The Committee


Mohan Agashe

In addition to being a psychiatrist, Dr. Mohan Agashe has been acknowledged as one of the finest actors on stage and screen in India, in the 1970's and 1980's. He was the founder Director-Professor of the Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health in Pune and retired from that position in 2005. More recently, he has worked as an advisor in mental health for the Government of Maharashtra (India).

Ellen Baxter 

Ellen Baxter has been a leader in the field of housing advocacy and social justice in New York and nationally for more than 35 years. A pioneer of the supportive housing movement, Ellen founded Broadway Housing Communities (BHC) in 1983 to demonstrate that permanent housing with services is the most cost-effective and humane solution to homelessness, a model now widely replicated. Today, BHC's innovative and comprehensive approach leverages the synergies of permanent, affordable housing and services, early childhood education, educational advocacy, and access to the cultural arts for adults, children, families and communities. Ellen is the recipient of a Governor's Award for Excellence in Housing, a Citizen's Housing & Planning Council Public Service Award, and a Robin Hood Foundation Hero Award, among many other honors.

Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt is the author of a book of poems, four collections of essays, six novels, and a work of nonfiction, The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves, a book that examined her nonepileptic seizure symptom through the lenses of several disciplines - neurology, psychiatry, neuroscience, psychoanalysis, and philosophy. Her most recent collection of essays, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women (2016), includes a 200-page essay on the mind-body problem, "The Delusions of Certainty." In 2012, she was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. Her most recent novel The Blazing World was long listed for the Man Booker Prize and won the Los Angeles Book Prize for Fiction in 2014. Hustvedt has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Dewitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry in the Psychiatry Department of Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages.

Murali Doraiswamy

Murali Doraiswamy is a renowned doctor, neuroscientist and health innovator at Duke University in the USA. At Duke, he directs a clinical trials unit that has been involved with the development of many innovations used widely in mental health and preventive medicine. Murali has served as an advisor to leading government agencies, businesses and advocacy groups, and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Councils.

Bernard Sabbe

Prof. Dr. Bernard Sabbe is chair and professor in medical psychology and psychiatry at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and psychiatrist/psychotherapist at the Sint-Norbertus Psychiatric Hospital in Duffel. He is coordinator of the Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI), an institute that focuses on research into the (neurobiological) fundamentals of psychiatric disorders.

Andrew Scull

Andrew Scull is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego.  He was educated at Oxford and Princeton Universities, and held a post-doctoral fellowship in medical history at University College London. Prior to joining the UCSD faculty, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous books on the history of psychiatry, including Museums of MadnessDecarcerationMadhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern MedicineHysteria; and, most recently, Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity from the Bible to Freud, and from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine.

Erik Thys

Erik Thys works as a psychiatrist in the University Psychiatric Centre of the KU Leuven in Kortenberg and in the PSC St.-Alexius in Brussels, Belgium. He teaches at the KU Leuven and is studying psychiatric stigma, outsider art and the link between creativity and psychopathology. He has written texts and drawn comics about psychosis, bipolar disorder and autism. He wrote the book Psychogenocide about psychiatry, art and mass murder in nazi Germany. He is also an artist and composer who has shown and performed his work internationally.