Dear Colleagues-Friends,


It is our great pleasure to announce the appointment of Robert L. Findling, M.D., MBA, as the new chair of the VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Findling comes to us from Johns Hopkins, where he currently serves as the director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as vice chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and as the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also is the vice president for Psychiatry Services and Research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the inaugural Lead Medical Director for Integrated Behavioral Services at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Dr. Findling attended Johns Hopkins University for his undergraduate degree in biology and, most notably thereafter, attended our medical school and graduated in the Class of 1987. Following medical school with us, he completed residency training in pediatrics, psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry as part of the highly competitive “triple board” joint training program at Mt. Sinai in New York. In 2011, Dr. Findling also earned his Master of Business Administration degree at a program run jointly by the London School of Economics in England, New York University and Écoles des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris in France.

Prior to his time on faculty at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Findling served as the Rocco L. Motto, M.D., Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and as director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Dr. Findling has over 20 years of experience conducting clinical research in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry fields. He has served as principal investigator and as a coordinating principal investigator on multi-site clinical trials and longitudinal studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Dr. Findling’s research expertise includes pediatric psychopharmacology, acute efficacy studies, long-term treatment studies, characterization of young people with mental illness and how to conduct successful clinical trials. He has been honored with numerous awards and has received both national and international recognition as a clinical investigator in mental health.

“With mental health, addictions and neurosciences being a prominent strategic focus for us, we are committed to building on our academic strengths,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. “I know that Dr. Findling, along with colleagues across the university and health system, will advance and accelerate the important work we do to improve health outcomes in the Commonwealth and beyond.”

“We are extremely pleased that this national search has brought Dr. Findling back home to his alma mater to now hold this major leadership role at our institution,” added Marsha Rappley, M.D., VCU vice president for health sciences and VCUHS CEO. “Dr. Findling is a remarkably accomplished colleague and an engaging leader. We look forward with great enthusiasm to his leadership in our department of Psychiatry as well as in our institution and in our community.”

Dr. Findling succeeds Dr. Joel Silverman, the departing chair of VCU’s Department of Psychiatry (see We are most grateful for Dr. Silverman’s longstanding leadership as chair. Our sincere appreciation also goes to the search committee chairs, Dr. Gerry Moeller and Dr. Alex Valadka, along with the other members of the search committee as well as our VA partners.

Additionally, we are grateful for the leadership from Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and our community mental health leaders for their collective support of this important appointment. The administrative leadership of Dr. Betsy Ripley, Ms. Dee Dee Dye and Ms. Lisa Wead also was invaluable. Finally, we greatly appreciate the contributions of the psychiatry faculty, residents and staff who participated in this process and represented their department and our institution so well in this national search.

Dr. Findling will begin his appointment January 1, 2020. Please join us in welcoming him back home to our School of Medicine and to the VCU Health System.


With all good wishes,



Peter F. Buckley, M.D.

Dean, VCU School of Medicine

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System