I am honored to be a candidate for president of APA. I would bring to the office considerable leadership experience within APA and beyond, a long track record of advocacy, and a demonstrated commitment to inclusion. An effective leader helps the organization manage the challenges it faces. While serving on the APA Board of Directors, I had the opportunity to do just that. What happens internally within the association can impact what happens externally within our profession. We must effectively address the internal challenges so that we can make a difference for the field, for psychologists, and for society.
We must successfully advocate for adequate funding for psychological education and training, and for research. Effective advocacy is needed to ensure the use of psychological science to understand and intervene in the social issues that impact our society, such as homelessness and serious mental illness. We must continue to advocate for access to quality mental health care for ALL our patients and the equal inclusion of psychologists in health care.
In order to promote psychological science and knowledge to effectively address the concerns facing society and improve lives, we must integrate and embrace the diverse perspectives of all psychologists, from our students to our senior psychologists, and all forms of diversity among our members. We need to include the international perspective within psychology and integrate our applied and applied practice psychologists.
We need leadership to help meet the needs of our changing profession and world, to embrace integrated advocacy, implement the strategic plan, and advance our position as leaders in Health Care. I possess the knowledge, extensive experience, and the ability to unite diverse perspectives inside and outside of psychology to help move the association forward.
Education, science, practice and public interest: united to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

What is the likely thematic focus of your presidency, and how will the theme benefit psychology’s role in society?

Education, Science, Practice and Public Interest: United to Benefit Society and Improve People’s Lives. In order for psychology to have a significant impact on people’s lives and the goals of our strategic plan to be realized we must have a united organization, “One APA”. Advocacy is critical. We must increase recognition of the importance of psychological research to solving society’s problems and the necessity for sustained funding. Education and training for the current and future diverse workforce is imperative. Equity and fair compensation for practicing psychologists must be achieved. As a team, we can make the difference we need.

What do you see as the biggest issues facing education and training over the next 10 years?

As we prepare the profession for the future, we must address challenges facing education and training, including the increasing cost of education and subsequent student debt, and preparing students for a diverse work force encompassing the changing demographics of the U.S. We should be mindful of new and emerging technologies, connect training with the needs of the population, and demonstrate the importance of the doctoral degree while expanding a well-trained master’s level workforce through accredited programs. In order for our profession to grow and thrive, it will be necessary to attract top students, while supporting their emotional and financial health.

What steps should APA take to enhance its science agenda?

APA’s science agenda needs to be widely distributed throughout psychology, federal agencies and Congress. Member participation in developing and advocating for the science agenda is important, and we must have coordinated advocacy by members and staff to advance this agenda by requesting consistent, robust and sustained funding from NIH and other critical agencies. We must communicate the importance and uniqueness of psychological research to our policymakers. As we advocate for science, we educate lawmakers about broader behavioral and social science research issues, and collaborative relationships with advocacy coalitions are fostered to promote our science priorities and protect federal science funding.

What priorities would you set for APA’s international activities and how do you think APA should engage in the international arena, for example with respect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

For psychology to thrive and grow as a profession, we must embrace a global perspective, partner and collaborate with our international colleagues, and maintain strong relationships with the WHO and UN. Going outside our borders to cultivate bidirectional support and collaboration among international psychology associations and psychologists improves life and knowledge. APA should continue playing a major role in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals including “Good Health and Well-Being,” and replicate work as in the past with the ICD-11 revision, Mental and Behavioral Disorders section. APA’s voice should be heard worldwide and assist with the development of international health policy.

What criteria would you use to balance APA’s priorities? How will you deal with the pressures for resource allocation across the constituent groups?

We should identify the major issues facing society and how psychology’s unique knowledge base can contribute to solutions. We need to consider which of the priorities have the greatest opportunity to capitalize on psychological expertise across content areas. We can manage potential pressures for resource allocation by staying focused on the criteria stated above. An example is the opioid crisis: showcase Psychology’s research on addiction, pain, and pain management to educate policy makers; advocate for increased funding for additional research and to train psychologists to treat the population; and, ensure that compensation levels match their training within the healthcare industry.

How can APA contribute to reducing health/healthcare disparities?

Psychological research on health disparities and the major reports and partnerships created by the APA Office on Health Disparities have been important to reducing health disparities, as understanding is an important step. Going forward, APA must continue its strong role in research, but also increase its public education especially to legislators and other health professionals, and its advocacy for policy, funding and training. APA must also continue its strong leadership role in collaborating with other professional, governmental, and community organizations, such as the CDC, SAMHSA, and 100 Fathers, Inc. in reducing health disparities.