Washington D.C.
Jul 28, 2017
Sep 01, 2017
Executive, Director
Full Time


The American Psychological Association (APA) is seeking a dynamic, innovative, and forward-thinking psychologist for the position of Executive Director for Professional Practice to provide leadership to the APA Practice Directorate and to the field of psychology. The Practice Directorate is one of APA’s four Central Office directorates (along with Science, Education, and Public Interest), and its substantive content and programs are likewise linked to the APA strategic plan. Its Executive Director reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the Executive Management Group.

Job Summary:

The Executive Director (ED) supervises and oversees the Practice Directorate and is responsible for major APA programs related to professional practice, including: clinical practice guidelines; professional practice guidelines; legal, legislative, and regulatory issues impacting practice; and APA communications and media initiatives, including Stress in America and the APA web-based Help Center. The Practice Directorate also houses the Center for Psychology and Health and its Offices of Integrated Care and Health Care Financing.

The ED also oversees the APA Practice Organization (APAPO), a 501 c-6 tax exempt non-profit companion organization to the APA, which: houses government relations lobbying efforts on behalf of practitioners; financially supports the reimbursement-related work of the Office of Health Care Financing; provides business of practice resources and services to members; provides consultative and financial support to state, provincial, and territorial associations; co-sponsors with APA the longstanding annual Practice (formerly State) Leadership Conference; directs the work of Psychology PAC; and publishes the Practice Update newsletter and the Good Practice magazine.

The ED has responsibilities related to planning and implementing APA and APAPO association governance policies and working with practice governance boards and committees, including the APA Board of Professional Affairs and the APAPO Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice. The ED acts as the liaison to other APA directorates and major boards, committees, programs, and divisions regarding practice-related initiatives. The ED also develops and maintains contact with senior level officials in professional organizations related to the professional practice of psychology.

Job Qualifications:

Requirements include: a doctoral degree in psychology; a license to practice psychology; a minimum of 10 years postdoctoral experience in professional practice; and a broad knowledge of health care trends, practice models, and diverse, emerging challenges and opportunities to help psychology thrive in a changing environment. Experience with health care organizations/payors or governmental agencies is vital. The applicant is expected to have an understanding of the legal, regulatory, legislative, and business environments that impact professional psychology, together with knowledge about the workings of state psychological associations, which are key players in advocacy for policies affecting psychological practice at the state and local levels. Direct knowledge and/or experience in professional advocacy for the discipline at the state and/or national levels, as well as in fundraising and political giving, are preferred. In addition, experience within a large organizational environment, particularly in the areas of administrative and financial management, strategic planning, and implementation are highly desirable, with demonstrated management skills supervising senior level staff being critical. Lastly, applicants must demonstrate excellent skills in: judgment and decision-making; collaboration; and the ability to effectively communicate and interact with association members, boards and committees, and senior staff across APA.


This is a high-profile position with leadership responsibility and administrative oversight for a major APA Directorate, in addition to being actively engaged association-wide as a member of the Executive Management Group. As such, strong leadership skills, ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and a collaborative work style are particularly important.

This position connects to myriad stakeholders, internal and external to the Association, including, but not limited to: board and committee members; staff; volunteers; and members of the public. As such, a professional demeanor and the ability to forge constructive relationships with Association members, leaders of other professional associations, colleagues, outside agencies, organizations, and individuals are particularly important.

Preferred starting date is early January 2018. Hours may be long and irregular. Weekend work related to governance and outside meetings is necessary. Frequent travel may be required.

Relocation assistance will be available.


The American Psychological Association, located at 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C., was recognized as a 2014 Washington Post Top Workplace. It is metro accessible from the Red Line.

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates must apply online through APA’s applicant system[bit.ly] and attach a cover letter and CV specifying your salary requirements. Applications that are submitted without both documents are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for consideration. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to check your Spam folder if you do not receive an email from us.

The American Psychological Association is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected categories covered under local law.

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