crcp2016-cooperSaths Cooper

President of the International Union of Psycohlogical Science (IUPsyS) and the Pan-African Psychologty Union (PAPU), and Vice President of the International Social Science Council , Cooper  is a Fellow of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) and the National Academy of Psychology - India. Honorary Fellow of the British and Irish Psychological Societies, he is Honorary Professor at the University of Limpopo and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria.

A close colleague of the late Steve Biko, and a founder member of the Black Consciousness Movement, Cooper has played a key role in the anti-apartheid struggle, the advent of democracy in South Africa, the unification and ascendancy of psychology and youth and community reconstruction and development during and after apartheid. He was banned and house-arrested when he was 22 years of age, and jailed for nine years, spending over five years in Robben Island in the same cell-block as former President Mandela. 

He was a leader of the struggle against apartheid oppression and exploitation from the late 1960's. After relase from Robben Island in December 1982, he continued in various leadership roles when apartheid violence was at its height. His house was petrol-bombed in 1984 and his last imprisonment was during the state of emergency in 1986, eventually being released in September. The granting of his first passport in October 1986 - valid only for the USA - meant that he had missed out on much of the first term at Boston University, but he nonetheless completed his PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology in three years (as a Fulbright Scholar). South Africa's Truth and Reconcilation Commission (chaired by Archnibshop Emeritus Desmond Tutu) declared him a 'victim of gross human rights violations' in 1998.

Elected PsySSA President thrice between 1996-2006, Cooper was elected by PsySSA as its first Fellow in 2002. Cooper chaired the  regulatory Professional Board for Psychology at the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in 1999 and was Vice-President of the HPCSA, the first non-medical/dental professional to assume such office. The first psychologist from South Africa to be elected an officer of IUPsyS (in 2004) - Vice President - he was elected IUPsyS President in July 2012, becoming the only psychologist from outside Europe and the USA to lead this prestigious scientific and professional body. 

The last Vice Chancellor of the University of Durban-Westville (merged in the University of KwaZulu-Natal), he's received citations and awards such as the inaugural IUPsyS Achievement Against the Odds Award, the International Association of Applied Psychology Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to the Advancement of Applied Psychology and the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.