staff-and-leadership
Council of Advisors

IPPA Council of Advisors

The IPPA Council of Advisors is comprised of a global network of thought leaders, innovators and others with depth of experience in the science or practice of positive psychology, past-presidents of the association, and other accomplished individuals who bring their direct management experience to bear in supporting the long-term mission, strategy, business management, and operations of the organization. Collectively, the Council of Advisors brings nearly a millennium worth of hands-on experience to IPPA.

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Anne Johnstone, MAPP ( Ex Officio ) Principal Ravenswood School for Girls, Australia

Anne Johnstone is Principal of Ravenswood School For Girls in Sydney, Chair of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN), and Chair and a founding Board Member of the Positive Education Schools Association (PESA). More

She has also been appointed as Chair of the Excellence in Leadership and Teaching Council for the Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW) in Australia.

Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) degree, a Graduate Diploma in Education, and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship during which she explored strategies to foster resilience in learning while based at Cambridge University in England. Anne is currently completing a PhD in education with a focus on wellbeing through the University of Melbourne.

In Australia, Anne has been recognised multiple times for her entrepreneurial impact in designing and implementing innovative positive education experiences, along with her exceptional educational leadership including The Educator Most Influential Educator Award (2023), The Educator Hot List (2022, 2023), and an Excellence Award in The Educator Australian Education 2022 Awards for Principal of the Year. Under Anne’s leadership, Ravenswood has been recognised as The Educator Innovative School of the Year five times (2018, 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023).

In 2019, Anne was the only female to be recognised internationally for her pioneering contribution and leadership in the field of Positive Education at the Positive Education Global Summit in Philadelphia hosted the Eisenhower Fellowships and Positive Psychology Centre, University of Pennsylvania.

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Hans Henrik Knoop, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) President, European Network for Positive Psychology, Associate Professor Danish School of Education, Denmark

Hans Henrik Knoop is Associate Professor with distinction, Director of the Positive Psychology Research Unit at Aarhus University, Denmark, and Extraordinary Professor, North West University, South Africa. His work is focused on flourishing in education, work, and society with a strong interdisciplinary approach. More

Hans Henrik Knoop is Associate Professor with distinction, Director of the Positive Psychology Research Unit at Aarhus University, Denmark, and Extraordinary Professor, North West University, South Africa. His work is focused on flourishing in education, work, and society with a strong interdisciplinary approach. His research within positive psychology has involved thousands of educators and leaders and data on well-being from almost 300,000 Danish pupils. At Aarhus University he co-directs the Master Program of Positive Psychology with almost 600 students enrolled since 2011, and has hosted international conferences relating to education and positive psychology in Denmark in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2017. He was the President of the European Network for Positive Psychology from 2010 to 2014 and served on the IPPA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016. He was the host of the 5th ECPP in Copenhagen in 2010, and coresponsible for 6th ECPP in Moscow in 2012, and the 7th ECPP in Amsterdam in 2014. From 2007 to 2011 he was Research Director at the Universe Research Lab in Denmark heading a team of researchers focusing on combined engagement, excellence, and ethics in education, involving approximately 10.000 pupils, 1.500 teachers and 150 school leaders. From 2006-2009 he was academically responsible for the TV-program Plan B and follow-ups – focused on bringing positive psychology to bear on pupils with reading difficulty. The first series of the program ran for six weeks and reached a prime-time viewer share of one third of all Danes watching television, received the second highest viewer rating in the history of the TV-channel TV2 (Denmark’s largest at the time), with the first episode nominated for a Golden Rose in Montreux. From 1996 to 2010 he was heading the Nordic Branch of The GoodWork Project led by peers Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon with comprehensive in-depth interviewing regarding excellence, engagement, and ethics, as understood by Nordic educators, leaders, journalists, and politicians including a European Commissioner, a Prime Minister and four other ministers. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 publications including 9 books. He has delivered more than thousand invited keynotes and lectures in Denmark and at conferences in Australia, Austria, Croatia, China, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Slovenia, Spain, The Philippines, the U.K. and the U.S, and is a frequent commentator in newspapers, radio and television on matters of learning, creativity, ethics, and positive psychology.

