Phyllis R. Magrab, Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University, has been director of Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development, a major research, training, and public policy program, since 1975. Magrab has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life of vulnerable children and their families. For the past 40 years she has provided service, conducted research, and trained other future professionals in the care of children with chronic illnesses, disabilities and mental health needs, and their families. Magrab was one of the founders of the field of pediatric psychology and her text, Psychological Management of Paediatric Problems, was one of the first works in the field, helping to establish its academic presence. She has also contributed significantly to the field of training clinical psychologists and has chaired committees and conferences that have further defined the field.
Magrab is actively involved in global issues related to social exclusion, which is of particular concern to her. She works with UNESCO and Education for All (EFA) on disability, literacy, and gender issues. In 2006, she was named to a UNESCO chair to acknowledge this work and to establish her continuing role in implementing EFA. Additionally there has been a chair named in her honor at Georgetown University, The Phyllis R. Magrab Endowed Chair, to ensure the ongoing commitment of the university to vulnerable children and their families.