David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP established and directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (www.schoolcrisiscenter.org), located at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine. Prior faculty positions have been in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine; Head of the Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; and Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Chair of Pediatrics at Drexel University School of Medicine.
For over 30 years, he has provided consultation and training to schools on supporting students and staff at times of crisis and loss in the aftermath of numerous school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including the COVID-19 pandemic (2020); terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center (2001); school and community shootings and stabbings in Santa Clarita, CA (2019); Parkland, FL (2018); Newtown, CT (2012); Benton, KY (2018); Las Vegas, NV (2017); Thousand Oaks, CA (2018); Floresville, TX (Sutherland Springs Church) (2017); Marysville, WA (2014); Osaka, Japan (2001); Corning, CA (2017); Aurora, CO (2012); Platte Canyon, CO (2006); Chardon, OH (2012); and Townville, South Carolina (2016); flooding from hurricanes Maria in San Juan (2017), Sandy in NY and NJ (2012), Katrina in New Orleans (2005), and Ike in Galveston, Texas (2008); tornadoes in Joplin, MO (2011) and AL (2011); wildfires in Butte County, CA (2018); Sonoma County, CA (2017) and in the Great Smoky Mountains in Sevierville, TN (2016); and the 8.0-magnitude in Sichuan, China (2008).
Dr. Schonfeld frequently speaks (with over 1,000 presentations) on the topics of crisis and loss and has authored more than 150 scholarly articles, book chapters, and books. He has conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T Grant Foundation, and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death and school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention. Dr. Schonfeld is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Disaster Preparedness and Recovery (formerly Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council). He served as a Commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in CT. He served as President of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 2006-7.