Brief History of the Academy for Eating Disorders

In celebration of the our 21st birthday in 2014, the AED created a video that tells the story of how we came to be. The video includes interviews with numerous founding members, as well as archived photos.

View the video

First Meeting

The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) began in 1993 with a meeting organized by Craig Johnson, PhD, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. Thirty-three clinicians and researchers met to discuss concerns about the deleterious effects of managed care and other insurance practices on providing quality treatment for patients with eating disorders.

This group saw the need for an organization of eating disorders professionals that embodied excellence in education, treatment and research that could advocate for patients with eating disorders, provide professional training and development and, in general, represent the field of eating disorders. The AED was formed to meet these goals and today, the AED includes over 1,500 professionals from around the world who have joined together to support this mission.

The current and past AED leadership has worked hard to ensure that this mission is met. Below is a brief timeline of accomplishments during the tenures of each president:


Pauline Powers, MD, FAED

  • Membership grows from 33 to 250 members


Ruth Striegel-Moore, PhD, FAED

  • Organization is restructured; Board is reduced from 26 members to more manageable number with term limits established
  • Task force is organized to increase international membership
  • AED sponsors workshop on Development of Research Priorities in Eating Disorders, initiated by NIH's Susan Yanovski, MD


B. Timothy Walsh, MD, FAED

  • AED increased focus on professional education and training
  • Clinical Teaching Day debuts; Amy Baker Dennis, PhD, is appointed first Coordinator for Teaching and Education


Joel Yager, MD, FAED

  • Membership increases to more than 500
  • International Journal of Eating Disorders becomes official journal of the AED
  • Listserv is established to enable more effective member communication
  • Management structure shifts from the Adolescent Medicine offices at Montefiore Hospital (New York City) to organizational management company


Marsha Marcus, MD, FAED

  • Management transition process is completed
  • AED increases activities promoting public education about eating disorders


Stephen Wonderlich, PhD, FAED

  • First formal strategic planning session held in Toronto, Canada
  • AED organization is restructured, with the addition of Publications, Research and Public Affairs councils


James Mitchell, PhD, FAED

  • AED redefines relationship with other U.S.-based eating disorders organizations, including advocacy groups which eventually coalesced into the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the Eating Disorders Research Society (EDRS)
  • AED sponsors first International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED) in New York, NY, USA


Allan Kaplan, MD, FAED

  • AED experiences rapid growth; membership exceeds 1000

Patricia Fallon, PhD, FAED

  • AED expands initiatives designed to increase the involvement of colleagues from outside North America

Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED

  • Global membership expands
  • AED sponsors first conference outside North America in Quito, Ecuador

Michael Devlin, MD, FAED

  • AED transitions to new management company
  • Website is redesigned and relaunched
  • AED initiates plans for first ICED to be held outside North America
  • Special issue of International Journal of Eating Disorders and the first AED Annual Review published

Scott Crow, MD, FAED

  • AED implements new leadership structure

Eric van Furth, PhD, FAED

  • AED establishes Advisory Board
  • Worldwide Charter is launched in six languages
  • AED collaborates with NEDA and EDC to improve the health of models in the fashion industry
  • Guidelines for the Fashion Industry are launched in six languages
  • CE credentialing for International Journal of Eating Disorders established

Kelly Klump, PhD, FAED

  • AED develops Research Grant Program
  • Scientific Committee is formed
  • Research-Practice Task Force is developed
  • First AED position paper on eating disorders as serious forms of mental illness is completed

Judith Banker, LLP, MA, FAED

    • AED launches new branding platform
    • AED prioritizes Research-Practice Integration as long-range organizational goal
    • Guidelines and Action Plan for Research-Practice Integration are released
    • Guidelines for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs are released
    • AED forms Medical Care Standards Task Force to promote essential online medical management education for physicians worldwide
    • AED Fitness Industry Guidelines Task Force is formed, facilitating the collaborative global implementation of eating disorder awareness, prevention and intervention guidelines throughout the health club and fitness industry  

Susan Paxton, PhD, FAED

  • AED welcomes five new Sister Organizations and hosts first meeting of AED's Sister Organizations and Chapters
  • Website is redesigned and relaunched
  • AED issues position paper: "The Role of the Family in Eating Disorders"
  • AED completes Early Recognition posters and brochures for primary care settings
  • AED contributes to the collaborative approach to the Office of the First Lady (US), raising awareness of Guidelines for Obesity Prevention Programs

Debra K. Katzman, MD, FAED

  • AED launches efficiency program
  • Membership continues to increase, exceeding 1400
  • AED hosts fundraiser and book launch of Aimee Liu's Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives
  • Go Green initiative is established
  • AED launches Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders brochure

Anne Becker, MD, PhD, ScM

  • Global Capacity Building Task Force is initiated
  • First AED Mentorship Program is launched at 2012 ICED
  • AED website is optimized for mobile devices
  • AED membership sets new record, exceeding 1500
  • 2012 ICED attendance (Austin, Texas, USA) sets new record, exceeding 900
  • More than 44,000 copies of Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders brochure are distributed

Dasha Nicholls, MBBS, MD, FAED

  • Relaunch of vision, mission, goals and priorities following major strategic and governance review
  • AED turnover reaches $1M
  • Publication of AED Residential and Inpatient Treatment standards
  • Board of Directors approves appointment of Patient-Carer representative to Board
  • New Editor-in-Chief takes the helm at the International Journal for Eating Disorders

Pamela Keel, PhD, FAED

  • Launched new website that integrates social media into the AED homepage, facilitates implementation of online courses, and provides an interactive data base for members to identify and interact with each other.
  • AED Bylaws revisions approved by membership to expand Board of Directors to include a nonprofessional member to represent Patient-Carer perspective in strategic planning
  • 2014 ICED attendance in New York City sets new attendance record, exceeding 1350 attendees.
  • AED membership sets new record, exceeding 1600
  • Prague, Czech Republic, is selected for next non-North American ICED for 2017 following robust support from poll of AED members.

Glenn Waller, DPhil, FAED

  • Added six new organizations to AED’s Partner, Chapter and Affiliate Committee (PCAC) (Three Partner Organizations, Two Affiliate Organizations and One Chapter)
  • Increased international membership to 19% of total membership; AED has members from 48 countries. 
  • Oversaw initial transition to a new management company
  • AED conducts national search and hires new Executive Director
  • AED launches webinars to increase educational opportunities outside ICED

Carolyn Becker, Ph.D., FAED
Immediate Past President

  • Oversaw culture change phase of transition moving to new management company
  • Webinar series gained momentum with a commitment to 10 in 2016
  • Seven new Partners/Chapters/Affiliates
  • First Simultaneous Spanish Translation of Keynote and all Plenary sessions and many workshops at ICED
  • Adopted new policies on media relations and Pharmaceutical involvement in AED, 
  • Created new membership categories – Patient/Carer, Post-Bac, New Professional

Eva Trujillo, MD, FAED
Current President