AASP and APA Division 47 Presidents: Past and Future Perspectives

Michael Sachs, Temple University, USA

Theme: Professional development and mentoring

Program ID: SYM-02

Presentation: October 2, 2013 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Room: Belle Chasse


The Presidents of AASP and APA’s Division 47 (hereafter D47) may be considered as leaders in the field. There have been 27 Presidents of AASP and 18 Presidents of D47. These represent 43 leaders in our field (two individuals have been President of both) and it is of interest to examine their backgrounds and suggest trends for future leaders of AASP and D47. Gender breakdown is similar across AASP/D47 - 62% of the Presidents have been male, 38% female (AASP 17M/10F, D47 11M/7F). Ethnicity is predominately Caucasian (95%) - only one Latina and one Latino have served as President (both of D47). Indeed, no African American nor Asian American has even run as a candidate for President, reflecting the lack of diversity within the membership of AASP and D47. As might be expected, D47 had a higher percentage of individuals as President with a psychology as opposed to a kinesiology focus/background (9 vs. 8 for 53%). AASP had ‘only’ 18.5% with a psychology focus/background (5 vs. 22 kinesiology). Presidents were working in a wide variety of institutions, although primarily ‘Division 1' institutions, but also other settings such as private practice (1 D47, 2 AASP) and the United States Olympic Committee (1 D47, 1 AASP). Many of the psychologists were working in academic institutions, as might be expected for leadership of academic organizations. Almost all the Presidents are still alive (with one tragic exception), although approximately eight Presidents are retired (however, some appear to working almost as hard in retirement as they were when in academia). Implications for future leaders of the profession, including opportunities across gender and professional background lines, are discussed, with additional recommendations for students and professionals who aspire to become leaders of AASP and D47.

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