NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti Resigns: Everyone Is Playing Nice But Sudden Departure Unexpected

(4-24-19) Mary Giliberti abruptly resigned this morning as Chief Executive Office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

NAMI released a statement at 2 p.m. EST from its Board President Adrienne Kennedy and an official press release.

Mary has been NAMI’s CEO five years.

In an email, Mary wrote, “With NAMI’s growth over the last five years has come long hours and much travel. As I look at my children as they are finishing middle and high school next year, I have decided that the time has come to devote more time to them.”

Everyone involved is playing nice, of course, for the good of NAMI. In full disclosure, I am a lifetime member.

But historically, NAMI has a lousy history of dealing with its CEOs. Of the four prior to Mary, only Michael Fitzpatrick left by his own choice, I was told.

I’ve always admired Mary’s passion and dedication, and will be writing more about her unexpected departure in the future. Meanwhile, here are the official announcements.

Dear NAMI Colleagues,

I’m writing today to announce that the NAMI Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of NAMI CEO, Mary Giliberti who is leaving the organization effective today to devote more time to her family.    Mary’s hard work and commitment to our mission these past five years has propelled our movement forward and we sincerely appreciate her contributions and wish her well.

I’m delighted to also announce the appointment of Angela Kimball, NAMI national director of advocacy and public policy, as acting CEO.  Angela’s ten-year career at the local and national levels of NAMI, as well as her extensive knowledge of mental health policy and deep connection to our mission will ensure continuity and maintain momentum toward the launch of our new strategic plan in 2020.

A press release (attached) announcing these changes will be issued later today.

I have appointed a selection committee within the Board to lead the search for a new CEO.  The NAMI executive team will work closely with the Board CEO selection committee to identify a proven leader that embodies NAMI values and has the depth of experience to lead the organization to new heights. We’ll let you know more as soon as we have a timeline and additional details.

I want to assure you that during this transition, the national office, under Angela’s leadership and with the full support of the board and an outstanding executive team, is in good hands.  Together, we are excited for the opportunities ahead of us.


Adrienne Kennedy


NAMI Board of Directors



Veteran Mental Health Advocate Named Acting CEO

[Arlington, VA] [April 24, 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, has announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, Mary Giliberti, effective today, as she departs to pursue more time with her family.

Under Giliberti’s tenure as CEO beginning January 2014, NAMI has enjoyed steady growth in its programs, advocacy and cause-focused public awareness through a nearly 75% increase in its funding base. During this time, NAMI expanded the reach of its peer-led education and support, making it possible to help more individuals, families, and communities—particularly younger and more diverse audiences.

NAMI has also amplified its advocacy—fighting for the resources and respect everyone deserves. The NAMI voice is a strong force that policymakers and thought leaders respect. NAMI has grown its digital influence with over half a million social media followers and enjoys the greatest share of voice among mental health organizations.

“Leading NAMI to this point is a great achievement and these results reflect Mary’s dedication, passion, and perseverance,” stated Adrienne Kennedy, NAMI Board President. “For forty years, NAMI has worked to build better lives for people affected by mental illness. Mary’s work in this pursuit has propelled the mental health movement forward in unprecedented ways. We sincerely appreciate her contributions and wish her well.”

Angela Kimball, NAMI national director of advocacy and public policy, has been named by the NAMI Board of Directors to serve as acting CEO. Kimball will lead an executive management team of internal leadership to ensure the organization continues its successful trajectory of growth and impact.

Angela Kimball is a proven leader with an impressive ten-year career at both the national and local levels of NAMI. Her extensive knowledge of mental health policy and appreciation for the experiences of individuals and families living with mental illness will be incredibly valuable as the organization continues its important mission.

“Our Executive Team, with Angela leading the way, has the full support of the Board. We are confident this exemplary team will allow our important mission to continue uninterrupted,” Kennedy continued. “We are excited for the leadership capacity that we know Angela and the team bring for continuing the momentum and advancing NAMI even further.”

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.