Introducing Professor Pam Maras – The Vision and Vantage Points of the Union President

Inauguration of IUPsyS President, Professor Pam Maras

The inauguration of Professor Pam Maras as President of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) in Montréal on 30 June 2018 marks an important milestone in the Union’s 129 year history. Both her scientific focus and commitment to international psychology for the public good exemplify the founding principles and anchoring mission of the Union of which she will be the first female president.

Professor Maras’ research focuses on applying psychological science to social situations including the context of education. She is particularly interested in children and young people’s pro-and anti-social behaviour, aspirations, identity, affect, motivation and self-concept, and has been globally recognised for her significant contributions to this literature and the positive changes it has made to the lives of the children to which her recommendations have been applied. This work on individual and group factors in relation to young people’s behaviour also reflects her personal commitment to the impact of psychology to pressing contemporary social issues.

Professor Maras received the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues of the American Psychological Association’s (SPSSI) Social Issues Dissertation Annual Prize for outstanding academic achievement in a PhD in 1994. She is also recognised as a public resource for dissemination of the psychological sciences to which she is committed. In this role, she is often asked to comment in the media and has provided evidence to the UK House of Commons Select Committees as well as at policy level to UK Government Departments, local authorities, schools and charities.

Professor Maras is Director of Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of Education and Health at the University of Greenwich, London at which she also leads the Research Centre for Children Schools and Families. Professor Maras’ service to the science of psychology has spanned a range of sectors. She is a Chartered Scientist (CSci) with the UK Science Council. Her intellectual footprint stretches across the world through research collaborations and funding agreements with countries in Australasia, China, Europe, the Nordic Countries, North and Latin America and South-east Asia. Between 2007 and 2008, she was the President of the British Psychological Society.

In playing a leading role in IUPsyS Standing Committee for Capacity Building during her two terms on its Executive Committee between 2008 and 2016, Prof Maras service has sought to bring the benefits of psychological science to the world through initiatives spanning Eastern Europe, the ASEAN region, the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa. Within and across these parts of the globe, Professor Maras has invested her considerable scientific and institutional leadership experience in driving the Union’s capacitation vision.

It is this commitment to the development of a truly international psychology, responsive to the agendas of its country members and regions that defines Professor Maras’s pathway to the presidency of the global body for psychology. Psychology has an evermore progressive role to play in understanding the complexities and tensions of an increasingly globalising but unequal world. Professor Maras’ past achievements and strong inclusive vision will ensure that the Union continues to lead the way in leveraging the value of psychological science for enriching human life.

Speaking from Paris where she is representing the Union, at the newly formed International Science Council, Professor Maras said ‘I am honoured to take up the presidency of the Union at this pivotal time in world history. Psychology and its development in regions across the world is essential if we are to tackle national, regional and global challenges. Psychology offers a human perspectives to transdisciplinary science’.