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DIRECTOR: Department of Behavioral Health (DBH)

Open Date:   Monday, November 19, 2018

Close: Open unfilled 

Salary:  Executive Service DX5 ($140,300 to $211,733)



There is a legal requirement that each new appointee to the Excepted and Executive Service either: (1) be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of appointment; or (2) establish District domicile within one hundred eighty (180) days of appointment.  The law also requires that Excepted and Executive Service employees maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment.  Failure to maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment will result in forfeiture of employment.



This position is located in the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). The Director of Behavioral Health is a cabinet level position located in the Department of Behavioral Health and reports to the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The Director of Mental Health is the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the District of Columbia and serves as principal advisor to the Mayor on all mental/behavioral health policies and programs. The incumbent has responsibility for providing executive direction, and administration to complex and diverse mental health services and programs for the District of Columbia.

The position provides oversight for the Mental Health Authority and the Services Provider Network, including the direct management of St Elizabeth’s hospital. The Mental Health Authority will include quality improvement/overnight, planning and policy development, Medicaid/Medicaid Rehabilitation Option (MRO) responsibility, delivery systems management, fiscal and information services, consumer relations/public relations and legal services. The Service Provider Network will implement the Core Service Agency (CSA) concept as the new community model. It creates a clinical/services home for each consumer and provides for a single, fixed point of accountability for the array of service needs. The CSAs are qualified providers that must have the capacity to perform diagnostic/assessment services, medication and somatic treatment, counseling and psychotherapy, community support programs, crisis/emergency services, rehabilitation, partial ,hospitalization, community-based intervention, and assertive community treatment.



Provides governmental leadership and oversight functions necessary to manage a complex community mental health system. Provides quality improvement, provider oversight and mental health planning· and policy making that involves consumers and families. Exercises responsibility for implementing and utilizing the Medicaid Rehabilitation Option (MRO) to support an array of community services. Plays' a key leadership role in the design, development, and implementation of an overall "systems of care" model; including cross-agency partnerships, mobile/onsite responses, and consumer-driven services. Manages a comprehensive mental health system that services children/youth, adults, and families. Exercises responsibility for the development of crisis/emergency services and directs the development of funding strategies including contract funding.

  • Administers the development and implementation of an effective and integrated community-based system of mental health care for consumers in the District of Columbia. The Director plans, manages, and directs the Department; serves as principal advisor to the Mayor; and provides liaison with public and private agencies, consumers, and advocacy groups.
  • Oversees city-wide mental health issues and ensures participation of consumers, mental health professionals; voluntary associations and advocacy groups in mental health care policy and system formulation. Provides leadership to assure accessible high quality mental health services to citizens regardless of age, race, or income; sound planning and evaluation systems; and effective coordination with other government agencies and private organizations. Advocates for the needs and rights and represents the interests of mental health consumers and family members on a citywide basis.
  • Ensures extensive community involvement in the Department's activities. Plans and coordinates programs with. public and private agencies, community representatives' and constituency groups interested in supporting the agency's goals and objectives. Maintains effective working relationships with consumers, mental health professionals, voluntary associations, advocacy groups, and the courts, and ensures their participation in mental health care policy formulation.
  • This is achieved through regularly convening a Director Partnership Council (advisory body) and working with other advocate/stakeholders.
  • Serves as principal advisor to the Mayor on mental health issues and other significant program decisions related to social health programs to ensure coordination among the social services programs provided by the City. Advises the Mayor on policies and the solution to problems relating to highly complex and sensitive policy questions. Directs the formulation of policies for the Department.
  • Exercises the authority granted by state regulatory powers to propose standards for quality and cost of mental health facilities and services throughout the District of Columbia. Assures system compliance with all relevant licensing and regulatory requirements.
  • Provides leadership for and manages the planning and direction of the Department. Directs the establishment of objectives, development of organizational goals, and development of programs. Oversees the identification of management issues, development of management strategies, and establishment of operational policies and· procedures. Sets standards by which to evaluate Department programs.
  • Directs the continual evaluation of system performance and develops proposals for improvements in service delivery and outcome including access, quality, cost, and system supports. Monitors achievements and identifies problem areas in the attainment of goals and program implementation.
  • Maintains liaison with top officials of other departments and private and public groups an institutions, such as the D.C. Department of Health, Department of Human Services, D.C. Public Schools, Metropolitan Police Department, D.C. Office of Aging, and others to secure support and cooperation in carrying out the Department's mental health programs.
  • Implements the development of a comprehensive mental health system in accordance with the orders of the Dixon Consent Decree. Advocates major programs Which should be initiated, curtailed, or discontinued and recommends the development or revision of legislation affecting mental health care in the District of Columbia.



  • Bachelor's degree in public administration, public policy, mental health, medicine. or a related field. An advanced degree is desired.
  • At least 5-10 years managerial/supervisory experience, especially at a senior level, is required 
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