By any measure, Deirdre Knapp, Ph.D., has had an extraordinary career since arriving at HumRRO in the late 1980s: Helping HumRRO gain a toehold in the credentialing arena, then leading and growing that line of business for decades; designing and managing extremely complex, large-scale validation, selection, and classification efforts for the U.S. Army Research Institute; serving as a corporate officer and vice president at HumRRO, where she now provides expert technical guidance and mentoring as a principal scientist.
Beyond these achievements, though, it is her dedication to professional service—and the way she both encourages and inspires that same spirit in others—that many of her colleagues most admire about Knapp.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) recently acknowledged Knapp’s unique legacy of service by honoring her with the 2021 Distinguished Service Contributions Award, which recognizes a member who has “provided sustained, significant, and outstanding service to SIOP.”
In response, HumRRO president and CEO Suzanne Tsacoumis, Ph.D., said, “For more than 20 years, Deirdre has selflessly donated her time, expertise, and passion for contributing to the profession. She truly embodies the ‘giving back’ spirit, and I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this award.”
Doug Reynolds, Ph.D., executive vice president at Development Dimensions International (DDI) and a former SIOP president, served with Knapp on the SIOP Executive Board. “I have gained important perspective and tremendous value from working with Deirdre, both professionally and in service to SIOP,” he shared. “She is a master at creating strategy and structure in the face of ambiguity and at building trust. The field at large has benefited from her collaborative and diplomatic leadership.”
Despite the myriad ways that Knapp has contributed to the profession over the years, several common threads run throughout her record of service. These include representing the interests of the I-O psychology field to other groups, bridging differences, and encouraging collaboration, as well as a focus on ethical practice. Some highlights include:
- Serving as an elected officer on multiple occasions, including two terms as a member of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Council of Representatives on behalf of SIOP, as president of the Society for Military Psychology, and as president of the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington (PTCMW).
- Playing a lead role in bringing APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct to SIOP, including multiple activities to inform and educate SIOP members about ethical practice, ultimately leading to the formation of SIOP’s Committee for the Advancement of Professional Ethics (CAPE).
- Serving as the inaugural chair for three different SIOP committees—the Support, Planning, and Research Committee (SPARC), the External Relations Committee, and CAPE—including playing a lead role in developing each group’s charter.
- Chairing APA’s Policy and Planning Board, which is responsible for considering and recommending changes to APA’s current and long-range organizational policies and serving on two presidential work groups, one to recommend a process to integrate APA’s C3 and C6 status organizations and another to recommend changes to modernize APA’s bylaws.
Along with this incredible record of service, Knapp has provided years of talented, selfless mentoring to dozens of I-O psychologists, many of whom have reached leadership positions at HumRRO and other organizations. In that spirit, we close with some of her personal reflections about her service. We hope that she inspires others to give back in a way that reflects their own unique passion and talents like she has for many of us at HumRRO.