Dr. James Kelly serves as the director of The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) on the campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. While serving as the NICoE’s director, Kelly is also professor of neurosurgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has also served as director of the Brain Injury Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and was the neurological consultant for the Chicago Bears. He was the first chairman of the Defense Health Board’s Traumatic Brain Injury External Advisory Subcommittee for Military Clinical Care, Research, and Education.
James is Irish on his father’s side and explained: “My father, William A. Kelly, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the seventh of eight children of second-generation Irish immigrants who left Ireland around the time of the potato famine.”
James obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology from Western Michigan University, graduating from Northwestern University’s medical school and completing his neurology residency and behavioral neurology fellowship at the University of Colorado. He co-authored the sports concussion guidelines of the American Academy of Neurology and the Standardized Assessment of Concussion that is widely used in athletic and military settings.