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Azara Santiago Rivera, PhD

Azara Santiago Rivera, PhD

Past President

Dr. Santiago Rivera has had a distinguished career in the academy as an administrator and tenured faculty, and as a professional association leader. She served as associate dean in the College of Education, University of Albany and Dean of Academic Affairs with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago campus. She assumed leadership roles at three institutions, establishing and fortifying their Counseling and Counseling Psychology programs. Among her outcomes of work as an administrator were initiatives to advance early career faculty with a focus on publishing, teaching strategies, and tenure and promotion processes.

Her publications and research interests include multicultural competencies in the counseling profession, bilingual therapy, Latinx adults and depression, and the impact of environmental contamination on the biopsychosocial well-being of Native Americans.  Her current work involves assessing depression in Latinx adults and the challenges associated with the use of translated measures from English to Spanish. She is a coauthor of 3 books, 55 articles, and has given over 120 presentations/workshops at local, national, and international conferences, universities, and organizations. 

As a servant leader, Dr. Santiago Rivera has assumed many roles to advance inclusion and social justice; she is a pioneer in these settings. She served as Vice-President of the Latino Interest Network of the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD), and the first President of Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ) within the American Counseling Association. She is a past- President of the National Latinx Psychological Association, and Founding Editor of the association’s prestigious Journal of Latinx Psychology (APA journal). She is also the immediate past president of the Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey. She is the Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and will become the Chair effective July 1, 2023.

Dr. Santiago Rivera received her undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Interamerican University, San Juan, Puerto Rico and her PhD in Counseling from Wayne State University. She is a Fellow of Divisions 45 and 17 of APA. In 2014, Dr. Santiago-Rivera received the APA Presidential Citation for outstanding contribution to the profession. Her personal interests include skiing, golf, and family time with nietas and nietos.


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