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Antonio E. Puente, Ph.D.


American Psychological Association

Antonio Puente, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), was elected 2017 president of the 125,000-member American Psychological Association (founded in 1892).The American Psychological Association (APA) is the leading and largest scientific and professional organization that represents psychologists in the United States. APA’s mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.
Born in La Habana, Cuba, Puente received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Florida and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He has lectured in more than a dozen foreign countries and holds appointments as a visiting professor at the Universidad de Granada (Spain) and University of California Los Angeles.
He has taught at UNCW since 1981 and prior to that at St. George’s University School of Medicine (neuroanatomy). His primary teaching activities include Brain and Behavior, Clinical Neuropsychology and History of Psychology. Puente is founding director of UNCW’s Centro Hispano. He has taught over 8,500 undergraduates and supervised 33 theses and 9 post-doctoral fellows. His research focuses on the interface between culture and neuropsychology and he collaborates regularly with colleagues in Russia, Spain and Latin America. Puente founded and edited the journals Neuropsychology Review and Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice as well as a book series (33 books) in neuropsychology. He is the author of 8 books, 79 book chapters and 106 journal articles (in English, Spanish and Russian).
In addition to activities at UNCW, Puente maintains a private practice in clinical neuropsychology, ranging from clinical to forensic assessments. He also is the founder and co-director of mental health services at the Cape Fear Clinic, a bilingual health center serving the poor and uninsured. A longtime member and recent past president of the clinic’s board of directors, he holds the title of president emeritus. Puente recently completed his second term on the Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology. He served as APA’s advisor to the panel from 1992-2007.
Puente was a Fulbright Scholar in 1983 in Argentina. He received the APA’s Distinguished Professional Contributions to Independent Practice in 2011. A member of the APA since 1979 and fellow of nine divisions, he also has served as president of the N.C. Psychological Association, N.C. Psychological Foundation, the Hispanic Neuropsychological Association, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and Society for Clinical Neuropsychology.
Puente is married to Linda and they have three children. Krista is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Melbourne, Florida, Antonio Nicolas is completing a post-doctoral fellow in clinical neuropsychology at Johns Hopkins, and Lucas recently completed a PhD in political economics at Stanford and joined the start-up Thumbtack.
In his new leadership role, Puente’s focus will be to erase the divide between physical and mental health care as well as help fortify the APA’s role as the preeminent leader in behavioral science, pedagogy, practice and service.
Puente will hold the top leadership post during its 125th anniversary year. Prior to that, he began a one-year term as president-elect on Jan. 1, 2016.


The Puente Family