Job Opportunity

Executive Director
California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA)

Date Posted:

May 7, 2013


$130,000-$150,000, depending on qualifications and experience.


The California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA) is actively recruiting for an Executive Director to replace the current ED, who is retiring after serving in the position since 2001. 
The Executive Director of CMHDA is a highly visible position in California’s mental health public policy and advocacy environment.  This person plays a critical role in working with high level local/state/federal agency/department officials, state legislators and their staff, and other statewide and national associations and organizations, in the development of mental/behavioral health public policy.  CMHDA is a respected statewide advocacy Association that represents the collective interests of California’s 58 county mental/behavioral health directors, who administer the state’s $5 billion a year community-based public mental health system.  The mission of the Association is to “ensure the accessibility of quality, cost-effective, culturally competent mental health care for the people of the State of California, and to provide the leadership, advocacy and support to county and city mental health programs for quality care necessary to meet our vision and values for the public mental health system.”


The Executive Director is responsible for directing all Association activities, including:
• government relations and advocacy (including state budget, legislative and regulatory analysis and advocacy);
• directing the Association’s statewide public policy and advocacy activities related to the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63), the Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Managed Care program, 1991 mental health realignment, and other community mental health programs;
• directing the Association’s activities related to implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act;
• staffing the Association’s Governing Board and Executive Committee;
• collaborating with other advocacy organizations;
• managing member relations;
• developing and managing the Association budget;
• managing a staff of nine.

Qualities/Qualifications Needed.  The ideal candidate is someone who is confident and strong, and is more interested in good public policy than power or position.  Integrity is a quality that is critical to this position. He/she must have significant government relations experience in health and human services, including local, state and/or federal public policy development and analysis; at least 5 years of management experience, preferably in a legislative office, state agency, or Association;  and is an energetic, talented and innovative leader with excellent organizational and people skills.  Since communication is the key to everything CMHDA does as an Association, the ideal candidate must have exceptional oral, written, listening, and interpersonal communications skills, and be comfortable speaking and presenting publicly to a wide variety of audiences.

Education Requirements:  Master’s degree or above preferred, in a mental health, public policy or related field. 
Other Special Requirements:  The successful candidate for this position must be able to travel and work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends and holidays, if needed to carry out the necessary work of the Association.  Multi-tasking skills are also a necessity, as is the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing political and health policy environment.

How To Apply:

Please send a resume and cover letter to Paula Laiewski at
The application period will be from May 1 through May 31, 2013.

Final Deadline:

May 31, 2013

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