After an undergraduate education in neuroscience, Diane Powell received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she also completed training in medicine, neurology, and psychiatry. She obtained additional training at Queen Square and The Institute of Psychiatry, both world-renowned medical institutes in London. She has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, was a member of a part-time think tank on consciousness at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, and the Director of Research for the John E. Mack Institute. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jean Houston Foundation.
Her clinical practice has been diverse and international in scope. It has included being the Assistant Clinical Director of the Consultation-Liaison Service at Cambridge Hospital (a teaching hospital for Harvard); being the Chief Psychiatrist of the emergency room at Brockton Multi-Service Center; training and providing psychotherapy to Soviet psychologists; co-creating and serving as Clinical Director of the McCandliss Center for Women in Chula Vista, CA (which treated survivors of sexual assault, post-partum depression, and eating disorders); starting the psychiatric program for Survivors of Torture, International in San Diego, CA and providing treatment to its clients (refugees and asylum seekers from countries where genocide, torture, and terrorism have resulted in severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
After publishing in neuroscience and neuropsychiatry journals, Diane shifted her interest to the anomalous psychological phenomena that are largely ignored by mainstream neuroscience. For IONS she has written book reviews for Shift magazine and the feature article “We are All Savants,” and was project co-director and lead author for the Institute’s celebrated study, The 2007 Shift Report. Her book, The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena, was written for both scientists and lay people and was published in 2008 by Walker & Company.
She is the great niece of the famous peace activist, Ammon Hennacy, and has been a strong advocate for human rights. She participated in the United Nations Conference on Women and Children in Beijing in 1995 and is one of the panelists for the PBS documentary, The Science of Peace.