Dr. Vivian Pender Is Named APA President-Elect


Washington, D.C., — The members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have chosen Vivian Pender, M.D., as the medical society’s next president-elect. The results were released today but are not official until the APA Board of Trustees confirms them at its March meeting.

Pender is clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, a training psychoanalyst at Columbia University, and a consultant psychiatrist and psychoanalyst to the United Nations. She is in private practice in New York City and founder of Healthcare Against Trafficking, Inc., working to raise awareness of the role of health care in addressing this public health issue.

An APA Distinguished Life Fellow, she has served in numerous leadership roles at APA, including as a member of the APA Board of Trustees since 2014, a member of the Finance and Budget Committee, a representative to the APA Assembly, and treasurer of the APA Political Action Committee.

"I am honored that my colleagues in psychiatry have elected me to the APA presidency,” said Pender. “I believe in the profound value of psychiatry. It is a domain of critical importance that provides a unique and irreplaceable service that psychiatry is inherently capable of providing. I am optimistic about the future of psychiatry and look forward to stewarding the APA as it continues to contribute to the wellbeing of patients, families and psychiatrists.”

“I congratulate Dr. Pender and all of today’s successful candidates on their election,” said Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “I look forward to collaborating with them as APA works to improve access to and quality of mental health care for all.”

Among Pender’s priorities as APA president, when she assumes that role in May 2021, are improving access to treatment; insuring parity in reimbursement; increasing advocacy and combatting stigma and discrimination; promoting diversity, inclusion and social justice; and providing support to early career psychiatrists. She believes that building bridges within the profession and across medicine is crucial to psychiatry, and that the greatest value comes from consensus.

“APA members and the profession of psychiatry will be well-served by the leadership of Dr. Pender,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “I have known her for years and her dedication and passion for psychiatry will greatly benefit the APA during her tenure.”

Pender’s term as president-elect of the APA will begin this April at the conclusion of the APA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, when current President-Elect Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H., begins his one-year term as president.

Other successful APA leadership candidates who will take office after the APA Annual Meeting in April 2020 include:


Richard F. Summers, M.D.


Michele Reid, M.D.

Area 2 Trustee

Glenn A. Martin, M.D.

Area 5 Trustee

Jenny Boyer, M.D., Ph.D., J.D.

Resident-Fellow Member Trustee-Elect

Sanya Virani, M.D., M.P.H.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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