Candidate Statements

Presidential candidate statement

Read a statement by David S. Festinger, PhD, Div. 28 presidential candidate.

David S. Festinger, PhDI am excited and honored by the nomination to serve as president of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Div. 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse). I believe that the division has many significant strengths including an exemplary reputation as an advocate for empirical research within and outside of the APA, substantial involvement in efforts to establish and positively influence science-based policy and a long history of strong leadership in psychopharmacology and substance abuse research. I am currently the director of the Treatment Research Institute's Section on Law and Ethics Research and an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. I hold a PhD in clinical psychology and master's degrees in counseling and clinical health psychology, and I am a licensed clinical psychologist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Div. 28 has been my home division since joining APA more than two decades ago. I served as the Awards chair from 2008 through 2010 and was awarded fellow status in the division in 2010. My National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research has focused primarily on empirically isolating the active mechanisms of drug courts, developing empirically based dispositional procedures for offenders with substance use disorders, integrating disease prevention and healthcare into criminal justice programs for substance users and bringing experimental research methods to bear on major ethical questions facing participants in substance abuse research. To date, I have served as principal or co-Investigator on 20 NIH-funded grants and numerous contracts and grants from other federal, state and local funding agencies, have authored over 70 articles and chapters and have disseminated my research findings at conferences and scientific meetings across the US and abroad. In addition, I have been one of the principal architects of several evidence-based helping tools for clients and stakeholders within our field. I believe that my strong allegiance to the scientific method and broad understanding of the field from the perspective of both a scientist and clinician will assist me in the addressing the broad range of scientific interests represented by division members and effectively moving Div. 28's agenda forward. Thank you for your consideration.