APA Past President
Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD
2012 APA Convention Opening Session
Welcome to the website of the American Psychological Association (APA) and particularly to my past presidential page. APA is the world’s oldest and largest organization of psychologists, and I was deeply honored to have served as the 2012 APA president.
The issues facing psychology today are diverse, complex and numerous; selecting which issues to address was no small task. The APA continually struggles with the multiple needs and demands of its members and the public as it seeks to make the best use of its resources. The recent economic downturn put even greater stress on the association, as it tried to do more with less.
In response, the APA embarked on an effort to develop a strategic plan for the first time in its 100+ year history. The process was inclusive, involving input from many components of the organization, including the elected members of APA’s governing bodies: the Council of Representatives, APA’s boards and committees, and its Board of Directors. The objective was to focus APA’s resources more strategically on high priority goals that were identified by inclusion and consensus. As a member of the APA Board of Directors, I was very fortunate to participate in this process; in my opinion, it was an outstanding success. APA’s strategic plan has three goals:
To maximize organizational effectiveness;
To expand psychology’s role in advancing health; and
To increase recognition of psychology as a science.
I believe the strategic plan captures some of the most important issues facing psychology today. Drawing on my unique and varied experience and perspective, I focused my presidency on helping to make it a reality.
After 35 years in academia, I stepped down as chair of my medical school department to devote my time to research and service. I am grateful for my career as a psychologist. Through my APA governance experiences, I have met many committed fellow psychologists. I have enjoyed the rewards of patient care and mentoring students, and the intellectual stimulation of legislative advocacy and the scientific enterprise. I have been blessed, and service to psychology has been my way of giving back. I was honored to serve as 2012 president of the American Psychological Association.
Curriculum Vitae (PDF, 143KB)
Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD, ABPP, is an APA fellow and distinguished research professor at Florida State University (FSU) College of Medicine. She received her BA in psychology from Cornell University and her PhD in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She was director of the Center for Pediatric and Family Studies at the University of Florida Health Science Center until 2002, when she became the chair of the department of medical humanities and social sciences at FSU College of Medicine, the first new medical school to be established in 25 years.