Skip to main content

Michael G. Wessells

Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at Columbia University

About Me

Michael Wessells, PhD, a Professor in the Program on Forced Migration and Health, is a psychosocial and child protection practitioner who has worked for decades in humanitarian and development settings in countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He served as former Co-Chair of the IASC Task Force on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings; and former psychosocial focal point for Sphere and also the INEE Minimum Standards. He has conducted extensive research on the holistic impacts of war and political violence on children, and he is author of Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection (Harvard University Press, 2006). In Sierra Leone, Kenya, and India, he is lead researcher on inter-agency, multi-country action research on community-led action to enable children's protection and well-being. He regularly advises UN agencies, governments, and donors on issues of child protection and psychosocial support, including in communities and schools. His practice and research has emphasized the power of children's voice and agency, the importance of community resilience and problem-solving as sources of sustainable child protection, the priority of prevention, and the need for critical reflection, with attention to Do No Harm issues.

Courses and Programs taught by Michael G. Wessells