters) from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and addressed the graduates, 2014.

  • Awarded the Bowles Chapel Lecture, Memorial Hermann System Services, Houston, TX, Feb 6, 2014.

  • Awarded the Science Award for his combat-PTSD research by the Vietnam Veterans of America service organization, 2016.

  • Delivered the keynote address to the annual convention of the Vietnam Veterans of America service organization, 2017.

  • Delivered a series of lectures at the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma for the Global Mental Health and Trauma Certification Program, Orvieto, Italy, November 3-17, 2018.