Our Partners

Launched in April of 2020, the Action Alliance’s Mental Health & Suicide Prevention National Response to COVID-19 (National Response) is an unprecedented partnership. Comprising a dynamic, diverse, and nonpartisan group of leading public and private sector organizations, we are committed to driving meaningful, lasting change through collaboration, leadership, and action.

Mental health and suicide prevention are complex public health issues requiring multi-sector perspectives and solutions. For this reason, the National Response Steering Committee guiding this work is composed of senior leaders who bring the best in science, innovation, communications, and thought leadership.

National Response Co-Chairs

Public Sector Chair
Director, National Institute of Mental Health

“The collective work has the potential to change the way our country views, treats, and talks about mental health and suicide for generations to come.”

Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, is director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. In this role, he oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and clinical research that seeks to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. 

Gordon joined the faculty at Columbia University in 2004 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry. His research has direct relevance to schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and depression. Gordon also served as an associate director of the Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, where he directed the neuroscience curriculum and administered research training programs for residents. He also maintained a general psychiatric practice, caring for patients who suffer from the illnesses he studied in his lab at Columbia.

Gordon’s work has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation – NARSAD Young Investigator Award, the Rising Star Award from the International Mental Health Research Organization, the A.E. Bennett Research Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and the Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Gordon pursued a combined MD-PhD degree at the University of California, San Francisco, studying psychiatry and neuroscience. During his PhD thesis with Dr. Michael Stryker, Gordon pioneered methods to study brain plasticity in the mouse visual system. He completed his psychiatry residency and research fellowship at Columbia University. 

National Institute of Mental Health
Private Sector Chair
Founder, The Kennedy Forum

“This pandemic will fuel the fire of our country's mental health crisis unless organizations unite in a call to action. There's no more time for debate and discussion–we need all hands-on deck to fast track the strategies we know will work.”

During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, former Congressman (D-RI) Patrick J. Kennedy fought to end discrimination against mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. He is best known as the lead sponsor of the groundbreaking Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act that provides millions of Americans, previously denied care, with access to mental health and addiction treatment by requiring insurance companies to treat illnesses of the brain the same way they treat illnesses of the body.

As co-founder of the nonprofit One Mind, Kennedy helped spark a global revolution in how scientists collaborate to study, diagnose, and treat brain diseases. In 2013, he founded The Kennedy Forum, a nonprofit that unites mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around a common set of principles, including full implementation of the Federal Parity Law. 

Kennedy co-authored the New York Times bestseller A Common Struggle, in which he shared both his personal narrative and how he shepherded the Federal Parity Law. He served on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, with his personal contributions focused on the declaration of a federal emergency and strong parity recommendations.

The Kennedy Forum

Our Steering Committee

Vice President, Social Impact, MTV Entertainment Group, Paramount

Noopur Agarwal is vice president of social impact for MTV Entertainment Group, the world’s premier youth entertainment brand, and MTV’s 24-hour college network, mtvU, which reaches nearly 9 million students across 750 campuses nationwide. She oversees major “pro-social” campaigns to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest issues impacting their generation.

Agarwal has represented MTV at industry forums, including the Consumer Electronics Show, South by Southwest, Advertising Week, and Social Media Week, as well as in such educational settings as Columbia University and New York University. She recently hosted MTV’s speaker series MTV Pioneers, where she interviewed groundbreaking leaders, including Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, and Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef and food activist. In her role, Agarwal was presented with the MTV Innovation Award, a company-wide honor recognizing individuals who have demonstrated fresh thinking and a pioneering approach in their work.

Prior to joining MTV, Agarwal worked on Viacom’s Know HIV/AIDS, a public education campaign run in collaboration with CBS Corporation and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Before entering the media industry, she was a consultant at Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm, where she helped advise senior management in a variety of industries. Agarwal received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA in economics from Harvard College.

Vice President, American Hospital Association

Elisa Arespacochaga is vice president of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) Physician Alliance, a strategic initiative launched as part of AHA’s ongoing mission to improve the health of patients and communities. Framed around a set of fundamental beliefs that foster shared decision-making and create a path for common language among health care leadership, the Alliance advances physician leadership through educational offerings, professional development opportunities, and greater inclusion within hospital and health system administration and policy activities.

Arespacochaga received her MBA with a concentration in health care policy from Keller Graduate School of Management and her bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish literature from Amherst College.

Director of Soul Shop for Black Churches

Victor Armstrong serves as the National Director of Soul Shop for Black Churches, a national initiative to equip faith community leaders to minister to those impacted by suicide. Victor previously served as Chief Diversity Officer of RI International with responsibility for developing, creating, and implementing the Diversity Equity and Inclusion framework throughout the organization. Prior to this role Victor served as North Carolina DHHS Chief Health Equity Officer, with responsibility for leading the overarching strategy and operational goals to promote health equity, diversity, and inclusion across all the agency’s health and human services.

