David Schonfeld, MD

Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
Attending Physician
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

David Schonfeld, MD is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician in General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB). He holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

In 2005, Schonfeld established the NCSCB with funding from the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust. Further funding from the New York Life Foundation has allowed the center to provide ongoing and expanded services. The center aims to promote an appreciation of the role that schools play to support students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation and technical assistance.

Schonfeld has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters and books (e.g., The Grieving Student: A Teacher’s Guide, Brookes Publishing) and has given more than 800 presentations on the topics of pediatric bereavement and crisis. He has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Marysville, Washington; Aurora, Colorado, Chardon, Ohio; and Townville, South Carolina; flooding from hurricanes Sandy in New York and New Jersey, Katrina in New Orleans, and Ike in Galveston, Texas; 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China; tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Alabama; and Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevierville, Tennessee.

He has also conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T. Grant Foundation and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, as well as school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.

Schonfeld is a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council, serving as commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters as well as the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Connecticut. He was president of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 2006 to 2007.


Medical School

Boston University


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


University of Maryland - Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics


Professional Memberships

Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

Member, American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council

Commissioner, National Commission on Children and Disasters

Commissioner, Sandy Hook Advisory Commission


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