Altha J. Stewart, M.D.

Altha J. Stewart, M.D.

Altha J. Stewart, M.D. is Past President of the American Psychiatric Association and served as President of APA from 2018 to 2019. Altha J. Stewart, M.D. began her term as President of the American Psychiatric Association at the end of the APA Annual Meeting in May, 2018. Dr. Stewart is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Dr. Stewart has held several leadership roles at APA, including secretary of APA, past president of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, chair of the APA Conflict of Interest Committee, chair of the Minority Fellowship Selection Committee, member of APA Ad Hoc Workgroups on Real Estate and Strategic Planning, member of the Council on Advocacy and Government Relations and member of the APA Joint Reference Committee.

Dr. Stewart previously served as Executive Director for Just Care Family Network, Memphis’ federally funded System of Care program for children with serious emotional disorders and their families. Additionally, Dr. Stewart was Director of Systems of Care for the Shelby County Office of the Public Defender. Prior to this she served as Executive Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services funded National Leadership Council on African-American Behavioral Health. Earlier in her career, Dr. Stewart served as Executive Director of Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency, one of the largest public mental health systems in the U.S. She worked for over a decade as CEO and Executive Director in large public mental health systems in Pennsylvania and New York, overseeing the management and development of programs for persons with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Dr. Stewart is active in several professional organizations having previously served as president of the Association of Women Psychiatrists and the Black Psychiatrists of America.

Dr. Stewart is the recipient of many awards and honors, including:

  • 2006 Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts, Doctor of Laws degree (honorary)
  • 2006 American Psychiatric Association Alexandra Symonds Award
  • 2003 Wayne State University Pathfinders in Medicine Award
  • 2002 NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award
  • 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health, Invited Participant
  • 1999 University of Maryland, Dana African-American Visiting Professorship in Psychiatry


  • Doctor of Medicine, Temple University Medical School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Residency in General Psychiatry, Hahnemann Medical College & Hospital (Philadelphia, PA), Chief Resident (1981-1982)
  • Certificate Program for Non-profit Administrators, LaSalle College and the Wharton School (Philadelphia, PA)