Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research

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Faculty and Staff


James Connell, PhD, BCBA, NASP James Connell, PhD, BCBA, NASP

Research Associate, CMHPSR
Department of Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Connell has his doctorate in school psychology, is a nationally certified school psychologist, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Connell’s primary appointment is in the University of Pennsylvania’s (Penn) School of Medicine with a secondary appointment in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Center for Autism Research (CAR). Prior to his Penn appointment, he was an assistant professor at Temple University.  While his research interests are varied, one main theme has emerged over the years: Identifying the variables that influence adult behavior change in community settings. To this end, he has researched and extensively studied models of community-based consultation and their relative effectiveness on program implementation. He continues this theme at Penn and CHOP with research projects focused on the widespread dissemination of evidence-based interventions in schools and community settings. Many autism support educational programs share core components in their curricular design while diverging on staff competency, training, and support. His goal is to add to the dissemination and implementation literature of efficacious programs for individuals diagnosed with autism by evaluating and reporting those core components and their relative effects on individual outcomes. Dr. Connell is now Associate Professor in the College of Education at Drexel University, and Research Fellow and Director of the Clinical Core in the AJ Drexel Autism Institute.