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SAN DIEGO (Nov 3, 2021) - Alliant’s CSPP Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Debra Kawahara, Ph.D, has officially been elected to the American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Directors. The 2021 President-elect and Board of Directors member-at-large election was launched September 15 and closed on October 29. The Election Committee has announced that Thelma S. Bryant-Davis, PhD, was elected President-elect and Debra M. Kawahara, PhD, and Tamara S. Lyn, PhD, were elected as members-at-large of the Board of Directors selected by fellows, members, and voting associates of the APA. 

The APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 122,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members. 

“I am so honored and grateful to have been elected to this position,” said Kawahara. “This position will allow me to build on the past work of APA and help build the future and promote its vision of ‘a strong, diverse, and unified psychology that enhances knowledge and improves the human condition’.” 

Along with the impact she will make in this position, Kawahara brings pride to her school and university with this prestigious post. 

“I do not know a Psychologist better suited to serve in this role,” said Dr. David Stewart, Dean of the California School of Professional Psychology. “Dr. Kawahara is a distinguished educator, researcher and administrator. Her work has always prioritized equity, multicultural understanding and social justice. Her voice is critical for Alliant and the profession and I offer her my heartiest congratulations!”


For more information on the APA Elections or on Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor, Dr. Debra Kawahara, visit the links above.

About Alliant International University

Alliant is a private university accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) which offers programs in psychology, education, business management, forensic studies, and law. Alliant's mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership, and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world. More information is available at

About Dr. Debra Kawahara

Debra M. Kawahara, Ph.D., is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University. Her responsibilities include managing over 20 programs across 6 U.S. campuses and previous international sites; conducting and supervising research on multicultural and international dynamics, women’s issues, and mental health; and teaching numerous courses. She has also published extensively and has presented at international, national, and state venues. 

Her current leadership roles include being an APA Council of Representatives member, APA Finance Committee member, an Advisory Committee member for the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, Divisions on Social Justice representative, and a National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology delegate. During her tenure on APA Council, she was one of the movers to gain council seats for the Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations, which was successfully passed by the APA membership. She also served as co-chair of the Apology Letter to the American Indian, Native American, and Indigenous Peoples and participated in the Council Diversity Work Group and its three subcommittees and several caucuses: Women’s Caucus (chair), Ethnic Minority Issues Caucus (secretary), Association of Practicing Psychologists, COUNT, Education & Training, and Public Interest. 

Several awards have been bestowed upon Dr. Kawahara, including the APA Presidential Citation; Shining Star Award at the National Multicultural Conference & Summit; APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity’s Distinguished Career Contributions for Service Award; and APA’s Society for the Psychology of Women, Section on Asian Pacific Islander Women’s Pioneer Award.

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