Dr. Figley was named the Paul Henry Kurzweg Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University in 2008 when he joined the faculty as its senior professor from Florida State University. At FSU Professor Figley served as the senior professor in the area of trauma and Director of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family. Dr. Figley brought his Traumatology Institute to Tulane, which was recognized as the best program of its kind by the University Continuing Education Association in 2000.
Dr. Figley attained full professor status in 1983 at Purdue University with a joint appointment as professor of psychological sciences. Dr. Figley established the renowned Purdue University Family Research Institute and established two Journals as Founding Editor, the Journal of Psychotherapy and the Journal of Traumatic Stress. In 1995 became Founding Editor of Traumatology, the International Journal. Also Dr. Figley is founding editor several book series (e.g., the Innovations in Psychology book series with Taylor & Francis).
Currently, Dr. Figley is editor of the oldest book series on trauma (established in 1978), the Psychosocial Stress Book Series. He has published more than 200 scholarly works including 26 books and 130 refereed journal articles. Collectively, his work reports on more than 37 research projects focusing primarily on traumatic stress and resiliency of individuals, families, and communities. This latest book published in 2013, First Do No Self Harm: Understanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience (Oxford University Press) was highly praised by the American Psychological Association. He is working on two more books with contracts from Columbia University Press and Oxford University Press, both to be published in 2019.
He is an elected fellow of five of the leading national professional associations and received many other honors in recognition for his scholarship.
Dr. Figley is the recipient of numerous lectureships and other honors throughout the world including Northern Ireland, South Africa, England, Australia, Canada, and universities through the United States. He was awarded a senior Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research in Kuwait in 2004 and follow-up on work that was started in 1992, shortly after the liberation from and end of the occupation by Iraq. In 2004, Dr. Figley was named lifetime Alumni Fellow by the Pennsylvania State University, the highest honor awarded to its graduates. Most recently, Figley was honored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York with an honorary degree in June 2014 in recognition of his career-long achievements in social justice for the traumatized.