Diverse international outreach initiatives give members global perspectives

An array of international program initiatives provided members opportunities to learn from and exchange information with psychologists worldwide.

APA’s international outreach in 2012 included support programs for interorganizational and individual activities.

As part of its Presidents’ Initiative, APA hosted 27 presidents and officers of national psychology associations from 18 countries at the association’s 2012 annual convention. The presidents discussed contemporary opportunities and challenges to psychology in a symposium, a round table discussion and through individual conversations with convention attendees.
APA also signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the psychology associations of Japan and Spain, bringing the number of MOU partners to 11. Working with MOU partners, APA is developing professional and student exchange programs and fostering information exchange.

In March, APA launched its International Learning Partner Program, a collaboration to host international professional exchange visits. For the first visit, psychologists spent six days interacting with professional counterparts in Cuba.

APA joined forces with the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science to implement a National Science Foundation- funded travel mentoring grant program. In 2012, the program sent many psychologists — including students, early career researchers and senior mentors — to the International Congress of Psychology in Cape Town, South Africa. They were among more than 650 attendees from the United States. APA staff and governance leaders participated in several keynote talks, symposia and poster sessions, and APA hosted a reception for congress leaders.

In another initiative to support international exchange, APA funded 28 researchers to attend conferences outside the United States, and provided travel stipends to support 22 students and early and later career psychologists to attend the APA Annual Convention.

APA’s representatives at the United Nations continued to be active in UN committees addressing women, children and families, human rights, mental health and sustainable development. APA’s representation joined other psychology groups to hold the fifth annual Psychology Day at the UN, with a focus on vulnerable people, and signed on to statements emphasizing the importance of behavior assessment in addressing children’s rights, the empowerment of rural women and girls, peace, sustainable development and mental health.