Volunteering at the United Nations

APA-appointed Representatives to the U.N.

APA-appointed representatives work within the NGO community at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The APA team consists of one main representative; four representatives to the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) who attend NGO committee meetings and pursue program objectives on a weekly basis; one representative to the Department of Public Information (DPI) who serves as an information conduit between the U.N. system and APA; two associate representatives who work on special projects; and three student interns who assist the APA team.

APA representatives collaborate with other NGOs and APA offices to identify issues, organize programs and draft statements that bring psychological science and a psychological perspective to bear on global policies and programs. Representatives also serve as APA’s conduit for information about the United Nations.

Representatives must live within the New York area and be available to work at the U.N. one day a week. Calls for volunteers are posted in the APA Monitor and on the website.

Student Interns at the U.N.

Student interns assist with APA's work as an NGO at the United Nations. These are volunteer positions for psychology students who have an interest in international issues. The interns will work with APA’s accredited representatives at the United Nations to help plan and implement activities such as the annual Psychology Day, and other psychology-related events. Interns will have U.N. grounds passes for entry into U.N. buildings and events and will have an opportunity for a close-up look at the workings of the U.N.

Responsibilities of the position include: 

  • Attending briefings organized by the U.N. Department of Public Information. These briefings typically occur on Thursday mornings. 

  • Meeting with the APA U.N. representatives at its two-hour monthly meetings on the last Thursday of each month from September through June. 

  • Spending 5-10 hours a week working with APA U.N. NGO representatives in information gathering and dissemination.

Psychology graduate students who will be enrolled full time in a psychology graduate program from September 2015 through June 2016 may apply. In addition, interns must be members of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) by the time they begin the internship in the September. Ideal qualities are being culturally aware and sensitive, enjoying working collaboratively with others and having effective communication skills. Interns must live in or very close to New York City.