Job: Director, Center of Excellence – Social Determinants of Mental Health (SDMH)

The Institution:

Adler School of Professional Psychology, founded in 1952, is the oldest independent school of psychology in North America. The School provides graduate education in psychology and health service delivery with campuses in the heart of downtown Chicago and downtown Vancouver. The Adler School is committed to continuing the pioneering work of the first community psychologist, Alfred Adler, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, by engaging communities, and by advancing social justice. The Adler School is a value-centered and fast growing institution.

Position Description:

The Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE) is one of the Institutes for Social Change at The Adler School. The mission of the ISE is to build strategic alliances to ensure that all members of society have safe housing, quality education and healthcare, fair terms of employment, nutritious food, personal safety, and judicial equity. The ISE is launching a new Center of Excellence on the Social Determinants of Mental Health with the aim of becoming a national center of excellence for the generation and dissemination of knowledge about the influence of social conditions on public mental health, particularly as it relates to disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

The Director of the new Center of Excellence, reporting to the ISE Executive Director, will engage in action-oriented, community-informed scholarship that expands the frontiers of knowledge necessary to develop strategies and tactics that eliminate mental health inequalities. Working through mutually beneficial and respectful partnerships with communities, government entities, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as trans-disciplinary teams that tap the knowledge, frameworks, approaches, methods, tools and languages of both professionals and the lay public, the Director will oversee efforts that:

  • Increase understanding of the wider determinants of mental health
  • Address mental health inequalities
  • Develop and promote the concept of public (or population) mental health
  • Build community capacity for addressing the social conditions that impact mental health
  • Bridge the gulf between public health and mental health
  • Advance the integration of mental health considerations into the practice of Health Impact Assessments

Center activities will include:

  • Development and refinement of the Mental Health Impact Assessment, an inter-disciplinary process designed to assess the impact of public decisions on population mental health
  • Technical assistance to communities
  • Training/Education
  • Research
  • Evaluation
  • Advocacy
  • Curriculum development
  • Outreach and public awareness

The Director of the new Center for Excellence will be responsible for program innovation, development, funding, implementation and evaluation. The Director will also play a central role in managing and coordinating the roles and activities of Center staff, faculty and community partners. The Director will interface with external constituencies including community residents, political leaders, and the staff of public, community-based and other not-for-profit organizations.


  • An MPH, PhD, DrPH with a focus on health inequalities and the health of marginalized populations. Other degrees will be considered (e.g., sociology, social work, political science, or public policy) if the candidate can demonstrate a strong understanding of public health principles.
  • Five or more years of experience in developing,implementing, and evaluating new programs
  • Five or more years of experience in conducting community-based participatory work
  • Demonstrated success in managing complex, multi-faceted projects
  • Demonstrated ability to generate funding from government agencies and the private sector
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across disciplines

For more information, contact:

Beth Baldino
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct 828-505-8390
Toll free 800-901-8575 ext. 104

Carrie Coward
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct 828-669-3850
Toll free 800-901-8575 ext. 101


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