Cynthia D. Belar, PhD, ABPP, has been named APA’s interim chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, the APA Board of Directors announced today. She will succeed Norman B. Anderson, PhD, who is retiring at year-end.

Dr. Belar has a wealth of knowledge about APA, garnered from her experience as a member of APA governance, a division leader and, most recently, having served as APA’s executive director for education from 2000 until her retirement in 2014.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with Dr. Belar during this interim period” said incoming President Susan McDaniel, PhD.  “She is highly respected in the psychology community as an individual with integrity who will be able to provide both the leadership and the stability that APA needs at this time. We are fortunate to have someone of her stature and depth of experience to serve until a permanent CEO is hired.”

Before joining APA, Dr. Belar was engaged in teaching, research and practice for 25 years, most of which were spent at the University of Florida Health Science Center. Her research at that time was on psychophysiology and pain, followed by clinical studies in reproductive endocrinology.  Dr Belar founded one of the first formal tracks in medical psychology at the University of Florida clinical psychology program. She is also one of the founders of Div. 38 (Health).

From 1984-1990, Dr Belar served as chief psychologist and clinical director of behavioral medicine for the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Los Angeles. There, she developed a number of integrated health care programs for both primary and specialty care. She has chaired three national conferences on education and training in psychology, covering topics such as internship, postdoctoral training and the scientist-practitioner model. She also has chaired the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, the Council of Chairs of Training Councils and the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Belar will come out of retirement to take the helm of APA. The interim CEO position is expected to last for six to 12 months, depending on the length of the search process for the next CEO.