Victor originally joined NC DHHS as ‪Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March of 2020, with responsibility and oversight of the public community-based mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, substance use, and traumatic brain injury system in North Carolina. Prior to accepting this role, Victor spent six years as Vice President of Behavioral Health with Atrium Health. Based in Charlotte. Victor has over 30 years of experience in human services, primarily dedicated to building and strengthening community resources to serve individuals who have been historically marginalized. ‬‬‬‬He is a nationally recognized speaker on issues regarding health equity and access to healthcare, particularly as it relates to individuals living with mental health challenges.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Victor currently serves on the board of directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- North Carolina and is the host of the “Strong Talk” podcast. He is a member of NC Institute of Medicine and serves on the Board of Directors of East Carolina University School of Social Work, and the Council of Advisors for St. Augustine’s University.

Victor’s awards and recognitions include:

  • Living Waters Annual Mental Health Summit 2022 “Lifetime Mental Health Champion” Award
  • National Association of Social Workers North Carolina (NASW-NC) 2022 Social Worker of the Year
  • Addiction Professionals of NC (APNC) 2021 DEI Leadership & Impact Award
  • Mental Health America’s 2021 H. Keith Brunnemer, Jr. Award for “Outstanding Mental Health Leadership”
  • Black Mental Health Symposium 2019 Mental Health Advocate of the Year
  • Atrium Health 2019 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award
  • East Carolina University School of Social Work 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award
  • i2i Center for Integrative Health 2018 Innovation Award for "Whole Person Care"
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NC, 2012 Mental Health Professional of the Year.

Victor graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in business management and received a Master of Social Work (MSW) from East Carolina University. He is the husband of Dr. Charletta Armstrong and the father of three sons, Carter, Alonzo, and Victor Jr.

Chief Campaign Development Officer, Ad Council

Heidi Arthur brings together leading creative agencies, corporate partners, media and technology platforms, and nonprofit and government clients to drive public education, awareness, and action. She has more than 25 years of experience in creating change around pressing social issues, including diversity and inclusion, minority education, hunger prevention, breast cancer awareness, and bullying prevention. Her campaigns have gone on to win numerous accolades, including Cannes Lions, Effies, Clios, and an Emmy.

To ensure continued creative innovation and excellence, Arthur also manages the Ad Council’s Creative Review Committees, comprising nearly 30 of the industry’s top agency leaders. The Committees meet regularly to review, refine, and raise the bar on the Ad Council’s social good campaigns.

Arthur joined the Ad Council in 2000 after spending 10 years in the advertising industry at Grey and at Wells, Rich, Greene. She is a graduate of Union College and has a certificate in corporate social responsibility from Harvard Business School. Arthur has served on boards focused on cancer research and is currently involved in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

Deputy Executive Director, International Association of Chiefs of Police

Chief Terrence M. Cunningham (retired) currently serves as the deputy executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). In this role, he is responsible for working in conjunction with the executive director to advance the association’s mission and oversee its day-to-day operations. He works to serve IACP’s membership and the law enforcement profession through advocacy, training, education, and outreach.

Cunningham served the Wellesley Police Department in Massachusetts for 35 years. During his distinguished career in professional policing, he served as president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA) and as a member of the Executive Board of the MCOPA, the Greater Boston Police Council, and the New England Association of Chiefs of Police. He is also a founder and past president of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council.

Cunningham is a longtime active member of the IACP, serving as president from 2015 to 2016 and as a member of IACP’s Executive Board and Board of Directors. He is a graduate of the New England Institute of Law Enforcement Management at Babson College, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education. He holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Northeastern University.

Executive Secretary, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association

Chief Otto Drozd III (retired) serves as the Executive Secretary of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro). The Metro was founded in 1965, for the purpose of bringing fire service professionals together to address the challenges of large-city departments that were becoming increasingly complex. Today, Metro brings together Fire Chiefs from all over the world.

In addition to leading large municipal and county fire departments in Seminole County (FL), Orange County (Fla.), Hialeah (Fla.), and El Paso (Tex.), Drozd has championed efforts that will have an enduring impact on fire and life safety. It was his initiative and insights that spurred the fast-tracked development of NFPA 3000™, Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program beginning in October 2016. After the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando that year, Drozd requested that NFPA produce the world’s first standard to help communities holistically address mass casualty incident planning, resource management, incident command, and competencies.

Chief Drozd has been involved in urban planning, faith-based and educational volunteering, workgroup participation, and municipal and membership organization advisory roles. Additionally, he has held key leadership positions including time spent as president of the state fire chiefs’ association in Florida and as vice president of the IAFC. He was also one of only three fire chiefs over the last 30 years who has served consecutive terms as president of the Metro Chiefs.

