University of Virginia School of Law professor John Monahan, a psychologist and expert in risk assessment, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The academy, which announced its 2016 fellows today, is an honorary society founded in 1780 that recognizes achievement in the natural sciences, social sciences, law, arts and humanities. Its more than 4,600 fellows convene to address global challenges.

Monahan teaches and writes about risk assessment in the contexts of civil commitment, criminal sentencing, terrorism, use of behavioral science evidence in courts, and about other issues in criminology and mental health law. At the Law School, he serves as the John S. Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law and the Joel B. Piassick Research Professor of Law. He also has courtesy appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, and in the Department of Psychology.

"Being elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a capstone honor. I am deeply grateful to the academy, and to the Law School for having provided an unfailingly supportive scholarly environment," Monahan said.

Monahan is an existing member of the National Academy of Medicine and a former fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He has directed two large research projects for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in the area of mental health law, authored or edited 17 books and has written more than 250 articles and chapters. His book, "Social Science in Law: Cases and Materials," co-authored with Professor Emeritus Larry Walker, is entering its ninth edition and has been translated into Chinese. Monahan's work has been cited frequently by courts, including the California Supreme Court in the landmark Tarasoff v. Regents, and the U.S. Supreme Court in Barefoot v. Estelle, in which he was referred to as "the leading thinker" on the issue of violence risk assessment.

Monahan said he looks forward to working on projects through the academy, which develops new knowledge and concrete recommendations that influence both scholarship and policy-making.

Monahan earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University and received an honorary law degree from the City University of New York.

Six other UVA Law professors are academy fellows:

Former UVA Law Vice Dean Elizabeth Magill '95, now dean of Stanford Law School, was also named among the 2016 class. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 8 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.