Get Your Voice Heard

Get Your Voice Heard

Learn how to play your part or get elected to APA governance.

APA policies are set by the Council of Representatives. But boards and committees can propose policies for council to approve.

APA looks to board and committee members to represent an area of expertise or to represent specific constituencies, such as people of color, practitioners, academicians, researchers, etc.

Learn how to get appointed or elected to a committee and participate in the creation of APA policy.

What Are Boards and Committees?

There are three types:

  • Standing boards and committees are established by APA Bylaws and cannot be modified or sunset without a vote of membership.

  • Continuing committees may be modified or sunset by a vote of council.

  • Ad hoc groups (task forces, working groups, panels, etc.) are appointed by standing or continuing committees for a specific purpose and a limited time.

What Do They Do?

Boards and committees are charged with policy development:

  • Council may refer ideas to the group for consideration.

  • Boards and committees may create their own policy recommendations.

Boards and committees may also propose projects and programs consistent with established APA policies or specific to their respective mission statements.

Speak Up, Stand Out

If you're new to APA's system, there are a few ways you can get involved. Appointments and elected positions in APA governance are competitive, so to build your reputation:

Start Locally
Start Locally

Volunteer with your state, provincial, or territorial psychological association (SPTA) and build your knowledge of issues facing the field.

Serve as a Liaison
Serve as a Liaison

Become a liaison to the board or committee you’d like to eventually serve on. Ask your division to appoint you.

Take a Stand
Take a Stand

Comment on issues of special concern to you. Email the relevant governance members working in your areas of interest.

Build a Relationship
Build a Relationship

Reach out to your council representative. Share your thoughts on issues and discuss your desire to get involved.

Nominations and Elections

To prepare to join a board or committee, get familiar with APA's nomination and election processes. It can take more than a year to get on a ballot.

  • Fall: Boards and committees examine their composition and upcoming projects to target any gaps in expertise they need.

  • Winter: Calls for nominations are distributed. Nominations are due by March 1.

  • Spring: Groups develop their slates. 

  • Summer: APA's Board of Directors reviews slates and finalizes the ballot in June.

  • Fall: The ballot is sent to current council members the last working day in October. The election period is 30 days. 

  • Winter: Results are announced in early December, and terms begin Jan. 1.