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Sandy and International Psychology

Question 1: What are your goals, as APA President, for APA’s international engagement and for infusing an international perspective into APA’s own vision, activities, and initiatives?

In its 2009 vision statement, APA aspired to be “a principal leader and global partner promoting psychological knowledge and methods to facilitate resolution of personal, societal, and global challenges…” Yet, the 2009 implementation of the strategic plan reflected no international perspective in its goals and objectives. As APA establishes its second strategic plan in 2019, we must correct this and infuse a global perspective into US psychology. As APA President, I would:

  • Define global partnership as central in APA’s strategic plan with specific action-steps and accountabilities

  • Integrate an international, epistemologically-diverse perspective into all aspects of APA’s work—science, applied psychology, healthcare, education, public interest and advocacy

  • Encourage international psychologists to join APA and engage with international psychology organizations

  • Build upon the Report of the BEA/CIRP Task Force on APA’s Role in International Quality Assurance (Shullman, Chair, 2009) by continuing collaborative exchanges of psychological knowledge/methods and partnering with other international psychological associations through Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s)

  • Ensure all APA policies, resolutions and guidelines consider international perspectives and implications

  • Expand the accessibility and inclusion of international colleagues in APA staff, governance and leadership roles

  • Take steps to develop paths for practica/internships outside the US

  • Encourage internationalization of the US psychology curriculum, emphasizing epistemologically-diverse perspectives

  • Focus on continuing development of strategic, international psychological science, training and practice partnerships, collaborating with regional leaders, governments, NGO’s and academic institutions

Finally, psychology worldwide has substantive knowledge and resources related to issues such as ethical immigration, slavery, racism, terrorism, human rights violations, oppression, peace and justice, poverty, human trafficking, and education/health disparities. APA can partner collaboratively, disseminating international scientific information and encouraging development of culturally relevant and epistemologically-diverse, knowledge-based interventions, training, education and health approaches. We need a visible. strong moral compass, promoting ethical engagement and social responsibility throughout psychology in our work around the world.

Question 2: What does it mean for you to run for APA President?

I come from modest beginnings, born of World War II parents from the US and UK. Growing up with the perspective of a dual citizen, I developed an international world view yet had no resources to act. I took my first airplane trip at 22 and have made up travel time ever since. In my career over many years, I have worked primarily as an international leadership educator, researcher, coach and consultant, working in many countries with educational, NGO, corporate and government leaders and organizations. In my personal Iife, I have been primarily responsible for care for my UK family. Along the way, I have experienced global challenges of cultures, politics, governments, work/education settings and relationships, creating many wonderful experiences/challenges, incredible learning, and opportunities for growth.

Psychology has much to offer the world to alleviate suffering, promote wellbeing and help people live in peace together. I am running for APA President because the APA and US psychology are at a crossroads in creating our collective future. I want to help our organization be an effective, collaborative global partner, addressing the real behavioral challenges and opportunities of the digital age. I also want to help address the organizational challenges APA currently faces. I bring knowledge of how to create effective, collaborative organizations, achieve organizational goals and build leadership capacity globally. I want to help create future roles and opportunities for psychologists and leverage areas where APA can have real, ethical social impact, nationally and globally.

Question 3: How do you envision psychology’s role with respect to international social justice?

Psychology worldwide has substantial knowledge and resources to contribute to issues such as ethical immigration, slavery, racism, terrorism, human rights violations/other forms of violence, oppression, peace and justice, poverty, human trafficking, and education and health disparities. APA can serve as a major partner in disseminating international scientific information and encouraging development of culturally relevant and epistemologically-diverse, knowledge-based interventions, training, education and health approaches. We need a visible, strong moral compass, supporting social justice worldwide. We can collaborate to support and promote psychology and psychologists globally who can help address many of these issues and promote ethical engagement and social responsibility throughout psychology. We need to integrate an international perspective throughout both APA and US psychology as a whole, recognizing that social justice issues are often content-based and present global and interdependent challenges requiring collaborative international responses and epistemologically-diverse approaches.

Question 4: How do you envision your main interest related to international issues? Personally, my main interest is international women’s leadership development and education. I have been working for over twenty years with women scientists in psychology, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering to help them gain support and resources, so they can establish themselves as leaders in various environments, institutions and countries. I co-designed and presented the first public women’s leadership development program in Qatar; and have worked with international educational institutions to find culturally appropriate, epistemologically-diverse, and effective ways to create and develop vibrant learning environments for women. Currently, I chair the Advisory Committee for APA’s Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, where 400 women psychologists have developed leadership skills for future APA, institutional, national and global leadership roles. I’d like to expand these efforts to reach international scholars and practitioners.

Question 5: How would you represent the needs of students and ECPs? How available would you be, given geographical distances?

Psychology students and ECPs are our future. My career priority has been leadership development and mentoring of students and ECPs worldwide. My primary focus is psychology’s workforce of the future, responding to the age of digitization and global leadership challenges. APA can:

  • develop paths for practica/internships/post-docs outside the US.

  • bring international interns/post docs to APA’s organizational workforce, benefitting all.

  • promote integration of international curriculum and epistemologically-diverse knowledge into our training programs, scientific experimentation, and treatment approaches.

Given my international work, I’m used to global availability, working daily across time zones, interacting electronically and in-person. I’m committed to full support and engagement with students and ECPs, wherever we are. APA’s future depends upon students and ECPs being integrated into the organization.

Question 6: Do you have links to a talk series, books, articles, so people can learn more about your thinking in action?

Here are some materials where people can see my thinking in action:

Sandy Shullman's Campaign Website

Sandy Shullman's Campaign YouTube Channel

Kelly-Radford & Shullman 2012 - Intersection between Culture and Executive Education

Shullman et al. 2009 - APA's Role in International Quality Assurance

Shullman & Kelly-Radford 2015 - Global Leaders Embrace Difference

White & Shullman 2012 - Global Leadership Training

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