The Williams Institute, a leading think tank dedicated to the field of sexual orientation and gender identity-related law and public policy, announced that Dr. Ilan Meyer, one of the nation’s leading experts on health disparities impacting the LGBT population, will join the Institute as its new Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy.
Dr. Meyer is currently a Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he is also Deputy Chair of the Masters Programs in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. His areas of research include stress and illness in minority populations, particularly the relationship of minority status, prejudice and discrimination, and mental health outcomes in sexual minorities and the intersection of minority stressors related to sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and gender.
Dr. Meyer has developed minority stress theory, which holds that LGBT people, people of color, women, and other stigmatized populations face unique stressors as a result of their stigmatized status that lead to mental health disparities. His framework is well-known as the most often applied model for scholars studying mental health and sexual orientation. In 2011 the Institute of Medicine identified minority stress as a core perspective in the study of LGBT health -- the only one stemming from LGBT scholarship.
Dr. Meyer's scholarship has been used to support important Supreme Court cases such as Lawrence v. Texas, and he served as an expert witness in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial. Earlier this month, he testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in their briefing on peer-to-peer violence and bullying. Dr. Meyer is also the co-author of a “white paper” on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which helped open the way for the inclusion of LGBT health concerns in Healthy People 2010.
Dr. Meyer holds a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences/Social Psychology from Columbia University’s School of Public Health. He received his Masters from the New School of Social Research and his BA from Tel Aviv University. He completed postdoctoral fellowships in Health Psychology at the Graduate Center at CUNY and as a NIMH Research Fellow in Psychiatry (AIDS) at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
He has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and numerous other publications and conference abstracts, and has co-edited one book, and he is writing another book. His publications include the widely cited 2003 Psychological Bulletin article, “Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations”; "Social patterning of stress and coping: Does disadvantaged social status confer more stress and fewer coping resources?" published in Social Science & Medicine (2008), with Schwartz, S., & Frost, D. M.; "Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders and suicide attempts in diverse lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations" published in American Journal of Public Health (2008), with Dietrich, J.D., & Schwartz, S.; "The Health of Sexual Minorities: Public Health Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations" published in Springer (2007), with Northridge, M.E.; and "Prejudice as stress: Conceptual Problems for Measurement" published in American Journal of Public Health (2003).
In 2006-2007, Dr. Meyer was a Visiting Scholar in the very prestigious and highly competitive fellows program of the Russell Sage Foundation. In 2001, he guest-edited the first special issue on LGBT health in the flagship public health journal, The American Journal of Public Health. He has also received numerous awards for his scholarship, including the Mark Freedman Award for outstanding research on lesbian/gay issues from the Association of Lesbian & Gay Psychologists; and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association Division 44.
The Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy advances law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates its work through a variety of education programs and media to judges, legislators, lawyers, other policy makers, and the public. For more information, please visit law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute.