Albright, David L., PhD

Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research, Director of the Office for Military Families and Veterans, Vital Principal Investigator, Distinguished Research Professor
Contact Information Areas of Interest and Expertise
  • Community Health Resilience
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Military and Veterans
  • Public Policy
  • Rural Health


  • BA, Centre College
  • MSW, Florida State University
  • PhD, Florida State University


David L. Albright, PhD, MSW is a University Distinguished Research Professor and the Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research at The University of Alabama. He is committed to public policy and administrative leadership aimed at improving the health, well-being, safety, and prosperity of vulnerable populations, rural and underserved communities, and our country’s military Veterans.

Dr. Albright studies the ecologic features of behavioral health, focusing on occurrence, severity of harm and psychosocial impact, and the differential consequences for high-risk, underserved, and vulnerable populations. His research examines both the health status and risk behaviors of individuals with trauma, psychiatric, or substance use history, and barriers and facilitators to their access and utilization of mental health and addiction treatment services.

Dr. Albright is the VitAL Principal Investigator. VitAL is a research, implementation, and training and education initiative that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Alabama. The VitAL team currently works with community and organizational stakeholders within and across all of Alabama’s 67 counties.

Dr. Albright holds multiple gubernatorial appointments in the state of Alabama with the objective of advising strategies that address the social and community conditions that could improve health, life expectancy, and quality of life, while also reducing related health care costs and productivity losses. He is committed to health systems governance, having been appointed to the board of directors for the DCH Healthcare Authority that serves the West Alabama region, and to the board of directors for the Alabama Rural Health Association and the Alabama Balance of State Continuum of Care that includes 42 rural counties across Alabama.

Dr. Albright is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the National Academies of Practice in Social Work. During his career, he has also earned research fellowships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Rural Health Association, and the RAND Corporation. He has served on multiple National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study committees, currently serving on the Committee on the Progress toward Human Health and Community Resilience in the Gulf of Mexico Region.

Dr. Albright has been recognized for excellence and innovation in teaching and curriculum design and received the Outstanding Commitment to Advising award by The University of Alabama. He has also been recognized by the University with the Outstanding Community Engagement Effort and the President’s Faculty Research awards.