The Society for the
Study of Social Issues

SPSSI Policy News RSS Feed - January 4th, 2010 Pt. 2


SPSSI Non-Governmental Representatives at the United Nations Sought

Position Description

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) welcomes nominations and applications to fill three (3) vacancies on its team of Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Representatives to the United Nations in New York City.

The Society’s involvement with the UN and international issues spans several decades. SPSSI has been represented at UN headquarters in New York since 1987 and has held consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN since 1991.

The Society’s UN/NGO Representatives participate in a wide range of activities, primarily focused on broadening the impact of psychological and social science scholarship on the formulation and implication of UN policies. SPSSI UN/NGO Representatives collaborate with representatives of other NGOs to identify and articulate social issues and draft statements intended to influence responsive formulation and implementation of global policies.

They also attempt to create opportunities for meaningful dialogue between psychologists andother social scientists and representatives of UN agencies.


Applicants must hold doctoral degrees or be candidates for doctoral degrees in psychology or other social sciences and be either members of SPSSI or eligible to be members. Applicants selected must join SPSSI prior to their appointment by SPSSI’s President.

Candidates must provide evidence of interest or involvement in the application of psychological or social science knowledge to social issues at the international, national, or local level.

Candidates must also be able to demonstrate effective oral and writing skills as well as the ability to both exercise personal initiative and work collaboratively with others who may hold different viewpoints or interests. Proficiency in a foreign language would be helpful. Prior knowledge of the inner workings of the UN system is not required.

New representatives receive assistance in “learning the ropes”. But an unbiased interest in and some basic knowledge about the UN, in particular in light of the recent developments at the UN and its plans for reformation, are also desirable.

A visit to one of the following web sites may serve as an introduction to the wide ranging activities of Non-Governmental Organization Representatives at the UN:;; and SPSSI Policy.


In order to contribute to the SPSSI mission to the UN, persons who volunteer and are selected to serve as representatives are expected to identify and become productively engaged in at least one substantive NGO Committee (visit the CONGO Website, beginning in their first year of service.

Presently, representatives are active in committee’s related to aging, women and children, racism, mental health, trauma and refugees, and human settlements. In addition , but not limited to, are committee’s related to media, peace and disarmament, UN development programs, UNESCO, UN environmental programs, criminal justice, technology, indigenous people, health and disabilities, complex emergencies and humanitarian aid, that could be of interest for a potential candidate to participate in.

Each representative is expected to develop a schedule of several visits to UN Headquarters in New York City each month, including attendance at a minimum of one of the weekly Department of Public Information (DPI) briefings, held on Thursday mornings, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM, and one meeting of the SPSSI UN/NGO team. In general, one should expect a full day of attendance requirements, and the commitment to do so on a consistent and possibly long-term basis. SPSSI Representatives are also expected to consult with the Main Representative, to whom they submit semi-annual and annual reports to be compiled for regular meetings of SPSSI Council.

Nomination/Application Process

All applications should be received by the end February of 2010. Interviews are planned for March and/or April 2010.

Whether nominated by others or self-nominated, persons interested in serving as UN/NGO representatives should submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendations, and two samples of relevant written work to:

Joseph A. DeMeyer, PhD; SPSSI Main UN/NGO representative; 1330 Hamburg Turnpike;

Wayne, NJ 07470.

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin