Dr. Lyon is currently President and CEO of Synergistic Education Solutions, a Distinguished Professor of Education Leadership and Policy at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and a Distinguished Scientist at the Center for Brain Health in the School of Brain and Behavior Sciences at the University of Texas, Dallas.
From 1992 until 2005, Dr. Lyon served as a research psychologist and the Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he was responsible for the direction, development and management of research programs in developmental and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, behavioral pediatrics, reading development and disabilities, learning disabilities, early childhood development and school readiness.
While at the National Institute of Health, Dr. Lyon worked closely with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and Congress on the development of evidence-based education policy. From 2001 until 2005, he served as an advisor on education research and policies to President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush in addition to directing his programs at the NIH. Dr. Lyon has testified numerous times before U.S. Senate and House committees, addressing issues related to the role of neuroscience in education, the need for scientific research to guide educational practices and policies, evidence-based teacher education, early childhood development, learning disabilities, reading development and reading disorders, the re-authorization of Head Start, and the re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act.
In 2006, Dr. Lyon was named one of the ten most influential people in American education during the last decade by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center (Education Week) for his work in ensuring that scientific research occupies a central role in educational practices and policy.
Dr. Lyon received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1978 with a dual concentration in Special Education (learning disabilities and disorders) and psychology (developmental neuropsychology). He has authored, co-authored and edited more than 130 peer reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters on developmental neuroscience, learning differences and disabilities, reading and reading difficulties, and educational policy.
Dr. Lyon appeared as an expert in the Reading Rockets webcast, Establishing an Effective Reading Program.