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APA elects Pepperdine professor Bryant 2023 president

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American Psychological Association. (2021, November 4). APA elects Pepperdine professor Bryant 2023 president [Press release].

WASHINGTON — Thema Bryant, PhD, director of the Culture and Trauma Research Lab at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, has been elected 2023 president of the American Psychological Association.

“The people and communities we, as psychologists, serve are living through a difficult period that continues to bring hurt and injustice to so many,” said Bryant. “APA and the science of psychology are ideally situated to address the triple threat of trauma, loss and inequities that currently plagues our society. It is my vision to leverage psychology to enhance people’s lives in a post-pandemic world.”

Bryant served as president of the Society for the Psychology of Women (APA Div. 35) in 2010. From 2000-2004, she was the APA representative to the United Nations. She has also been chair of the APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology and served as an associate editor of the APA journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

In addition to directing the lab, she is a professor of psychology. Her clinical and research interests center on interpersonal trauma and the societal trauma of oppression. She provides national and international training on trauma recovery for marginalized communities and serves as the vice president and racial equity officer for her neighborhood council in Los Angeles.

Bryant has authored more than 50 academic publications and is editor of the books “Multicultural Feminist Therapy: Helping Adolescent Girls of Color to Thrive” and “Womanist and Mujerista Psychologies: Voices of Fire, Acts of Courage.”

Bryant received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University, where she also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She also has a master of divinity degree from Pepperdine and is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She directs the mental health ministry at First AME Church in South Los Angeles.

Her professional awards include the APA Award for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest; the Donald Fridley Memorial Award for excellence in mentoring in the field of trauma from the Institute of Violence, Abuse and Trauma; and the California Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology Award.


Jim Sliwa
Telephone: (202) 336-5707

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