Drozd holds a Bachelor of Public Management from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Science from St. Thomas University. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program through the United States Fire Administration and has been designated as a Chief Fire Officer by the Center of Public Safety Excellence. Additionally, Drozd received certificates for completing urban/regional planning programs at the University of Texas at El Paso and a program for senior executives in state and local government through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Chief Executive Officer, American Psychological Association

Arthur C. Evans, PhD, is chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association (APA), the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, whose membership comprises researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. Before joining the APA, he spent 12 years as commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, a $1.2 billion health care agency that is the behavioral health and intellectual disabilities safety net for the city of Philadelphia. In this role, Evans helped to transform the Philadelphia service system. Previously, Evans was deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, where he was instrumental in implementing a recovery-oriented policy framework, addressing health care disparities, increasing the use of evidence-based practices, and improving community engagement. He also developed a thriving private practice.

In 2015, Evans was recognized as an “Advocate for Action” by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Other recognitions include the American Medical Association’s top government service award in health care, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award, and the National Council of Behavioral Health’s Visionary Leadership Award. A strong advocate for social justice, he received three different Martin Luther King Jr. awards. In 2017, he was inducted into alma mater Florida Atlantic University’s Alumni Hall of Fame.

Evans holds faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Drexel University School of Public Health, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Yale University School of Medicine. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and a fellow and member of the board of trustees of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

VP, Public Policy and Advocacy, Crisis Text Line

Courtney Hunter serves as the Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy for Crisis Text Line. Founded in 2013, Crisis Text Line provides 24/7 crisis intervention and mental health support via text to millions of Americans annually. Courtney stewards the federal public policy objectives for the organization, encompassing mental health workforce development and youth prevention efforts. Previously, Courtney was the Vice President, State Policy at Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis. In this role, Courtney led the engagement of state policymakers to eliminate barriers to addiction treatment access, increase training of healthcare professionals, and integrate behavioral health services into primary care settings.

Prior to joining Shatterproof, Courtney spent 11 years at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. During her time there, she worked in media relations, program management, and government affairs. Courtney was responsible for developing the Partnership’s advocacy program and instrumental in the introduction of the bicameral and bipartisan Family Support Services for Addiction Act in early 2020. Courtney has led campaigns and high-level partnerships with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Major League Baseball, and The Meth Project.

Courtney graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs.

Chief Executive Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Robert Gebbia is the chief executive officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), which has become the leading suicide prevention nonprofit organization in the United States. Throughout his tenure he expanded AFSP’s efforts, significantly increasing the Foundation’s support of scientific research and adding new educational programs, public awareness initiatives, and supportive services for individuals and families who have lost a loved one to suicide. Under his leadership, AFSP’s annual revenue has grown from $700 thousand to over $16 million. The Foundation has expanded its nationwide network of over 64 chapters and created the annual Out of the Darkness walks to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention.

Gebbia is a founding member of the National Council for Suicide Prevention; he serves on the National Lifeline Advisory Committee and was recently nominated to join the Board of Directors of the National Health Council. Gebbia has an extensive background in not-for-profit management, strategic planning, fundraising, and program development. Previously, he worked for the United Way and served as a public health advisor for the City of New York.

Gebbia holds a BA in sociology from Hofstra University and an MA in sociology from the New School for Social Research. He completed the Harvard Business School’s Human Services Management Executive Program and IBM’s Leadership Commitment Program for not-for-profit

Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Daniel H. Gillison Jr. brings over 30 years of experience and expertise in nonprofit leadership and a passion for advocating for people with mental illness to his role as chief executive officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Before coming to NAMI, Gillison led the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF), where he was responsible for strategic planning, personnel management, board communications, oversight of APAF’s public education programs and outreach, and formulating strategic alliances and partnerships to further APAF’s mission.

Prior to APAF, Gillison led County Solutions and Innovation for the National Association of Counties, where he was instrumental in repositioning the organization’s programs to provide expertise in health and human services, justice, and public safety. He has also held leadership positions at Xerox, Nextel, and Sprint.

Gillison holds a BA from Southern University and A&M College.

Vice President and Director of Suicide Prevention Strategy, Education Development Center

Julie Goldstein Grumet, EDC vice president, is an expert in behavioral health transformation, state and local community suicide prevention, and the use of evidence-based practices for suicide care in clinical settings. She translates complex topics into engaging and impactful resources for health care leadersschool leaders, and others.

As director of the Zero Suicide Institute, Goldstein Grumet provides strategic direction and leadership for the Zero Suicide framework and oversees the development, dissemination, evaluation, and effective implementation of the framework nationwide. She leads a team dedicated to ensuring that safe and effective suicide care practices are accessible to all via an online implementation toolkit for suicide care in health care systems.

Goldstein Grumet is the senior health care advisor to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. A highly acclaimed trainer and speaker, her work has been spotlighted in the Washington PostScience Magazine, and Military Times.

