The purposes for which APA is organized are to
The key elements of APA's governance structure are the Board of Trustees,
the Assembly, and the Joint Reference Committee. Standing committees (those
named in APA's Bylaws) and topic councils and their components carry out the
The Board of Trustees, composed of officers and trustees elected by the
membership, governs the Association. The power to make policy is vested in the
Board, and the Board's primary function is to formulate and implement the
policies of the Association. The Board exercises all powers of the Association
that are not otherwise assigned. Trustees are expected to attend all Board
meetings and participate in the matters at hand, for they cannot delegate
responsibility to govern or give a proxy vote. Area trustees are ex-officio
members of their respective Area Councils.
These are the voting members of the Board of Trustees:
The nonvoting members of the Board are the member-in-training trustee-elect
(MITTE) and the past presidents elected before the year 2000.
Candidates other than those for Area trustee are selected by the Nominating
Committee or nominated by petition. They are elected by the entire voting
membership, except for the MITTE, who is elected solely by
members-in-training. The seven Area trustees are nominated by their Area
Councils or by petition and elected by the members who belong to the district
branches within the individual geographic regions (see
DO YOU KNOW YOUR APA AREA?).
In the 2009 election, voters will elect the president-elect, vice
president, ECP trustee-at-large (elected every three years), MITTE (serves one
year without voting privileges and one year as MITT with voting privileges),
and Area trustees in Areas 1, 4, and 7.
The Assembly is composed of representatives from the Association's seven
Area Councils and 74 district branches, minority/underrepresented groups,
ECPs, MITs, and allied organizations. The Board and its components often refer
issues to the Assembly for consideration and study. The Assembly elects its
own officers each May.
The seven Area councils are regional links between the Assembly and the
district branches. They consist of representatives from each of the district
branches within the Area, an Area representative and deputy representative
elected by the council itself, an Area ECP representative and deputy
representative, an Area MIT representative and deputy representative, allied
organization liaisons within the Area, and the Area trustee to the Board of
Trustees. The Area councils promote relationships between organized psychiatry
and state governments, coordinate a range of branch activities, hold
scientific meetings and other programs in continuing education, and provide a
forum for discussion of national and regional issues.
Constituent parts of the Association, district branches work locally to
foster the science of psychiatry, promote its progress as a healing
profession, and maintain high professional standards. Most correspond to state
or metropolitan areas. Each district branch collects dues from its members,
elects its own officers, and arranges and funds its own programs. Each
district branch elects its own representatives to the Assembly. An effective
way for members to bring an issue to national attention is through their
district branch representatives to the Assembly.
The Joint Reference Committee is a standing committee that acts as a
liaison and screening mechanism for the Board, the Assembly, and the
Association's supportive components. It refers issues for study to various
components and coordinates their recommendations for further consideration by
the Board or the Assembly. The president-elect serves as chair and the
speaker-elect of the Assembly as vice chair.
The Bylaws establish an Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and
eight committees to assist in conducting the business affairs of the
Association: Ethics, Membership, Nominating, Bylaws, Budget, Tellers,
Elections, and Joint Reference.
There are currently 14 councils: Addiction Psychiatry; Advocacy and Public
Policy; Aging; Children, Adolescents, and Their Families; Global Psychiatry;
Health Care Systems and Financing; Medical Education and Lifelong Learning;
Member and District Branch Relations; Minority Mental Health and Health
Disparities; Psychiatry and Law; Psychosomatic Medicine; Quality Care;
Research; and Social Issues and Public Psychiatry. Various committees,
corresponding committees, task forces, and caucuses report to each council.
Each council, composed of voting members, has authority to create and
eliminate informal work groups, subject to the approval of the Board.
Several boards report directly to the Board of Trustees, such as the
editorial boards of APA's newspaper and journals.