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Richard Layard, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Director, Well-Being Program, Centre for Economic Performance London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Richard Layard is an economist who thinks there is more to happiness than just the economy. More

Richard Layard is an economist who thinks there is more to happiness than just the economy. In 2005 he wrote the best-selling book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, translated into 20 languages, and in 2014 a follow-up on mental health called Thrive. He has had huge influence in making psychological therapy more widely available in Britain’s National Health Service. But most important of all he is co-founder of Action for Happiness, an international movement to promote a happier way of living.

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Anastasia (Meixuan) Liu ( Ex Officio ) University of Toronto, USA

Anastasia Meixuan Liu serves as the President within the Student Division of IPPA. Anastasia is currently a 3rd year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. More

Her Signature Character Strengths are: curiosity, creativity, and social intelligence! She aspires to be a lifelong learner, teacher and researcher, with a dream to aid others in leading more fulfilling lives. Her research interests mainly encompass studies on wisdom, positive development, bi-cultural identity, motivation and more. Her hobbies include GuZheng, Tai Chi, Synchronized swimming, piano, combat sports, yoga, and badminton!

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Charles Martin-Krumm, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Professor, Psychology Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens de Paris, France

Charles Martin-Krumm is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the IPPA (International Positive Psychology Association), Master of Conference at STAPS, Professor of Physical and Sports Education and Sports Trainer. More

Charles Martin-Krumm is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the IPPA (International Positive Psychology Association), Master of Conference at STAPS, Professor of Physical and Sports Education and Sports Trainer. He is a Full Professor at the Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens de Paris, Director of the VCR research team and IPPA Fellow. His research focus on the study of processes in which optimism can be implicated in the contexts of education and sport. His works concern the study of interactions between optimism and various affective, cognitive, or behavioral variables.

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Helena Marujo, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Professor of Psychology University of Lisbon, Portugal

Helena Agueda Marujo is a Professor at Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Politicas (School of Social and Political Sciences), University of Lisbon, where she co-coordinates the Executive Master on Applied Positive Psychology and is a member of the research Center CAPP.  More

Helena Agueda Marujo is a Professor at Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Politicas (School of Social and Political Sciences), University of Lisbon, where she co-coordinates the Executive Master on Applied Positive Psychology and is a member of the research Center CAPP. She served in the scientific committees of the 1st and 2nd IPPA World Congresses, and the Positive Nations Conference (the 1st Portuguese Positive Psychology conference). She co-wrote seven books on Positive Psychology, namely one volume entitled “Positive Nations and Communities” (Springer). Helena is also an IPPA board member and President of the Portuguese Association of Positive Psychology (APPEIP).

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Jeanne Nakamura, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Assistant Professor, Psychology School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences Claremont Graduate University, USA

Jeanne Nakamura is Associate Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. More

Jeanne Nakamura is Associate Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She is cofounder with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the positive psychology concentration and the Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont and is a past member of the board of the International Positive Psychology Association. She helped direct the Good Work Project, a series of studies of excellence and social responsibility in professional life. She investigates positive psychology in a lifespan developmental context, including vital engagement and creativity, mentoring and good work, and aging well. She is the coauthor of Good Mentoring and Creativity and Development and coeditor of Applied Positive Psychology. Her current writing and research address motivation and engagement in adulthood, the formative influences of mentoring and the formation of good mentors, and social innovation after sixty as a model for positive aging.

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Ryan Niemiec, Psy.D. ( Ex Officio ) Director of Education VIA Institute on Character, USA

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is a leading figure in the education, research, and practice of character strengths that are found in all human beings. He’s education director of the VIA Institute on Character, a global, nonprofit organization in Cincinnati that advances the latest science of character strengths. More

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is a leading figure in the education, research, and practice of character strengths that are found in all human beings. He’s education director of the VIA Institute on Character, a global, nonprofit organization in Cincinnati that advances the latest science of character strengths. Ryan is author of 9 books including the practitioner-focused books, Character Strengths Interventions, Mindfulness and Character Strengths, and Positive Psychology at the Movies, as well as the 2019 consumer-oriented books The Power of Character Strengths and The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief. He’s penned over 80 scholarly or peer-reviewed articles and given over 700 presentations on positive psychology topics across the globe. He’s an award-winning psychologist, annual instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, adjunct professor at Xavier University, columnist for Live Happy magazine, and blogger for Psychology Today with over 1 million reads of his articles. Ryan received a “distinguished early career award” from the American Psychological Association in 2011 and was granted Fellow status of the International Positive Psychology Association in 2017.

