1. How would you as APA President support and drive the association’s strategic plan?
I lead as an APA officer on the Board that helped implement the strategic initiatives for the organization. Past-President Shullman wisely concluded the Strategic priorities were her Presidential Initiative. As President, I will continue to advocate for their implementation. I have emphasized the importance of including all voices under one umbrella, consistent with APA’s vision of a strong, diverse, and unified psychology that enhances knowledge and improves the human condition. Including everyone’s voice prevents perpetuation of discrimination and racism in our organization. Thus, we will see greater impact in our mission in the world to benefit society and improve lives.
2. What might you recommend for the improvement of equitable access to services and psychological wellness for the public, given the incredible stressors faced in the last year? In particular, as APA President how would you support APA’s efforts to make meaningful inroads in mitigating bias, stigma, and discrimination to advance health equity?
The timing of implementation of our strategic initiatives, such as employing psychology to improve population health, increase access to services, and reduce disparities is perfectly timed. Psychologists should the leaders of psychological intervention teams, varying levels of team training, providing appropriate supervision and offering an array of modalities of public intervention. As stated in the strategic plan, the application of psychological science can foster the advancement of human rights, fairness, and diversity. If elected, I would support continuation of President Kelly’s health equity initiative. APA is strategically positioned to advocate to remove barriers to equitable health care for all people.
3. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Association’s ongoing strategic transformation work, what role do you see for the APA President in leading its organizational change efforts.
Internally, as President, I will need to support the CEO in helping staff and governance efficiently and transparently transition to a new way of working together following the pandemic. I will partner with the CEO to lead organizational change efforts, which necessitates adjustment to the changing landscape. Externally, I will work with the CEO to partner with other organizations to heal the people from the devastating emotional and financial traumatic impact of the COVID and racism pandemics across the lifespan and communities worldwide, address health disparities, advocate for changes in healthcare, and implement strategies for prevention in public health.
4. What steps might you recommend for building upon APA’s efforts to enhance the impact of psychological science and increase the science membership of APA?
The Science Advocacy Summit provided advocacy for issues of importance to psychological scientists, such as adequate funding. Psychologists possess a large social-behavioral knowledge base, with a foundation on research in science (scientist-practitioners). Behavior plays a central role in challenging issues in society (e.g., climate, vaccination, health). Science is foundational in practice, education, and improving the public welfare. The APA Science priorities (21st century psychological science, celebrating diversity and equity, psychology as a hub science, using science to guide policy, helping the public understand psychological science) will increase excitement by scientists, enhancing understanding of the relevance and global importance of science.
5. What do we need to do in the decade ahead to enhance opportunities and challenges for practicing/applied psychologists, especially those in less traditional roles and settings?
Psychologists need to make a decent salary. There are innovative roles for psychologists that do provide opportunities for advancement professionally and financially. We need telehealth and electronic tools, sufficient psychological workforce, with financial support to address the existential threat to humankind that exists, while simultaneously engaging in prevention efforts upstream. Practicing/applied psychologists need to be integrated in medical clinics, schools, government, places of employment, and traditional practice settings, as team leaders, utilizing our skills in consultation, program evaluation, assessment, and research. It is vital that we network, unite, and enhance opportunities for each other moving into the future.
6. What steps would you recommend for both defining critical components of leadership and cultivating leadership throughout the association, the discipline and profession?
We benefit from the many different styles of leadership reflected within our organization. It is critically important that APA is broad enough to identify, include, enhance, and promote psychologists who lead in a variety of ways. Leaders will be uplifted from all walks of life, ages and stages, races and cultures, sexual orientations and gender identities, religious and political backgrounds, and highlighted and promoted in our internal and external organizational communication. Psychologists can develop to their full potential as an APA member through leadership training, mentorship, networking, coaching, empowerment, support, and acknowledgement of thoughtful contributions to the field of psychology.