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APA President Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP, appoints four new members of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee

The Advocacy Coordinating Committee (ACC) is charged with recommending a slate of advocacy priorities for APA’s companion advocacy organization, APA Services. Laura Knudtson, Jonathan Metzler, Jessica Smedley, and Erica Wise have been appointed to serve on the ACC from 2022-2024.

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American Psychological Association. (2021, October 25). APA President Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP, appoints four new members of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee.

Laura Knudston, Jonathan Metzler, Jessica Smedley, and Erica Wise

The APA Services board of directors and APA President Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP, are pleased to announce four newly appointed members of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee (ACC):

The APA Services board approved the appointment of four new members to the ACC. ACC's primary charge is to recommend advocacy priorities to guide APA Services work throughout the year. It is comprised of no fewer than 12 members who broadly represent all aspects of the association’s diverse membership, including disciplinary focus, demographic diversity, student membership, career stage, and employment setting. 

APA Services thanks Kathleen S. Brown, PhD, (chair); Robert G. Frank, PhD; April Harris Britt, PhD; and Steve Kozlowski, PhD, for their service and contributions on the ACC.

Laura Knudtson, PhD

Laura Knudtson, PhD, is the director of community and government relations at Parent Possible and serves as the director of the Colorado Home Visiting Coalition. She is responsible for elevating the voice of evidence-based family home visiting programs in Colorado through leadership, advocacy, coalition-building, and collaboration with other early childhood and prevention partners. Prior to serving in this role, she completed a one-year American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C., funded through APA, serving the offices of Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Al Franken (D-MN) on health and human services public policy issues. Knudtson has a background in child and family psychology where she worked with predominantly underresourced families in community mental health and integrated primary care settings, and served as an APA-accredited internship program training director. She is a Colorado Psychological Association at-large board member and serves as Colorado’s representative to APA Council. Knudtson is a recipient of the 2021 Sarah Burgamy APA Citizen Psychologist Award and the 2017 Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for State-level Advocacy. She has a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin, an MA in counseling and student personnel psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a BA in psychology and dance from St. Olaf College.

Jonathan N. Metzler, PhD, CMPC

Jonathan Metzler, PhD, CMPC, is director of human performance for Magellan Federal, a subsidiary of Magellan Health. In this role, Metzler leads development of readiness and resilience capabilities that help organizations improve well-being, work-life flow, and productivity of their leaders and teams. Among his responsibilities are coaching innovations, strategic partnerships, as well as recruitment, retention, and empowerment of a highly specialized staff of cognitive performance experts. His career has been dedicated to advocacy and advancement of applied psychology in sport, military, and other human performance contexts. He is a past president of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and served on APA’s Coalition for the Psychology of High Performance. He currently serves on AASP’s Certification Council, APA’s Exploratory Committee on Applied Psychology, and the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science Board of Directors. As a certified mental performance consultant, Metzler has extensive experience providing direct performance psychology consultation to teams and athletes representing many different sports of various competitive levels including intercollegiate athletes, Olympians, Paralympians, and professional athletes. He holds three bachelor’s degrees from Concordia University–Portland, an MA in sport psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a PhD in kinesiology with a specialization in psychology of movement and sport from the Pennsylvania State University.

Jessica M. Smedley, PsyD

Jessica M. Smedley, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and practice owner in Washington, D.C.  She is also an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University in the counseling department. Smedley is an active member of the District of Columbia Psychological Association (DCPA) and currently serves as the Council representative to APA. In the past year, she co-led a COVID-19 task force for the DCPA aimed at offering pro bono virtual services to communities that are less likely to have access to care. She has also been seen on NBC4 Washington, Black News Channel, and in many articles by news outlets offering insights about mental health care for adults and children during the pandemic.  

Smedley specifically approaches her clinical, leadership, and consultation work through a lens of cultural humility. Advocacy is an important value to Smedley, which she first gained experience in during childhood and early adulthood in her local community via church settings and her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. As her career progressed, Smedley gained professional advocacy experience through leadership training experiences with the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA), such as attending OPA Legislative Day and serving as a diversity delegate for APA’s Practice Leadership Conference (PLC), and eventually was elected by her peers to be a diversity liaison/subcommittee chair for PLC, which she served in 2020. Smedley gained significant experiences of training in advocacy during the four years she attended PLC and continues to center advocacy as an important professional value for professionals and underserved communities.

Erica H. Wise, PhD

Erica H. Wise, PhD, has spent her career in academic and practice settings. As a clinical professor and director of the academic training clinic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 20 years, she taught core clinical courses, supervised and mentored graduate students, and successfully chaired a campuswide mental health task force that created an evidence-based blueprint for positive change. She has served in diverse leadership roles at APA, including on the Ethics Committee, the Council of Representatives, the Ethics Commission, the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA), the BEA conscience clause work group that developed a proactive approach to trainee values conflicts, and the APAGS-BEA work group on the equitable and respectful treatment of graduate students. She was a recipient of the APA Ethics Committee Award for Outstanding Contributions to Ethics Education, and she was awarded an APA presidential citation for her work in social justice advocacy and for promoting high quality education, training, and self-care for psychologists. She is a past president of the North Carolina Psychological Association and the Association of Psychology Training Clinics, and former chair of the North Carolina Psychology Board.

Their respective terms will commence on January 1, 2022, and conclude on December 31, 2024.

For more information, please contact Andrew J. Ferreira, staff liaison to the Advocacy Coordinating Committee.