Practitioner tapped to lead the APA Practice Directorate

Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, will assume her new role as executive director for professional practice on April 21

January 15, 2008

WASHINGTON — Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, a longtime independent practitioner with broad experience advocating for the profession of psychology on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, has been named executive director for professional practice at the American Psychological Association (APA), the association announced today.

“Dr. Nordal brings to this important position an impressive breadth of experience in both independent and public institutional practice, in public policy, in state association and APA division leadership, and in APA governance,” APA Chief Executive Officer Norman B. Anderson, PhD, said in announcing the appointment.

“Working as an independent practitioner for 27 years has given Dr. Nordal a firsthand and extensive understanding of the contemporary challenges facing practicing psychologists. Her experiences on Capitol Hill and with state legislatures, along with her leadership in APA governance, have given her keen insight into the many legal, regulatory, legislative and marketplace issues in the field. This well-rounded professional background, and her passion for and optimism about psychology and psychological practice, will serve her well in her new position.”

Nordal earned her PhD from the University of Mississippi in 1976 and began her psychology career as a staff psychologist and director of Child and Adolescent Services in a community mental health center. Since 1980, Nordal has been the managing partner of an independent practice group in Vicksburg, Miss. Her practice experience includes activities such as: evaluation and treatment of adults, children and adolescents; business and industry fitness for duty consultations; public safety employee fitness for duty evaluations; development and management of employee assistance programs; civil forensic evaluations and consultation; substance abuse program consultation; drug court evaluations and consultation; involuntary civil commitment evaluations; school district evaluations of students with learning, emotional and behavioral disorders; and serving as a special education due process hearing officer.

In 1990-1991, she worked in the office of Rep. Mike Espy, D-Miss., and with the House Select Committee on Hunger as an APA Congressional Fellow. She has served on APA’s governing Council of Representatives and on the association’s Board of Directors, and most recently was chair of the APA Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice. In addition, she is a past president of the Mississippi State Psychological Association and has served on the Mississippi Board of Psychological Examiners.

Nordal was selected after a national search. She succeeds Russ Newman, PhD, JD, who left APA at the end of 2007 to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alliant International University. Nordal is slated to assume her new position on April 21.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.