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History and Background

Photo by JoAnn Garcia, circa 2009

Photo by Adam Bouska, circa 2010

Photo by Forward Promise, circa 2017

Photo by Ryan Hedlund, circa 2016

A New Yorker by way of California, Dr. Kevin Nadal has been involved in the Filipino American, Asian Pacific American, ethnic minority, and LGBTQ communities for the past 30 years. After attaining BA's in Psychology and Political Science from the University of California at Irvine and an MA in Counseling from Michigan State University, he received his Ph.D. in Teachers College - Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York City.

Dr. Nadal is considered one of the leading scholars on microaggressions, Filipino American identity, and LGBTQ issues in the US.  He first published his "Pilipino American Identity Development Model" in 2004; and since then, he has advocated for culturally competent services for Filipino Americans in education, psychology, and health. He has published in numerous journals and books including : The American Psychologist; Journal of Counseling Psychology; Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development; Journal of Counseling and Development; Asian American Journal of Psychology; Journal of College Student Development; Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender; and Journal of Sex Research. His first book, Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (Second Edition: Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2011), is the first book of its kind. In 2009, he embarked on a 55-stop international book tour with stops in New York, California, Florida, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Toronto, and London.


Dr. Nadal is the editor of Filipino American Psychology: A Collection of Personal Narratives (Author House, 2010) and the co-editor of Women and Mental Disorders (Praeger, 2011). In 2013, he published That’s So Gay: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (American Psychological Association, 2013). In 2017, he edited the Sage Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. In 2018, he published Microaggressions and Traumatic Stress (American Psychological Association) and in 2019, he was a co-editor of Microaggression Theory (Wiley & Sons, 2019).

Dr. Nadal has published dozens of academic papers, including two article in the American Psychologist:  Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice and Let's get in formation: On Becoming a psychologist-activist in the 21st Century. He has created several scales, including the Racial and Ethnic Microaggressions Scale (REMS, 2011), the Perceptions of Police Scale (POPS, 2015), the Sexual Orientation Microaggressions Scale (SOMS, 2019), and the Gender Identity Microaggressions Scale (GIMS, 2019).

Dr. Nadal first began his work with the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) when he was an undergraduate student in the late 1990s. From 2009-2014, he served as president of the FANHS  Metro-New York Chapter. In 2010, he became a FANHS National Trustee. Along with the FANHS-NY Chapter, he authored Filipinos in New York City in 2015. And in 2016, he was lead coordinator of the FANHS National biennial conference - which brought together 700+ attendees.

In 2010, he was elected as an executive board member of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) - the oldest national organization advocating for Asian American mental health. He was elected Vice President of AAPA in 2012, President-Elect in 2014, and served as AAPA president from 2015-2017. He was the first openly gay person to serve in this role in the organization's 45 year history.

From 2014- 2017, he served a three year term as the Executive Director of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center - the oldest university-based LGBTQ research center in the country. He was the first person of color to serve in this role in the organization's 25 year history. In this role, Dr. Nadal, along with Dr. Debra Joy Perez, founded the LGBTQ Scholars of Color Network in 2014. The network's first national conference was held in 2015 and has been held biennially since.

Dr. Nadal has served in many other leadership roles in the greater psychology community, as well as in organizations committed to uplifting communities of color and LGBTQ people. In 2009, he received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation- which provided funding for his Physical Activity and Pilipino American Youth Assessment project. From 2010-2012, he served as a member of the Committee for LGBT Concerns for the American Psychological Association, and from 2016-2019, her served on the national advisory council for both Forward Promise and RISE for Boys and Men of Color.

As the founder of Nadal and Associates, Inc., Dr. Nadal has facilitated numerous trainings on multicultural competence in corporate and non-profit organizations. He has delivered many keynote speeches and lectures around the country focusing on racial microaggressions, racial & ethnic identity, Filipino and Asian American experiences, mental health, activism, and issues facing LGBTQ communities of color. He served as a mental health trainer for the New York Police Department for 7 years and continues to serve as a cultural expert and consultant with many legal cases.

Formerly a stage artist, Dr. Nadal performed standup comedy and one-man shows across the US for over a decade. Combining standup comedy, spoken word, storytelling, song, and dance, he performed regularly in his adopted hometown of New York City, but also in numerous venues in 25 out of the 50 US States. Two of his one-man shows ("Pinoy: A one man show about growing up F/Pilipino in America" and "Single: A one-man show about Sex, Love, and Karaoke") were performed all over the country, and he headlined one cabaret act ("Psychotherapy") at the world famous Duplex in New York City. He has also headlined at the world famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the Bowery Poetry Club, Laugh Lounge, and the Actors Temple Theater. In 2021, he announced his new role as Producer for Larry: A New Musical - an all-Filipina/x/o American production that tells the story of Larry Itiong and the Filipino farmworkers who led one of the most successful labor movements in history. 

Dr. Nadal has received many accolades for his research and activism. In 2011, he received the “Early Career Award for Contributions to Excellence” by the Asian American Psychological Association. In 2012, he received the Emerging Professional Award for Research from the American Psychological Association (Division 45) Society for the Study for Racial and Ethnic Issues in Psychology. In 2015, he received the Early Career Award from the APA Minority Fellowship Program. In 2016, he receiving the Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 2017, he received the Rising Star Award from the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, as well as the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest from the American Psychological Association. In 2019, he received the Thought Leadership Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Program and the Richard Tewksbury Award from the Western Society of Criminology.

In 2006, he was named one of People's hottest bachelors. In 2007, Dr. Nadal gained international attention when he led a nation-wide campaign against ABC Studios for negative comments made about Filipino medical schools. As a result, he was invited as a special guest on the O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly on the FoxNews Channel, along with many interviews on the Filipino Channel and other media outlets. Because of this activism, he received a service award from the Philippine Economic and Cultural Endowement in 2008. He also received awards from the Filipino American Human Services, Inc. (FAHSI), Kalusugan Coalition, Inc.,, and The Outstanding Filipinos Americans.  In 2018, he was named one of NBC's Pride 30.

Dr. Nadal has made appearances on CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, the History Channel, HGTV, The Weather Channel,, ABS-CBN, CUNY-TV, and ANC. His work has been published in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Mic, and Huffington Post. He was featured in the 2008 Independent Film, Brown Soup Thing and the 2010 documentary film, The Hidden Dream.

Dr. Nadal is currently a Professor of Psychology at John Jay College for Criminal Justice - City University of New York (CUNY). He attained tenure after just three years as an Assistant Professor and attained Full Professor status after 8 years total. At John Jay, he served as the deputy director of the Forensic Mental Health Counseling Masters program for 6 years. In 2010, he was appointed to the doctoral faculty of Clinical Psychology at the Graduate Center (GC) and in 2015, he was appointed to the doctoral faculty of Critical Social Personality Psychology at the GC-CUNY. At Hunter College- CUNY, he created and taught the first Asian Americans and Mental Health class, and at the GC, he created (and currently  teaches) the first doctoral level Queer Psychology class.

Kevin's mission in life is to save the world, one young person at a time. Specifically, he hopes to make the world a better place for Filipino Americans, people of color, LGBTQ people (especially queer and trans youth of color) and all oppressed groups whose voices are often not heard. 

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