Heather Kelly - Charming and Relentless

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“I am reenergized and motivated anew whenever I meet or hear the personal story of someone who volunteered to wear this nation’s uniform in military service and has returned with needs the country must meet.”

Heather Kelly is a psychologist with a passion for our country’s veterans. In addition to providing her clinical services, she also works as a registered federal lobbyist for the Science Government Relations Office at the American Psychological Association. While advocacy on Capital Hill in today’s climate can be frustrating and draining, she has a drive to help those who have served their country. Her advocacy portfolio includes behavioral science within the National Science Foundation, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs, and she serves as APA's Lead Psychologist for Military & Veterans Policy. She also directs APA's Executive Branch Science Fellowship Program. This ladybadass does it all.

Having grown up as a military kid Heather moved frequently, and she and her brother quickly learned how to make friends and adjust to novel situations. She is inspired by her two grandmothers who were courageous, intellectual, witty, and relentlessly pursued doing good in the world. This shows in her work and advocacy for the veteran community she serves. When she’s not on the clock, she enjoys being surrounded by family, bulldogs, books, and whiskey.

Heather has some advice for fellow ladybadasses. She believes women are advised far too often to be “nice” when what they really need is to know how to channel kindness into courage and action. “I tell my daughter and the other women who I train as advocates to be ‘shameless but polite,’ and to in fact be impatient for the world to change on behalf of the vulnerable.”