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International Association of Applied Psychology

Lori Foster, Ph.D.

Image by Parker Johnson
Image by Krzysztof Hepner

Vision and Goals

May 15, 2020

Personal Statement by Lori Foster, Ph.D.


Dear IAAP Members,


With great enthusiasm, I offer this letter to announce my candidacy for the position of President-Elect of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). This presidential term will occur at an important time in our collective journey, as IAAP enters its second century and as our world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and adapts to a “new normal.” Applied psychology not only has an opportunity - but indeed a responsibility - to help shape the “new normal” in a way that promotes the health, wellbeing, and development of people, communities, and countries worldwide.


IAAP is an independent organization with healthy finances and an amazing 100-year history. On those issues, there is no need to change. However, in these times where more and more people are inward looking, parochial policies abound. This makes IAAP with its international focus on applied psychology all the more important. As President, I will focus on increasing IAAP’s scientific and practical contributions to sustainable development worldwide. This overarching priority guides six specific goals, described next, which are both internally and externally oriented.  


Internal goals include the following:

  • Strategically grow the IAAP membership. Our human resources are our greatest assets, and there is strength in numbers. Growing the IAAP membership diversifies our collective thinking and amplifies our collective voice. Strategic growth attends not only to numbers but also to where and how we are expanding, ensuring we are attracting and retaining top talent with international interests and an international orientation from all corners of the globe. Strategically growing and developing our association will help ensure that IAAP membership is not only beneficial but indeed indispensable to applied psychologists worldwide in the decades to come.

  • Develop and support psychology students and early career psychologists. Our capacity to build the future we want hinges on the preparation and success of our student and early career colleagues. Accordingly, talent pipeline development will be a key priority, along with increasing junior members’ participation and voice in IAAP. Educating future generations of psychologists to develop a global mindset, a global skillset, and apply our science in ways that contribute to sustainable development requires careful attention and active participation of members at all stages of their lives and careers.

  • Strengthen each division. I am proud to be someone who has been described as an applied psychologist that cannot be boxed into a single subdiscipline. I have worked at the intersection of many areas of psychology and stand for an overall applied psychology perspective. As President, I will be a defender of the activities of all divisions, which are equally important and essential to accomplishing our collective aims.


As with the internal goals above, the external priorities I propose are guided by a vision of a world in which applied psychology helps drive sustainable development. External goals include the following:

  • Foster collaboration. Increase collaboration and partnerships not only among IAAP divisions, but also externally with other societies and associations, and with other social and behavioral scientists, including economists and public health professionals, in our efforts to promote sustainable development.

  • Inform and shape policy.  Translate and disseminate our science in ways that inform policy makers and shape policy. Efforts toward this goal will be guided by my years of experience with the Obama White House’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team and as Behavioral Sciences Advisor to the United Nations and behavioral insights teams around the world.

  • Promote ethical and human-centered artificial intelligence. Contribute to the conceptualization and development of advanced technology that improves the human condition, and use our evidence base to inform policy and regulations on the deployment and use of such technology. 


The goals above build from the outstanding work of many IAAP members leading up to this important moment in time. As President, I will draw from my prior governance experience, the wisdom of current and former IAAP leaders, division presidents, and all other voices of IAAP members worldwide to develop and deliver on key initiatives. I will carefully and thoughtfully consider and leverage new and emerging communication channels, including social media, to accomplish internal and external aims.


Admittedly, I am relatively young in comparison to other Presidents: I hope you will give me the benefit of the doubt and a chance to channel my energy and experience applying psychology to policy on IAAP’s behalf. In my view, there has never been a more important time for a non-politicized association of applied psychologists to work together to address the world’s most pressing challenges and build the future we want.

Nomination and Endorsement Letters


Click on the names below to read nomination and endorsement letters from:

Presidential Election

The oldest international association of psychologists in the world, IAAP turns 100 this year. As a candidate for President-Elect, I am enthusiastic about elevating the important role of applied psychology at a time when IAAP members and the world need it the most. 

Vision for IAAP

Applied psychology not only has an opportunity - but indeed a responsibility - to help build the future we want.

Click here to read about my vision for the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) during this important period in our collective journey. 

Bio and Endorsements

Would you like to learn more about me and the experiences that have helped prepare me

for the IAAP Presidency?

Click here for a short biography, or use the menu options in the upper left for links to my books videos, and other information. 

Click here to read nomination and endorsement letters from IAAP colleagues worldwide. 

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