Goldstein Grumet holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from George Washington University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in School Mental Health at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Center for School Mental Health.

Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

Donna Harris-Aikens is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, focused on advancing the Administration’s education priorities to support learners of all ages, families, and educators; providing advice and counsel to the Secretary on the implementation of priority policies; and ensuring the agency’s progress on major initiatives. She served on the Education Agency Review Team for the Biden-Harris Transition and was a member of the DNCC Platform Committee. She also held leadership roles with the National Education Association, the Service Employees International Union, and Advance CTE, and was an attorney in an education boutique law firm. Donna graduated from James Madison University and the Howard University School of Law.

President and CEO, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

As president and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (formerly the National Council for Behavioral Health), Chuck Ingoglia leads the national charge to ensure people living with mental illness and addictions have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. To accomplish this, he harnesses the voices and support of the more than 3,000 National Council members who serve over 10 million individuals nationwide.

Prior to being named president and CEO, Ingoglia led the National Council’s policy and practice improvement work, directing the organization’s federal and state policy efforts and overseeing trainings and programs offered to more than 500,000 behavioral health professionals across the U.S.

Before joining the National Council, Ingoglia provided policy and program design guidance to the Center for Mental Health Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Earlier in his career, he directed state government relations and service system improvement projects for the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America), performed policy analysis for the National Association of Social Workers and designed educational programs for mental health and addictions professionals for the Association of Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.

Ingoglia holds a Master of Social Work and a BA in social work, both from The Catholic University of America.

Senior Vice President, Clinical Services and Behavioral Health Compliance Officer, Universal Health Services, Inc.

Karen Johnson serves as senior vice president of clinical services and division compliance officer for the Behavioral Health Division of Universal Health Services (UHS), where she is responsible for the management and oversight of clinical operations and regulatory practices for 200 behavioral health facilities across the United States and Puerto Rico. She interfaces with accrediting organizations and leads the clinical staff in developing and implementing best practices to ensure that quality and safety are primary initiatives in each organization.

Johnson represents UHS on the Health Systems Corporate Liaisons group with The Joint Commission and the Quality Committee of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. She is the clinical representative to the UHS partnership with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, focusing on the implementation of Zero Suicide in UHS facilities and advancing the Action Alliance’s Transforming Health Systems priority area. Johnson has held corporate-level leadership positions in clinical services since 1999. Prior to that, she served as a hospital administrator in freestanding psychiatric facilities.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University of Chicago.

Acting Associate Director for Communication, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CAPT Christopher Jones, PharmD, DrPH, currently serves as acting associate director for communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When not serving as the acting director, Jones is the deputy director for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at CDC. In this role, he drives the Center’s strategic direction by overseeing the refinement of the scientific research agenda and the coordination of center priorities. He oversees and enhances collaboration among the Office of Science, Office of Informatics, Office of Strategy and Innovation, and Opioid Response Coordinating Unit.

Previously, Jones served as senior advisor to the Injury Center and associate director in the Office of Strategy and Innovation. Prior to joining CDC, he was the first director of the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Jones has also served in leadership roles in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among other assignments as a U.S. Public Health Service-commissioned corps officer.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Reinhardt College, his PharmD from Mercer University, his master’s degree in public health from New York Medical College, and his DrPH in health policy from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Vice President, Northpoint Recovery

Mark Jones, PhD, is presently the vice president of Northpoint Recovery in Omaha, Nebraska. Prior to joining Northpoint, Dr. Jones served as general director of health and medical services at Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) located in Omaha, Nebraska. His job duties at UPRR included overseeing a health and safety service delivery model covering 30,000 employees. Prior to his 17-year tenure at UPRR, Dr. Jones was the vice president of Clinical Services at Maplewood Behavioral Health. Jones has also served as the clinical director of Behavioral Health programs at Father Flanagan’s Boys Home at Boys Town, Nebraska. Dr. Jones has a bachelor’s degree from Creighton University, a master’s degree in human development from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has served on the faculty at Creighton University and Bellevue University and currently serves as the mental health and sports performance consultant for Creighton Athletics. Dr. Jones is an author of several published academic articles and has been an invited speaker at numerous national conferences.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Linda Perryman Evans Presidential Chair, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Andy Keller, PhD, is president and chief executive officer, Linda Perryman Evans Presidential Chair, of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides nonpartisan policy and program research, development, and advice to national, state, and community leaders towards a single goal: improving mental health care delivery in Texas and the nation. Keller is a licensed psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in behavioral health policy, financing, and best practice implementation. His work has centered on helping state and local health systems implement evidence-based and innovative care, as well as helping local and state governments develop the regulatory and financial frameworks to support them. Prior to moving full time into policy work, Keller was a managing partner for 15 years at a national behavioral health management consulting firm where he focused on health financing and system improvement. Before that, he worked in Colorado with a leading Medicaid HMO and the local community mental health system, where he directed and led a range of community-based and care management programs.