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Nansook Park, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Professor of Psychology Director, Michigan Positive Psychology Center University of Michigan, USA

Nansook Park is a Professor in the Psychology Department and the Director of the Michigan Positive Psychology Center at the University of Michigan.  More

Nansook Park is a Professor in the Psychology Department and the Director of the Michigan Positive Psychology Center at the University of Michigan. Her main research reflects a psychology of human strengths. Her research topics include character strengths, moral excellence, positive relationships, life meaning, positive experiences, and strength-based practice, and their role in resiliency, well-being, health, family, work, and education. She has taken the lead in developing ways to assess character strengths among children and youth and in conducting cross-cultural investigations. She played a major role for US Army-Soldier resilience and psychological fitness project and Positive Education project in Australia. She is a fellow at the Association of Psychological Science and International Positive Psychology Association, and a former Templeton Research Fellow at the Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) steering committee, a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Positive Psychology, and a former Associate Editor for the Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being.

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Kaiping Peng, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Chair of the Psychology Department Tsinghua University, China

Professor Kaiping Peng is currently the dean of the school of social sciences, chair of the psychology department at Tsinghua University. More

Professor Kaiping Peng is currently the dean of the school of social sciences, chair of the psychology department at Tsinghua University. He was a tenured faculty member at the Department of Psychology of the University of California at Berkeley before returning to China in 2009. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1997. Before coming to the US in 1989, he had been a faculty member at the Psychology Department of Peking University of China for five years. He had been the head of the social/personality psychology area in Berkeley, member of the American Psychological Association Leadership Council, executive committee of the Institute of East-Asian Studies, steering committee for the Diversity Research at UC Berkeley, the co-president of the Fifth International Conference of Chinese Psychologists Worldwide, the founding President of Chinese Positive Psychology Association and the board member of the International Positive Psychology Association, and numerous other national and international professional academic services. Since 2008, he has been the founding chair of the Psychology Department of Tsinghua University, also directs the Happiness Technology Lab and the Tsinghua Berkeley Center for Psychological Studies。 He has published eight books and more than 300 articles and essays on cultural and social psychology, as well as methodological issues of psychology. According to many surveys, he had been the world most cited social psychologist at the associate professor level until 2007, and one of the most cited Chinese psychologists in the world. His new book on positive psychology has been on the top ten best seller list on Amazon China.

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Sarah Pressman, Ph.D. ( Through 2025 ) Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior University of California, Irvine, USA

Sarah Pressman is an Associate Professor of Psychological Science at the University of California, Irvine.  Her research focuses on the interplay between positive emotions, social relationships, stress, and health, with a focus on the physiological processes that underlie these associations.  More

Generally, my research examines the role that positive emotions and other positive factors play in influencing stress and health outcomes. I am especially interested in exactly how these factors “get under the skin” to influence our well-being and protect us against the harmful effects of stress. Pathways that I have examined include physiological processes such as stress hormone reactivity, cardiovascular response, immune system change, as well as health behaviors like sleeping, exercise, and other leisure activities. I also do research on the role of these positive psychosocial factors in buffering the detrimental effects of stress. For example, I am interested in whether happiness is associated with an improved ability to handle stress, both from a psychological and a physiological standpoint. I am also very interested in using relationship and emotion markers outside of self-report as predictors of health. For example, computerized word encoding of writing, or positive facial emotion expression (e.g., smiling) as alternative, unobtrusive methods of understanding individual differences.

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Reb Rebele, MAPP ( Through 2026 ) Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Senior Research Fellow, USA

Reb Rebele is a Senior Research Fellow for the Wharton People Analytics initiative at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. candidate in the Personality Processes Lab in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. More

Reb Rebele is a Senior Research Fellow for the Wharton People Analytics initiative at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. candidate in the Personality Processes Lab in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Reb earned his Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree at the University of Pennsylvania and taught in that program for nearly 10 years. His research aims to understand consistency and flexibility in human motivation and behavior – particularly in the context of work – and has been conducted with a number of national and international organizations. Reb’s research and writing has appeared in academic journals (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science), books (Flourishing in Work, Life, and Careers), and industry publications (Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review). After completing MAPP, he worked on a diverse portfolio of positive psychology projects, including serving as part of a resilience training team working with the U.S. Army and groups of educators, speaking and guest-lecturing on applied psychology topics to organizations and conferences, and working as a strategic advisor to the International Positive Psychology Association.