Lehigh Valley psychology professor named president of UN psychology coalition

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — David Livert, associate professor of psychology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, was elected president of the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations (PCUN) earlier this fall.

Livert serves as the main U.N. representative of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He was nominated and then elected president of PCUN by the 12 non-governmental organizations which form the coalition.

According to their website, PCUN is composed of representatives of psychology and psychology-related non-governmental organizations (NGO) that are accredited at the U.N.

As president of PCUN, Livert is responsible for setting the direction of the coalition as well as the agenda for monthly meetings, in coordination with the 12 representatives of each organization that represents the field of psychology at the U.N. PCUN members develop U.N. side events, prepare written statements for the U.N., and work directly with government missions.

“It is a big honor to be president of PCUN," said Florence L. Denmark, the immediate past president of PCUN and Robert Scott Pace Distinguished Research Professor at Pace University in New York. "Since Dr. Livert was elected, it shows we respect his judgment to advocate for the coalition for one year.”

Livert has taught psychology at Penn State Lehigh Valley for more than 13 years. He also conducts research in social psychology and serves as the University College discipline coordinator for Social Science and Education.

“As a Penn State professor, my role is more than just focusing on psychology, it is about becoming actively involved in the community and promoting the importance of understanding the field,” said Livert. “Penn State Lehigh Valley offers students the opportunity for international exposure both through our travel abroad courses and our U.N. connections. My role and research overlaps here because I want students to understand that there are very exciting opportunities in the field of psychology to gain skills and experience as a global citizen.”

“I am excited for Dr. Livert in his new role with PCUN," said Douglas Hochstetler, interim director of academic affairs at Penn State Lehigh Valley. "He is raising awareness on important psychological issues on a global scale. This helps elevate our psychology program and benefits our students."

The organizations comprising PCUN seek to promote among U.N. staff and missions a greater understanding of the psychological dimensions of critical global issues such as human rights, migration, gender inequality, rural poverty, environmental sustainability, well-being and positive mental health.


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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