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Heather Kelly | Board Member

Heather O’Beirne Kelly was named in 2017 as the American Psychological Association’s first-ever Director of Veterans and Military Health Policy.  Since 1998, Dr. Kelly has served as a senior lobbyist in APA’s Science Government Relations Office, advocating for behavioral science on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies and directing APA’s Executive Branch Science Policy Fellowship Program.  Her new portfolio also includes advocating for the mental health and wellbeing of military personnel, veterans, their families, and communities, and supporting the psychologists who serve those who’ve served. Dr. Kelly sits on the Executive Committee of the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research Coalition; represents APA on the VA Office of Mental Health Services Stakeholders Group; has testified before Congress regarding funding for VA research and mental health services; and has coordinated numerous Capitol Hill briefings on topics of interest to military and veteran populations, including suicide prevention, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and women veterans’ health research. Recent awards include the Patrick DeLeon Advocacy Award from the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, the inaugural Athena Award for wisdom, courage, and advocacy on behalf of veterans, and the Outstanding National Contribution Award from the American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy.

Dr. Kelly graduated from Smith College in 1987 and worked in non-profit development for clients including the Children’s Defense Fund, UNICEF and the March of Dimes before becoming Director of Corporate Relations for Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in 1989. A classical musician by training, Dr. Kelly was named to and spent several terms serving on the Arlington County Commission on the Arts.

Heather received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia in 1998 and completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC.