NAMI Names New CEO: Daniel H. Gillison Jr.,Takes Reins Of Largest Grassroots Mental Health Org.

(12-18-19) Daniel H. Gillison Jr., has been named Chief Executive Officer of the  National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest and wealthiest grassroots mental health organization.

His selection was announced today at 2 p.m., shortly after the national staff was informed.

He takes the reins from Angela Kimball, who became acting CEO after the abrupt resignation of previous CEO Mary Gilliberti in April. Kimball was widely credited by NAMI insiders for keeping up morale in the national office located in Arlington, Va., after Giliberti was asked by the board to resign. Kimball had been a candidate for the CEO job.

For the past three years, Gillison has directed the American Psychiatric Association’s Foundation, the philanthropic and public education arm of the APA.  He is NAMI’s first African American CEO.

Before he joined the APA, Gillison worked for the National Association of Counties (NACo) where he led corporate and philanthropic fundraising efforts and directed the educational programming of the NACo Research Foundation. During Gillison’s time at NACo, corporate support more than doubled and the NACo Foundation substantially expanded its educational offerings in mental health and criminal justice. He has previously held positions at Sprint, XO Communications, and Wesley Brown & Bartle.

The NAMI board has a history of micro-managing the national office, which will test GIllison’s leadership abilities. As I reported Monday, NAMI became the nation’s dominant mental health player during Giliberti’s five year tenure, raising $17.6 million in revenues last year, according to its most recent Form 990 filings. It reported net assets or fund balances of $15 million.  Giliberti was paid $202,095 in salary and received $39,583 in additional financial benefits. We’ll have to wait for the next Form 990 reporting to learn what Gillison is being paid.

While at NACo, Gillison supported the national Stepping Up Initiative, created to divert individuals with mental illnesses from jails and prisons into community treatment, which is a promising sign. Sadly, the American Psychiatric Association has been pusillanimous when it comes to focusing on the serious mentally ill.




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.