Mental Health Ambassador and Chair, Global Campaign for Mental Health, Neuroscience External Affairs Janssen R&D, Johnson & Johnson

Craig Kramer is mental health ambassador and chair, Global Campaign for Mental Health, in Neuroscience External Affairs at Janssen R&D, a Johnson & Johnson company. In this capacity, Kramer leads a Johnson & Johnson team that seeks to transform mental health care globally by raising awareness, reducing stigma, promoting research, improving access, and ensuring better patient outcomes. Key initiatives include a global leaders coalition to champion proven scalable reforms, including “next-in-class” workplace mental health practices.

Prior to this role, Kramer held a variety of positions in global corporate and government affairs at Johnson & Johnson and worked as a lawyer in the U.S. Congress, at a Washington, D.C., law firm, and with an international human rights organization.
Kramer is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, the University of Michigan School of Law, and Harvard Business School’s General Management Program. He serves on the boards of the American Brain Coalition, the DMAX Foundation, International Schools Services, and Project HEAL.

Global Director, Healthy Minds, American Express

Charles Lattarulo, PhD, is the creator and global director of the Healthy Minds program at American Express. A psychologist with over 20 years of behavioral health experience, Lattarulo previously served as director of behavioral health at a home care agency, clinical director of an international employee assistance program (EAP), and director of training and a clinical instructor at a major metropolitan hospital.

Lattarulo’s vast expertise includes building corporate behavioral health systems and addressing issues related to anxiety and stress, bereavement, and substance misuse. His diverse role at American Express includes managing the company’s global mental health strategy, on-site EAP counselors, U.S. and global EAP vendor relationships, and behavioral health absence management. He also creates and ensures the viability of the company’s behavioral health programs and policies, and works to provide ad hoc expertise across the organization. He has been with American Express since 2012.

Lattarulo holds a PhD in psychology from Fordham University and a master of education in clinical rehabilitation counseling from Hunter College.

Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director, American Psychiatric Association

Saul Levin, MD, MPA, FRCP-E, is the chief executive officer and medical director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Levin served in a variety of roles in the private and public sector, including as the head of the of the District of Columbia’s Department of Health (DOH) and as a cabinet member in the Mayor’s administration. Prior to his tenure at DOH, he was the senior deputy director of the Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration. Dr. Levin has served as vice president of the American Medical Association for Science, Medicine and Public Health, where he focused on health care systems and care, health disparities, and, disaster preparedness and response for Washington, DC. 

Dr. Levin received his MD from the University Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Levin is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians – Edinburgh, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC.

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, The Jed Foundation

John MacPhee brings 25 years of leadership and management experience from the business and not-for-profit settings to his current role as chief executive officer and executive director of The Jed Foundation. Passionate about supporting young adults in their transition to adulthood, MacPhee advises several organizations, including the S. Jay Levy Fellowship for Future Leaders at City College, Trek Medics, Crisis Text Line, the Health Policy and Management Department at the Mailman School of Public Health, and HIV Experiences Resources Organization.

Earlier in his career, MacPhee served in executive positions for Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Forest Laboratories, where he oversaw functions such as business development, alliance management, clinical development, regulatory affairs, sales, and marketing. MacPhee continues to contribute to the development of novel medications for disorders such as Parkinson’s disease through board roles with Adamas Pharmaceuticals and Blackthorn Therapeutics.

In 2016, MacPhee received the Allan Rosenfield Alumni Award for Excellence in the field of public health from the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He earned a BA from Columbia College, an MBA from New York University, and an MPH from Columbia University.

Project Manager, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)

Christine L. Malik, MSW, is the Project Manager for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD). In this role, Ms. Malik oversees and manages several federally sponsored contracts related to suicide prevention, crisis services, 988 implementation, clinical care delivery systems, and older adult behavioral health. She also provides technical assistance, strategic planning, and analysis to State Mental Health Authority administrators, federal partners, and key stakeholder groups. Additional responsibilities include writing, developing, and disseminating educational materials, including white papers, reports, issue briefs, support letters, and webinar presentations. She also manages NASMHPD’s Older Persons Division and serves on the National Coalition for Mental Health and Aging Executive Committee. Ms. Malik received her Master of Social Work and graduate certification in gerontology from George Mason University.

Chief Executive Officer, DLM Entertainment Group / DLM Impact Partners

David McFarland is a global philanthropy advisor to individual philanthropists and leaders from a variety of sectors, including nonprofit and social cause organizations, social enterprises, entertainment, sports, business, technology, policy, government, nongovernmental organizations, and foundations, to tackle pressing social and development issues. McFarland’s career has been dedicated to promoting social responsibility and youth-serving initiatives.

