Katherine C. Nordal, PhD

Executive Director of APA's Practice Directorate

Katherine C. Nordal, PhD: Executive Director of APA's Practice DirectorateKatherine C. Nordal, PhD, the executive director for professional practice of the American Psychological Association, oversees the promotion of the professional practice of psychology and ensures psychological services' accessibility and availability through legislative and judicial advocacy, public education and marketplace initiatives. Under her leadership, the directorate supports the professional needs of psychologists in all practice settings and develops educational materials about the value of psychological services for the public, policymakers and employer community.

Nordal began her professional career in a community mental health center. She maintained a full-time private practice in Mississippi for 28 years before assuming her current position at APA. Her clinical interests include learning, behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adolescents; neuropsychological assessment; brain injury in children and adults; and civil forensic psychology.


Nordal is a fellow of APA and the Mississippi Psychological Association. Nordal is also a fellow of APA Divisions 42 (Independent Practice), 31 (State Associations) and 35 (Women) and a member of Div. 41 (American Psychology- Law Society). She served on APA's Board of Directors from 2001 to 2003 and was the Board's liaison to APA's Ethics Office, Committee on Legal Issues, the APA/ABA Task Force and the Public Interest Directorate. She was chair of the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice from 2005 to 2007 and a trustee of APA's Insurance Trust from 2005 to 2007.  She has also served as chairperson of APA's Committee on Rural Health, treasurer of the Division of State Psychological Associations and finance chair for the Division of Independent Practice.

Nordal is a past president of the Mississippi Psychological Association and has represented Mississippi on APA’s Council of Representatives. She served as executive secretary for the Mississippi Board of Psychology, which licenses psychologists for practice in Mississippi. She is a past president of the Brain Injury Association of Mississippi.

Honors and Awards

Nordal is a recipient of APA's Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for advocacy on behalf of psychology. In 2009, she was recognized by Division 31 as the outstanding psychologist in a state, provincial or territorial psychological association. Nordal was also inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Practitioner in Psychology. She was an APA/AAAS Congressional Science Fellow (1990-91) and served as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and with the House Select Committee on Hunger.

Nordal is a recipient of the Mississippi Psychological Association's Kinlock Gill Outstanding Professional Psychologist Award, the association's Distinguished Practitioner Award and, in 2003, she was recognized with the association's Distinguished Fellow Award.


Nordal received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Mississippi in 1976.