Dr. Robert Putnam Receives May Institute’s Prestigious President’s Award


Randolph, Mass. – Robert F. Putnam, Ph.D., L.P., LABA, BCBA-D, Executive Vice President of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Consultation at May Institute, was awarded the organization’s President’s Award during its Hope and Possibility Celebration on May 13, 2021.

May Institute is a national leader in the field of applied behavior analysis, serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. It created The President’s Award to recognize and honor individuals, organizations, or corporations who have achieved professional distinction through hard work and a strong commitment to bringing respectful awareness to and support of special needs.

“Bob has dedicated his entire professional life to helping people facing difficult and often daunting challenges,” said May Institute President and CEO Lauren C. Solotar, Ph.D., ABPP, who presented the award. “After joining May Institute in 1995, he established our consultation division, and oversaw consultation and school support services for over 100 school districts in Massachusetts and many other states.” 

“Through the years,” Dr. Solotar continued, “he put us on the national map, directing one of the federally funded Department of Education Office of Special Education regional centers for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). His leadership in the industry has literally impacted hundreds of thousands of students in school systems throughout the country.”

“I am accepting this award for all May Institute’s dedicated staff who work tirelessly to support the individuals we serve,” said Dr. Putnam. “They do a marvelous job every single day, especially during the pandemic.”

“I grew up in the sixties and seventies, where the focus was civil rights, erasing poverty, environmentalism, and improving the lives of persons with disabilities,” shared Putnam. “Hopefully, along the way, I have helped make a difference in the lives of these individuals.”  

In addition to his primary role at May Institute, he holds a joint appointment as Senior Vice President of Research and Consultation at the National Autism Center at May Institute, and was an Expert Panelist on its National Standards Project. He serves as a national implementation partner with the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Program’s National Technical Assistance Center for PBIS ( Dr. Putnam is also a member of the Executive Board of the National Association for Positive Behavior Support, and serves as its Treasurer. He has consulted  nationally and internationally in China, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

Dr. Putnam received his Ph.D. from Boston College, and is a licensed psychologist and a certified health service provider. He has served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, and given more than 250 presentations at schools, as well as at national and local conferences relative to development and implementation of effective discipline, applied behavior analysis, functional behavior assessment, and positive behavior support practices. He is the recipient of over 1.5 million dollars in grant funding. Read his bio here.

About May Institute
May Institute is a nonprofit organization that is a national leader in the field of applied behavior analysis, serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. Founded more than 65 years ago, we provide a wide range of exceptional educational and rehabilitative services across the lifespan. For more information, call 800.778.7601 or visit

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