As the former board chair and executive director and chief executive officer of The Trevor Project—the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth—McFarland led a new strategic plan that resulted in growing the organization’s budget from $2.2 million to over $5 million in 2011. Under his leadership, The Trevor Project was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change” and a leading innovator in suicide prevention. McFarland previously served as co-chair of the LGBT Populations Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, helping to inform the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. He has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. State Department, and United Nations Commission on Human Rights to improve the lives of LGBTQ youth domestically and globally.

McFarland was instrumental in directing national and regional strategy for entertainment conglomerates MTV Networks/Comedy Central, Lifetime Television, and Fox Family Worldwide. He is sought by media outlets for his innovative leadership in philanthropy and as an expert spokesperson for suicide prevention, bullying, and mental health issues. He has been featured on national, regional, and local news outlets, as well as in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the HuffPost, The Advocate, Yahoo, and numerous blogs and social media outlets.

Executive Vice President, American Health Policy Institute; President, Health Care Policy Roundtable LLC

A seasoned health care practice executive with a focus on innovation and transformation, Colleen A. McHugh is the executive vice president of the American Health Policy Institute and president of the Healthcare Policy Roundtable, both partner organizations of HR Policy Association. McHugh's expertise is in leading, developing, and implementing complex, high-profile strategic business initiatives in support of large employers. She has extensive experience working with multiple internal and external stakeholders, including at the C-suite and Board level, policy makers, the media, and employer coalitions. 

McHugh was one of the original architects in the development of the Health Transformation Alliance, a collective of 50+ Fortune 500 companies that launched in 2016 to drive better health outcomes for employees and their families covered by self-insured employer health plans. With extensive experience in Medicare, she also co-led the development of Retiree Health Access in 2006 for HR Policy Association member companies. She continues to manage the RHA exchange and provide thought leadership to employers regarding the challenges in providing health care and best practices.

Prior to her work with HR Policy Association, the Institute, and Roundtable, McHugh worked for Aetna Inc. for 27 years holding various roles across the enterprise.  She has in-depth experience in strategic planning, business development, go-to-market solutions, business operations and P&L management. McHugh is a licensed life and health agent in all 50 states, has a BS in Management from Post University and a MA in Organizational Leadership from The Graduate Institute. 

Chief Suicide Prevention Branch, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Richard McKeon, PhD, serves as chief for the Suicide Prevention Branch in the Center for Mental Health Services within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In this role, he oversees all Branch suicide prevention activities, including the Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Campus Suicide Prevention grant programs, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and the Native Aspirations program. He co-chairs the Federal Working Group on Suicide Prevention.

McKeon spent the majority of his career in community mental health and has been appointed to suicide-prevention task forces in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense. Most recently, he served a key role in the 2012 revision of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, the nation’s roadmap for suicide prevention that was first adopted in 2001.

McKeon received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona and his master’s degree in public health from Columbia University.

Director for Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Matthew Miller, PhD, is the director for suicide prevention within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Miller previously served as director of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), where he oversaw expansive growth of this essential resource, including the creation of a third call center and an increase in total staffing to 900+ full-time employees. Under his leadership, the VCL became the world’s largest crisis call center.

At VCL, through implementing an industry-leading quality and training program, obtaining certification via nationally recognized oversight organizations, and innovating cutting-edge research projects in the field of suicide prevention, Miller ensured top-quality care for veterans and their families and friends. Prior to joining VCL, Miller served as the deputy chief of staff for the Saginaw Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Miller received his PhD from Michigan State University and his master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan.

Interim Executive Director for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Dr. Naturale is a traumatic stress specialist with an extensive history as a health/mental health care administrator and clinician specializing in responses to traumatic events. Her dissertation focused on Secondary Traumatic Stress in disaster responders, a subject she continues to study. Dr. Naturale led Project Liberty, the NY mental health response to the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster and later served as the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Technical Assistance Center Project Director. Dr. Naturale was the architect of and helped implement the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing behavioral health response.

In 2004, Dr. Naturale helped launch the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and in 2011, the Disaster Distress Helpline. Over the past 20 years she has provided disaster and traumatic stress response training and consultation throughout the U.S. and internationally. From 2013-2020, Dr. Naturale has worked with the Dept of Justice/Office for Victims of Crime as a program and needs assessment consultant for the San Bernardino terror attack, the Las Vegas Harvest Festival, Pulse Nightclub, Parkland, Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh Tree of Life, Poway Synagogue, Virginia Beach, El Paso and Highland Ranch shooting incidents and the TN Christmas Day bombing. She has trained Psychologists in the Ukraine Military Service, Humanitarian Aid workers for the European Union and recently helped launch the new European Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism.

Currently, Dr. Naturale is the Interim Executive Director for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline working to move the effort forward as the network expands and works more closely with each of the states and crisis centers dedicated to suicide prevention.  She has also recently been appointed the U.S. Department of Justice team of nine subject matter experts to aid in a review of the law enforcement response to the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting.

