Shari E. Miles-Cohen, PhD
Staff Liaison, LIWP Executive Committee

Shari E. Miles-Cohen, PhD

Miles-Cohen is senior director, Women’s Programs Office (WPO) at the American Psychological Association (APA). The WPO works to improve the status, health and well-being of women psychologists and consumers of psychological services. In its current portfolio, WPO has several major projects: developing curricula on the sexualization of girls, translating post-partum depression consumer information into Spanish, French and Chinese for dissemination to the general public, a review of the theory, research and practice relevant to the trafficking of women and girls, health promotion for women with disabilities, academic success promotion for women with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and staffing a leadership institute for women psychologists.  

Prior to her service at APA, Miles-Cohen was executive director, The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). In addition, Miles-Cohen staffed SPSSI’s delegation to South Africa and co-chaired “From Desegregation to Diversity,” SPSSI’s 5th biennial convention which marked the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision.

Miles-Cohen has also served as director of the Union Institute Center for Women, the African American Women’s Institute at Howard University, and the Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI). Her work has taken her throughout the U.S., to China, South Africa, Europe, the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean to promote the interface between research and policy related to women’s issues.

As a community activist she directed a crisis intervention service for women and assisted homeless women transition to independent living. She served as a WREI congressional fellow for Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, where she worked on women’s issues, healthcare, and education. She has maintained her commitment to leadership development by serving as a mentor to girls and women from various cultural, academic and professional backgrounds. She is a member of the boards of the National Council for Research on Women and the African American Women’s Resource Center, and serves as an advisor to the mayor of the District of Columbia as a member of the D.C. Commission for Women. In addition, she is a member of the APA, the Society for the Psychology of Women — including its Sections on Black Women, Latinas/Hispanic Women, Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Issues and Asian Pacific American Women — the Society for Ethnic Minority and Cultural Psychology, the Association of Black Psychologists, SPSSI, the Society for Psychologists in Management, the International Leadership Association, and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation African American Women’s Giving Circle.

Miles-Cohen holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a master of science and a doctor of philosophy from Howard University. Her work has focused primarily on improving the lives of women of color in the U.S. She recently coauthored a paper on women and mentoring, and is now working on a paper on the status of women of color psychologists. She currently serves as principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant to improve the academic success of women with disabilities in STEM education at the undergraduate level and on a project focused on health promotion for women with disabilities.