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Biography

John Roosevelt Boettiger (born March 30, 1939 in Seattle, Washington) is a retired professor of psychology and the son of Anna Roosevelt Boettiger and John Boettiger. He is the grandson of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. He lives in northern California.

As a child, Boettiger lived with his mother in the White House during World War II when his grandfather was president. While a student at Amherst College he lived and traveled with his grandmother Eleanor Roosevelt, and joined her in work on behalf of the United Nations. He served as national president of the Collegiate Council for the United Nations from 1958 to 1960.

After teaching at his alma mater, Amherst College, Boettiger helped to found Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and served for 20 years as professor of human development at Hampshire. He created and was chairman of Hampshire's interdisciplinary Human Development Program. Leaving Hampshire to work with graduate students in clinical psychology, he was professor of psychology and dean of student affairs at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. From 2007 to 2010 he was professor in the Research Institute of Modum Bad Psychiatric Center in Vikersund, Norway, and continues to consult at Modum Bad.

He is chairman of the board and president of the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, on whose board he has served for nearly 50 years. He trained as a political scientist at Columbia University before moving to a career in psychology. As such, he taught at his alma mater Amherst College, was a consultant to and member of the Social Science Department of The RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and briefly served as a desk officer at the United States Department of State. He holds a Ph.D in clinical and developmental psychology, for which his principal mentors were Erik H. Erikson of Harvard University and Joan Erikson.

Earlier in his career, Boettiger wrote on educational and political themes, including two books on United States policy in Vietnam. He has an interest in the intersections of social history, memory, narrative and psychology, themes explored in his biography of his parents' lives and their family history, A Love in Shadow, published by W.W. Norton in 1978. More recently he published a monograph, "A Resource for Healing and Renewal," about Modum Bad in Vikersund, Norway (Modum Bad, Vikersund, Norway, 2007).

He has four children, Adam Boettiger, Sara Boettiger, Joshua Boettiger and Paul Boettiger, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Write him at john@reckonings.net.