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NAMI Board of Directors Names Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. As New Chief Executive

Dec 18 2019

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness and their families, today announced the appointment of Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. as Chief Executive Officer effective January 21, 2020.

“On behalf of the NAMI Board of Directors, we welcome Mr. Gillison, the incoming CEO for our organization who, with the mission-driven commitment and dedication of NAMI staff, will take NAMI into 2020 and a great future,” said NAMI Board President, Adrienne Kennedy. “With his broad knowledge of the mental health movement and varied background in the non-profit and public sectors, Gillison’s experience is a natural complement to NAMI’s decades of representing individuals, families and mental health advocates.”

The CEO search process was led by a NAMI Board of Director’s search committee, assisted by the executive search firm Bridge Partners. Launching a nationwide search, the firm identified candidates with the values and leadership qualities necessary to ensure the future growth of the organization and its 650 state and local affiliates throughout the U.S.

“After a thorough search process, Dan Gillison emerged as the right person to lead NAMI,” said Dave Stafford, NAMI Board treasurer, and Chair of the Search Committee. “Dan’s experience in mental health and his servant leadership style makes him an ideal fit to lead NAMI to even greater future success.”

Reflecting on his appointment as the new CEO, Gillison stated, “I am humbled by the opportunity to lead and work with an organization that has made such an enormous impact on how we address mental illness in this country. I am inspired by the people who work with and for NAMI and by their commitment to making a difference. As I begin my work with the organization, I want to thank each and every person, leader, board member, state organization and affiliate for what you do. I deeply respect the advances that NAMI has made over the last 40 years. Now we are at a tipping point where we have an opportunity to build on that great legacy and do even more.”

Gillison comes to NAMI after the last seven years in non-profit leadership, first with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and most recently as the head of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF).  As Executive Director of APAF, Gillison has been 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 NACo where he was instrumental in repositioning the organization’s programs to provide expertise in health and human services, justice and public safety.

“I am thrilled we are welcoming Dan Gillison as NAMI’s CEO,” said Shirley Holloway, NAMI Board First Vice President. “Mr. Gillison brings passion, a comprehensive understanding of mental health communities and the organizational acumen to lead NAMI into a bright future.”

In addition to his work in non-profit management, Gillison brings extensive private sector experience, first with Xerox and then in leading special divisions in the telecommunications industry including divisions within Sprint and Nextel Communications.

Steve Pittman, past president of the NAMI Board, and Chair of the Governance Committee also commented, “Dan Gillison comes to NAMI with a resume that prepares him to address the challenges and opportunities before us. Dan’s leadership experiences align well with the new NAMI Strategic Plan.”

Acknowledging the work of NAMI leadership and staff, Kennedy emphasized, “We are extremely proud of the organization’s focused work throughout this transition. Angela Kimball, Acting CEO, has guided us through these past months with great purpose and focus. We are indebted to Angela and to all the staff for resilience, resolve and steadfast commitment to NAMI, to our mission and to those we serve.”

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