Newswise — WASHINGTON – The American Psychological Association has named Katherine B. McGuire its first chief advocacy officer, responsible for implementing a unified, strategic vision for the association’s government relations efforts and coordinating APA’s broader advocacy initiatives in non-governmental sectors.

With more than 25 years of senior-level policy experience in Congress, the executive branch and the private sector, McGuire was most recently assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. In that post, she focused on appropriations, budget priorities and regulatory matters. She was responsible for all external communications to Congress, governors and interdepartmental stakeholders and for providing technical assistance on issues ranging from workplace rules and regulations to prison re-entry programs. She has also been actively engaged in federal policy solutions to address the opioid epidemic since initiating the first congressional public health model opioid roundtable in the Chicago region in 2015.

“We are excited to have Katherine McGuire join our advocacy team,” Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD,  APA’s chief executive officer, said in announcing the appointment. “Her vision, leadership and bipartisan approach make her uniquely qualified to move APA’s agenda forward. Her breadth of experience on Capitol Hill and beyond will be invaluable to amplify the voices of psychologists and psychology before Congress, federal agencies and the White House.”

McGuire said she is energized about joining APA. “APA plays an integral role in advancing the health and well-being of families and communities and is a powerful voice in cementing broader awareness of the critical import of psychological science and education,” she said. “I look forward to working with staff and governance members to guide a forward-looking organizational advocacy strategy that builds on APA’s many successes.“

McGuire begins serving in the new post starting Jan. 22. Her mandate will include working with APA and its companion APA Services Inc. to merge the approximately 24 government relations staff into a single department and ensuring that APA speaks with one voice before Congress, federal agencies and the White House. She will also be responsible for growing psychology’s political action committee, Psychology PAC.

Before joining the Department of Labor in January 2018, McGuire served for five years as chief of staff to Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Illinois advising on science and technology issues. Prior to that, she spent five years as vice president for government affairs at the Business Software Alliance, a trade group comprising the world’s leading software companies, including Apple and Microsoft.

She served almost 18 years in the U.S. Senate where she held numerous senior leadership roles, including Republican staff director of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where she led legislative efforts and perfected the art of legislating through the mentoring and leadership of Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and then-Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. She also previously served as staff director for two subcommittees of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and as legislative director for Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.  

McGuire’s ability to work with members of both parties has been widely recognized.

"Katherine is one of those unique individuals who, with over 25 years of experience in D.C., fully understands both the policy and political challenges confronting us today,” said G. William Hoagland, senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, who also spent 25 years on the U.S. Senate staff. “She has always been willing to work across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions to difficult, challenging policy issues. The American Psychological Association will be well served with Katherine's knowledge, bipartisanship and experience."

“Anyone who had the privilege of working with Katherine on the House or Senate side knows her commitment to sound policy,” said Jane Oates, president of WorkingNation and a former senior adviser to Kennedy. “She intentionally worked across the aisle and engaged stakeholders to listen to all voices.”

McGuire holds a BS and an MS from the University of Wyoming. She also received a certificate in executive leadership from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.



The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.

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