American Psychological Foundation Names Fleming New Chief Executive Officer

Former head of Hetrick Martin Institute’s New Jersey Chapter

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Foundation has appointed Ashawnda Fleming, PhD, chief executive officer, responsible for the $18+ million grantmaking organization that supports graduate students and early career psychologists working to find innovative solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems.

“The APF Board of Trustees is thrilled with the appointment of Ashawnda Fleming to serve as the next chief executive officer of the American Psychological Foundation,” said Terence Keane, PhD, president of the APF Board of Trustees. “Her experience as an executive director managing behavioral health programs, coupled with a successful background in fundraising, make her an outstanding selection for leading APF well into the future. We look forward to her stewardship and leadership.”

Fleming has more than 18 years of nonprofit management experience. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Hetrick Martin Institute New Jersey chapter — an organization that provides free year-round programs and services for LGBTQ youth and allies between the ages of 13 and 21, In that post, she strengthened the organization’s financial position and raised its profile. Before that, Fleming was vice president of Development for Prevent Child Abuse/New Jersey and served as a development consultant to national nonprofits, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and First Candle/SIDS Alliance. 

Other posts include vice-president of Clinical Compliance for Second Genesis, the largest substance abuse and mental health provider in the Mid-Atlantic region. Fleming also managed a national research initiative at Georgetown University, which was funded by the National Institute of Health. She served as a working member on the Campaign for Mental Health Reform with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and other legislators. The campaign was instrumental in passing the National Mental Health Parity Act of 2008. 

Fleming is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. She completed her PhD in sociology at The American University in Washington, D.C. She also holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from St. Thomas University in Miami, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Fleming assumes her new post July 30. She succeeds Elisabeth R. Straus, APF’s first executive director/executive vice-president, who is retiring at the end of July.

APF is the grantmaking arm of the American Psychological Association.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.