Vice President, Wellness and Clinical Services, National Football League

Nyaka NiiLampti, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with more than 15 years of clinical experience with organizations, sports teams, individuals, and families. Her research focuses on multiculturalism and mental health as they relate to issues of resiliency and success. As vice president of Wellness and Clinical Services for the National Football League (NFL), NiiLampti heads the Total Wellness and Mental Health platforms. She plays a critical role in advancing NFL Player Engagement’s mission to make a positive impact inside and outside the NFL family.

NiiLampti previously served as the director of player wellness for the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), where she educated players on all aspects of wellness, including mental health and substance misuse. Before joining the NFLPA, NiiLampti was an assistant professor of psychology at Queens University of Charlotte, where she taught undergraduate courses in abnormal, developmental, and sport psychology. She also served as the faculty athletic representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A former track and field college student-athlete, NiiLampti earned a PhD in clinical psychology from Temple University, a master’s degree in sport psychology from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.

Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation

Rajeev Ramchand is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he studies the prevalence, prevention, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders in adolescents, service members and veterans, and minority populations. He has conducted many studies on suicide and suicide prevention, including environmental scans of suicide prevention programs, epidemiologic studies on risk factors for suicide, and evaluations of suicide prevention programs, and he has developed tools to help organizations evaluate their own programs.

Ramchand has testified on suicide prevention before the United States Senate and California State Senate. Other current areas of research include military and veteran caregivers, the role of firearm availability, firearm storage, suicide-related policies, and the impact of disasters on community health.

He received his BA in economics from the University of Chicago and his PhD in psychiatric epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Director of External Relations, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University

Linda Rosenberg joined Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry as director of external relations in 2019. Previously, she served as president and chief executive officer of the National Council for Behavioral Health, a not-for-profit advocacy and educational association of 1,950 organizations providing treatment and support services to 8 million adults and children with mental illnesses and addictions. She has over 30 years of mental health policy and practice experience, focusing on the design, financing, and management of behavioral health services. Under her leadership, the National Council more than doubled its membership, helped secure the passage of the federal mental health and addiction parity law, expanded financing for integrated behavioral health and primary care services, was instrumental in bringing behavioral health to the table in federal health care reform, and played a key role in introducing the Mental Health First Aid program in the U.S.

Rosenberg previously served as senior deputy commissioner for the New York State Office of Mental Health, where she strengthened the voices of consumers and families in the policymaking process; promoted adoption of evidence-based practices, including tripling New York’s assertive community treatment capacity; expanded children’s services; developed housing options for people with mental illnesses and addictions; and implemented a network of jail diversion programs, including the state’s first mental health court.

A certified social worker, family therapist, and psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner, Rosenberg has held faculty appointments at several schools of social work and serves on many agency and editorial boards.

Project Director, Suicide Prevention Resource Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Center on Child Abuse & Neglect

Shelby Rowe is the program manager for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at the OU Health Science Center, and the 2016 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year. A public health professional, crisis intervention expert, and suicide attempt survivor, Rowe has been a leader in the suicide prevention movement at the local, state and national level since 2007. 

Rowe is the elected secretary for the board of directors for the American Association of Suicidology and a board member for RI International. She currently serves on the American Indian/Alaska Native Task Force and the Care Transitions Advisory Group for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the Clinical Advisory Board for Crisis Text Line,  and is the co-chair for the Lived Experience Committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In 2019, she co-founded the Indigenous Peoples’ Committee for the American Association of Suicidology, and in 2020, she was added as a faculty member for the Zero Suicide Institute.

Rowe is an experienced public speaker and regularly travels across the country to speak at mental health and suicide prevention conferences and trainings. Her story of recovery can be found on the Live Through This website, and she was recently featured in People Magazine and in a series of articles published by USA Today. She is a member of Matriarch, and Oklahoma-based intertribal women’s leadership group, and plays and active role in Oklahoma City’s urban indigenous community. Rowe holds a BA in Sociology and Philosophy, and an MBA.

U.S. Public Health Service, Lead, Psychological Health, Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

CAPT Scott Salvatore, PsyD, ABPP, a board-certified clinical psychologist and emergency medical technician (EMT), serves as lead of psychological health for the Workforce Health and Safety Directorate of the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The newly established program focuses on evidence-based initiatives and recommendations to enhance the psychological health and resilience of DHS employees and their families.

Prior to joining DHS, Salvatore was chief of Multi-Disciplinary Behavioral Health at U.S. Army Fort Meade, serving Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine personnel. He also directed psychological services for the Army’s biological personnel reliability program at Fort Detrick. Since 2002, Salvatore has served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service as part of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While stationed with ICE, Salvatore volunteered as an EMT with San Diego Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. He has deployed on multiple emergency response teams for disasters and humanitarian missions.

