Charles Figley

Pioneering PTSD Researcher

Charles Figley, a former Marine who served in the Vietnam War and went on to become a pioneering researcher in the field of Vietnam veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder, will be the Keynote Speaker at the Wednesday morning Opening Ceremonies. Professor Figley received the VVA Excellence in the Sciences Award at the 2016 National Leadership in Tucson.

After joining the Marines Corps out of high school, Charles Figley served in Vietnam as corporal, voluntarily working with Vietnamese children during his free time. He graduated from the University of Hawaii and from Penn State University (an MS in 1971 and a Ph. D. in 1974), and then joined the faculty of Purdue University’s department of child development and family studies.

In 1977 he established the Family Research Institute, and in 1978 wrote Stress Disorders Among Vietnam Veterans, which helped recognize PTSD as a psychological condition for the first time. Professor Figley co-founded the Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the online journal Traumatology. He has published more than 267 scholarly works, including  25 books and 168 refereed journal articles focusing primarily on stress and resilience of individuals, families, and communities. In 2004 Professor Figley was awarded a senior Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research in Kuwait.

A former Professor in the College of Social Work at Florida State University, Professor Figley today is the Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair and director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute at Tulane University in New Orleans. His website is