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Meet the Representatives


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Harold Cook, PhD. Professor Emeritus, Columbia University and
SPSSI UN Representative.

He was on faculty for 30 years in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Publications include: Children’s Cooperative Behavior, Racial and Gender Imitative Behavior, Attitudes toward War. Harold served on several Psychology journal editorial boards and was an APA UN rep., and IUPS's main rep

Harold's was on UNICEFs committees: Children's Rights, North American Regional Planning Consultation on Violence and Children, and founding Chair of Working Group on Violence against Children. He was elected to: Executive Committee on Mental Health, and Co-Chair of the Committee on the Family.

Harold testified to a U.S. Senate committee on the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, presented a paper at an invitational international conference on the future of the Peoples Permanent Tribunal and Restorative Justice, and is an advisor to an international Italian foundation on culture and gender.

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Joseph De Meyer, Ph.D.

Clinical psychologist. Certificate psychoanalysis W.A. White Institute. Ten years clinical director of rural (Alabama) and -inner- Jersey City community mental health centers. New Jersey private practice (1984). UN representative - incl. main - SPSSI since 2001. Executive member NGO Committee on Mental Health and -reinstated- NGO Committee on Education. Co-founder of the Psychology Coalition at the UN (PCUN);  the NGO Committee on Education, Learning and Literacy;  and the NGO Committee International Day of Education for Global Citizenship. Member sub-committees of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI)- NGO Executive Committee. Co-organizer several of their GA opening UN International Conferences (incl. first ever psychological and education conferences) and numerous presentations on mental health and education for UN Commissions. Liaison UN Civil Society and several UN Missions. Clinical supervisor of graduate students; state licensure applicants and psychoanalytic training candidates.

    David Livert, Ph.D. currently serves as SPSSI’s Main Representative for its United Nations team. He is immediate Past-President of the Psychological Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the United Nations (PCUN), an organization representing 12 psychological NGOs around the world. Livert formerly co-chaired SPSSI’s Internationalization Committee, during which time he established the SPSSI-SASP Small Group Series, which alternatives each year between North America and the Western Pacific. An Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Penn State University's Lehigh Valley campus, his research has examined intergroup relations, team dynamics, and inter-cultural contact. He also studies a variety of phenomena related to food preparation including chef personalities, temporal conflict, teamwork, and well-being in professional kitchens. He is co-author of Making Dinner, published in 2019 by Bloomsbury. Livert earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in social psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center. 

Corann OkoroduduPh.D. a retired Professor of Psychology and Africana Studies at Rowan University, served as Associate VP for Academic Affairs and Coordinator of Women’s and Africana Studies, promoting human rights and social justice policies and practices. At the UN she represents the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, brings psychological perspectives to bear on the UN’s agenda, provides leadership on racism and children’s rights, and is Founding Past President of the Psychology Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the UN.


    Laurel Peterson, Ph.D. (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. She researches how social forces shape health thinking, health behaviors, and physiological processes. Laurel believes in the power of psychological science to serve others through teaching and research mentorship at Bryn Mawr College and translating psychological science via her role as a SPSSI NGO-representative for the United Nations.

    Deborah Fish Ragin, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus of psychology at Montclair State University. She earned her AB in psychology and Hispanic studies from Vassar College and her MA and PhD in psychology from Harvard University. She has been a member of the faculties of Hunter College at the City University of New York and Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s (now Ichan School of Medicine) Department of Emergency Medicine (New York City). Her professional work in health includes her service for five years as an American Psychological Association (APA) Representative to the United Nations, where she focused on global efforts to address the psychosocial impact of HIV/ AIDS; a three-year term as president of the APA’s Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence (Division 48, Peace Psychology); a member of the Health Research Council of the Health Psychology Division (Division 38) of the American Psychological Association; and a member of the UN nongovernmental organization (NGO) team representing the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Dr. Ragin’s research focuses on health systems and healthy policy, examining disparities in health care. She has authored articles on HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, health care disparities, healthy communities, and research ethics, and is also the author of a leading textbook entitled Health Psychology: An Interdisciplinary Approach, published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, now in its third edition. In the international market, Health Psychology has been translated into Chinese and is used in universities in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Dr. Ragin also serves as a reviewer on several international and national journals, including Social Science and Medicine, American Journal of Nursing , and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Rachel Ravich, Ph.D.



    Peter Walker, Ph.D. has followed sustainable development and climate change issues at the UN since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.  More recently he has been concerned with the impact on human well-being of climate change and sea level rise on coastal cities.  His PhD is in Environmental Psychology. An Adjunct Associate Professor at the New College of Hofstra University in the 1990's, he has taught at the College of the Built Environment, University of Washington.