Salvatore started his professional career as a U.S. Naval Officer and clinical psychologist. After completing his tour of duty, he worked for venture capital, executive search, and consulting psychology firms with a focus on personnel selection and development. A board certification examiner in clinical psychology for the American Board of Professional Psychology, he is an adjunct assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an active member of the American Psychological Association and the Police Psychology Services Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Associate Director, Science & Policy
Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tyiesha Short is an Associate Director for Science and Policy in the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she provides strategic counsel and leadership for ensuring the evidence base for the Surgeon General’s priority areas, with a particular focus on youth mental health. This includes leading and supporting scientific documents such as Surgeon General’s Advisories, Reports, and Public Health Reports, the peer-reviewed journal of the Office of the Surgeon General and US Public Health Service; building strategic partnerships; and translating reliable scientific information into product and policy development.

Ms. Short has worked in local and national public health and is committed to advancing equitable, evidence-based health policy and programming, especially among those who have been historically and systematically prevented from equal access to opportunities and resources. Prior to joining OSG, Ms. Short served as a Health Scientist Fellow within the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she led and conducted research to prevent and identify causes of birth defects. She has also worked in the nonprofit sector evaluating teen pregnancy and STI prevention programs and advocating for more equitable reproductive health care. Ms. Short received BS in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Columbia and her MPH from Emory University.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health America

Schroeder Stribling is the President and CEO of Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. She is a lifelong social justice advocate with over 20 years of experience managing organizations focused on mental health, homelessness, poverty, and racial justice. 

Prior to joining Mental Health America, Stribling was the CEO at N Street Village, a nonprofit providing housing support services for women and families in Washington, DC. Under her leadership, N Street Village expanded from one to eight locations. She helped diversify revenue streams, create partnerships with government entities, lead city-wide policy initiatives on homelessness, and acquire a smaller nonprofit organization. Prior to her time at N Street Village, Stribling was a Senior Social Worker at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where she was responsible for the implementation of new mental health programs in the inner-city Head Start school system. Earlier in her career, she worked as a Clinical Social Worker and served as a Coordinator for the Dual Diagnosis Program on the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit at Suburban Hospital, which is now a part of Johns Hopkins. 

Stribling received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College, a master’s in social work from Smith College School for Social Work, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. She speaks and writes frequently on topics related to mental health and racial and economic equity and is an ever-passionate spokesperson for mental health and social justice in our times.

Director of Youth Policy, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Nia West-Bey is CLASP's director of youth policy. In this role, she leads a team that seeks to advance a vision for policy and systems change co-created with youth and young adults, ages 16-25, that centers safety, healing and well-being, and economic and racial justice. The team advances policy, community strategies, and investments that support economic mobility, community safety, equal access to quality health and mental health resources, and that dismantle structural barriers preventing youth of color and youth with low incomes from opportunities to transform their lives.  Previously, Dr. West-Bey was a senior policy analyst with CLASP’s youth team, where she focused on youth and young adult mental health, two-generation policies and strategies to support young parents of color earning low incomes as well as girls and young women of color. She has expertise in youth development, qualitative and quantitative data interpretation and analysis, and the intersection of psychology, social policy, and program evaluation.

Prior to coming to CLASP, Dr. West-Bey co-founded and spent 10 years as executive director of a community-based nonprofit organization offering youth development programming to young people in foster care in Washington, D.C. Through this work, she had the opportunity to learn and experience how national and local policy impacts disconnected youth.

Dr. West-Bey earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in community psychology from New York University and completed her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College.

* Indicates member of Action Alliance Executive Committee

Learn why Steering Committee members joined the National Response

“Being part of the National Response to COVID-19 ensures we have common, consistent messages about caring for one’s mental health during, and in the aftermath of the pandemic. Working together, we will be far more effective.”

Robert Gebbia
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

“I joined because the pandemic’s mental health impact isn’t trivial and should be considered in every action taken.”

 Paul Gionfriddo
Mental Health America

“This collaborative provides a vital opportunity to advance comprehensive suicide prevention during this unprecedented time.”

 CAPT Christopher Jones
U.S. Public Health Service, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Forging strong partnerships will be key to addressing the potential emotional despair caused by COVID-19.”

 Dr. Mark Jones
Union Pacific Corporation

“I joined because collaboration is key to making mental health part of a national response.”

 Former U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy
The Kennedy Forum

“To combat the effects of COVID-19, a comprehensive health strategy that encompasses mental health is vital to support those where we live and work.”

 Dr. Charles Lattarulo
American Express

“To help people navigate this unprecedented period, maintain hope, and lay the groundwork for post-traumatic growth.”

 John MacPhee
The Jed Foundation

“We must unite to prioritize mental health and remind LGBTQ youth that they’re never alone.”

 Amit Paley
The Trevor Project

“I firmly believe that when we come together behind a common just cause, we can change the world!”

 Dr. Jerry Reed
Education Development Center