Meet Our Team

Gary Belkin, MD, PhD, MPH

American Association for Community Psychiatry (AACP)

Gary Belkin, MD, PhD, MPH is Director, Billion Minds Project at Columbia University, and Chair, COP2 ( A psychiatrist who approaches mental health as a building block of social policy and progress, he recently founded Billion Minds as a “think-action tank.”  The intention of Billion Minds is to link mental health to problems of great scale, specifically to the climate crisis, and to safeguarding sustainable societies through a humane social climate.  COPwas one outcome of that work—a global network aligned about converging growing activity and learning on climate-psychological resilience connections and putting them to global scale.  An initial effort from that is to produce an implementation Roadmap for the UNFCCC Race to Resilience to incorporate the goal of building capacity to promote those supports to 4 billion people by 2030.

Gary is also the former Executive Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he led the Division of Mental Hygiene and its development and implementation of the innovative NYC-wide public mental health initiative, ThriveNYC.  Before joining city government, he was Medical Director for Behavioral Health across the Health and Hospitals Corporation of the City of New York, and served as Founding Editor in Chief of the open access journal Global Mental Health.  As Director of the NYU Program in Global Mental Health, Gary partnered with other groups globally to test and scale community-led models of mental health promotion and access in less resourced countries that are now widely used.

A graduate of Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where he also earned his undergraduate degree, Gary earned his MPH at Harvard School of Public Health and a doctorate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.