The American Psychological Association (APA) is seeking an accomplished psychologist/ethicist for the position of Ethics Office Director to provide leadership to the field of psychology. This is an executive- level position at the Association.

Job Summary:

Consistent with APA’s mission to serve the public welfare, the Ethics Director should be a forward- thinking psychologist who can provide leadership and guidance based on clear values and ethical decision-making with a plan to move the Association forward through the process of revising the APA Ethics Code; assisting with consideration and implementation of the August 2017 Ethics Commission recommendations; designing and implementing ethics education for the discipline and profession of psychology using a clear social justice, human rights, diversity and inclusion emphasis; and ensuring smooth functioning of the adjudication of individual ethics matters brought through the Association process. The Ethics Director must have a strong commitment to promoting the highest ethical standards for the full range of professional positions to include not only health care delivery, but also science, academia, consulting and industrial-organizational psychology, as well as work in educational and forensic settings, among other applied areas.

In particular, the Ethics Director will be responsible to:

• Assist and support the Ethics Code Task Force with creating a revised Ethics Code that is transformational and that remains a leading practical resource regarding ethics for psychological science, education, and practice. The Task Force will begin in 2018 what will likely be a multi- year process.
• Assist with further consideration and implementation of the August 2017 Ethics Commission recommendations, which are likely to include further organizational and functional changes of ethics processes and the Ethics Office.
• Take a leading role at APA in formulating responses to inquiries from members and the public regarding high profile situations that involve the ethics of the psychology discipline and profession.
• Explore and develop educational initiatives that feature the integration of ethics across the profession of psychology. Develop, supervise and ensure the smooth functioning of ethics educational programs. Work with other programs within APA to develop resources for ethics education, such as continuing education programs and commentaries on the Ethics Code.
• Fulfill Ethics Office role as an educational resource for psychologists from all areas of psychology and all theoretical orientations, as well as for members of the public. Actively respond to requests for educational programs, materials, and products on specific topics.
• Supervise, develop and ensure the smooth functioning of the consultative role of the Ethics Office. Respond to requests for ethics consultations orally and in writing as appropriate, and supervise ethics office staff in responding to questions regarding the Ethics Code. Actively engage the Ethics Committee in responding to requests for ethics consultations that come to the Ethics Office.
• Supervise all aspects and ensure the smooth functioning of APA’s ethics adjudicatory program. Ensure that adjudication cases are handled according to the Ethics Committee Rules and Procedures and work closely with APA’s Office of General Counsel as needed. Determine the need for revising policies and procedures that govern the adjudicatory program and assist APA governance in making appropriate revisions.
• Supervise Ethics Office staff and ensure that all aspects of the Ethics Office mission are conducted smoothly and in a manner consistent with the APA mission, vision and core values. Oversee Ethics Office support of the Ethics Committee in the Committee’s educational, consultative, and adjudicatory roles.
• Ensure that APA governance is informed about all relevant activities of the Ethics Office, and act as a resource to APA members, governance, and staff concerning matters related to ethics education, the Ethics Office and the adjudicatory process.
• Establish and maintain relationships with state, provincial, and territorial psychological associations, and with ethnic minority psychological associations.

Job Qualifications:

Requirements include: a doctoral degree in psychology; a minimum of 10 years postdoctoral experience with special training and experience related to ethics; and a broad knowledge of emerging challenges and opportunities in ethics. Preferred but not required are: leadership experience within a large organizational environment; a current license to practice psychology; authorship of published articles or texts on ethical issues; and demonstrated skills in supervising senior-level staff, administrative and financial management, and strategic planning. The successful candidate will also have acquired an understanding of the legal, regulatory, legislative, and business environments that impact the field of psychology. Applicants must display excellent skills in: judgment and decision-making; collaboration; navigating complex issues; and the ability to effectively communicate and interact with association members, boards and committees, and senior staff across APA.


This is a high-profile position with leadership responsibility to apply a keen understanding of ethics and ethical decision-making to position psychologists and the practice and discipline of psychology for the future. The position also entails administrative oversight for a major APA office. As such, strong leadership skills, ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, highly effective communication skills, and a collaborative work style are particularly important.

Since the APA Ethics Code is the primary code for the discipline and profession of psychology, the director will be viewed as a leading voice on ethical conduct for the field. This position connects to myriad stakeholders, internal and external to the Association, including, but not limited to: leaders of government and other professional organizations; APA board and committee members, staff, and volunteers; media; and members of the public. As such the successful candidate must have the professional stature, demeanor and the ability to forge constructive relationships.

Preferred starting date is March 2018. Hours may be long and irregular. Periodic weekend work related to governance and outside meetings is necessary. Frequent travel may be involved.
Relocation assistance will be available.


The American Psychological Association, located at 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C., was recognized as a 2014 Washington Post Top Workplace. It is located adjacent to Washington, DC’s Union Station, and is MARC train and Metro accessible from the Red Line.

Application Instructions:

Qualified candidates must apply online through APA’s applicant system and attach a cover letter and resume specifying your salary expectations. Applications that are submitted without both documents are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for consideration. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to check your Spam folder if you do not receive an email from us.

The American Psychological Association is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected categories covered under local law.