APA is a corporation chartered in the District of Columbia. This, together with the fact that APA is given favorable tax treatment as a result of its unerring focus on serving the public interest, determines and limits the kind of organization we can be and what we can do. APA’s bylaws establish our major structural units and put in place a complex system of checks and balances that ensure smooth and democratic operations.
APA’s president is directly elected by the entire membership, and chairs both the Council of Representatives and the Board of Directors. During his or her term of office, the president performs such duties as are prescribed in the Bylaws, as are incident to the office, or as may properly be required of the president by vote of council or the Board of Directors.
The board of directors consists of the APA officers — president, president-elect, past president, recording secretary, treasurer, and chief staff officer (without vote) — six members at large elected by and from the general APA membership, the chair and chair-elect of the Council Leadership Team, the Past Chair of APAGS and a public member.
The council is a large, diverse legislative body that has sole authority to set policy and appropriate APA’s annual income. It is composed of elected members from state/provincial/territorial psychological associations, APA divisions and the APA Board of Directors.
Much of APA’s work is done on a volunteer basis by the members of boards and committees. Boards and committees carry out a wide variety of tasks as indicated by their names, e.g., Ethics, Membership and Accreditation. Some boards and committees have specific responsibility for monitoring major programs, such as the directorates, the journals and international affairs.
Boards and committees across APA seek comment on proposed resolutions, guidelines, and reports.