President and Chief Executive Officer

President and Chief Executive Officer

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Los Angeles, CA   |   January 8, 2020

The Opportunity

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (“Didi Hirsch” or the “Agency”), a growing leader and voice in the national mental health sector, seeks a visionary and innovative executive to build on the organization’s 75 years of impact and success. This individual will succeed a long-time and incredibly effective leader, Kita Curry, who has devoted the last 21 years to the organization.

As we look to a dynamic future, this is an exciting opportunity for a transformative leader in the field of mental health/human services to leverage Didi Hirsch’s history of prominence in meeting strong outcomes for clients and community alike. This leader will build on Didi Hirsch’s national thought leadership and exceptional direct services to more than 127,000 annual clients throughout 10 locations and 100 schools in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Didi Hirsch was the first community-based mental health outpatient clinic in Los Angeles and one of the original agencies to be federally designated as a Community Mental Health Center. Today, it is a leading provider of mental health, substance use disorder, and suicide prevention services. It has a staff of over 550, volunteers who provided 22,087 hours of service, and a current budget of over $52 million.

Guided by a deep track record as a proven leader in the mental health community, the next President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Didi Hirsch will be the chief visionary, spokesperson, and fundraiser, while providing oversight to the management and daily operations across the organization’s 10 sites. The CEO will bring exceptional leadership and strategic abilities, strong understanding of the mental health/human services sector, and a deep sense of respect for transforming lives by providing quality services where stigma or poverty limits access. This inspiring leader will have had senior-level experience and will have demonstrated entrepreneurial and visioning capacity, combined with business skills and political acumen. As an accomplished manager, the CEO will skillfully manage and leverage the abilities of both the staff and Board of Directors.

About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services


The Agency was named after Didi Lazare Hirsch in the early 1970’s and has stood the test of time. With an MSW she was interested in supporting “the mind as well as the heart.”  As a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Psychiatric Services, she and her husband, Kingdon, helped create a new headquarters when the agency had the opportunity to become a federally designated Community Mental Health Center. The couple’s legacy of philanthropy has continued multi-generationally through their children, former U.S. Ambassador Nancy Hirsch Rubin, *Peggy Schulhof, Patrice Hirsch Feinstein, and David Hirsch who remain involved in Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services which now serves thousands of low-income families throughout Southern California and is home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center. *(Deceased)


In the 21st Century, Didi Hirsch has continued to build for the future despite the nation’s economic volatility. Support from major foundations has enabled the Agency to purchase and renovate four of its facilities: Jump Street, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Center, Glendale Center, and The Suicide Prevention Center. The Mental Health Services Act, adopted by the California electorate in 2004, has also increased the revenue opportunities for the Agency. Building on this history of access and community-based care, the organization today is guided by the following core values:

Accessible: We offer services at our centers and in neighborhood settings that are welcoming, culturally respectful, and responsive to underserved communities.

Comprehensive: We provide a continuum of prevention, early intervention, and treatment services for individuals, families, and the community.

Collaborative: We partner with clients, families, and community groups to set goals, identify priorities, and evaluate results.

Innovative: We train staff and future professionals to use state-of-the-art principles in a culture of learning and team excellence.

Accountable: We produce measurable clinical and fiscal outcomes, seek opportunities for growth, and evolve as needs change to ensure our long-term viability and value.

Committed: We are dedicated to erasing the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and substance use and advocating for access to care.


With more than 75 years of experience, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing quality mental health, substance use disorder, and suicide prevention services in communities where stigma or poverty limit access. Didi Hirsch has a commitment to innovation, teaching, and data-driven work. Both operational staff and health care delivery staff are committed to this work environment. This culture has informed its key programs and client services:

  • Home, Community, and School-Based Treatment
  • Crisis Residential Treatment, short-term treatment for adults with acute mental health issues
  • Outpatient Treatment for Children and Adults
  • Family-Focused Treatment
  • Integrated Health Care, whole person approach to treatment
  • Suicide Prevention Center
  • Housing Services
  • Birth to 5 program treating young children who have suffered trauma, abuse, neglect or other issues, with the goal of preventing problems from surfacing later in life
  • Support groups for people who have lost someone to suicide or attempted suicide
  • Disaster Distress Helpline
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment
  • Wellness Centers
  • Training and Research
  • Education and Advocacy

The Agency has a trajectory of achieving growth every year and served over 127,000 adults and children in 10 sites and nearly 100 schools last year.

The Suicide Prevention Center’s 24/7 English/Spanish Crisis Line receives over 100,000 calls, chats, and texts annually.

Didi Hirsch had the following client demographics in 2018:

The organization values its employee and client data and uses this data to help guide future decisions and priorities. This data-centric mindset is central to the organization. In particular, Didi Hirsch prides itself in the high-quality client outcomes that clients report:

93% of clients were satisfied with the services they received.

75% of crisis residential clients found temporary or permanent housing at discharge.

98% of integrated care clients reported that both their physical and mental health needs were met. 


Didi Hirsch’s landmark Suicide Prevention Center (“SPC”), now located in a new state-of- the-art facility (as of early 2019) is based in Los Angeles, near Century City. The Center was founded in 1958 as the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center, becoming a model for similar centers around the globe. No other center in the nation offers such a comprehensive array of crisis services, therapy, support, and training to such a large number of people. The SPC’s 24/7 English/Spanish Crisis Line receives over 100,000 calls, chats, and texts annually and trains a cadre of volunteers required to complete over 80 hours of rigorous training to help address the needs of individuals who contact the SPC. The organization also participates in cutting-edge research that is transforming the field and saving lives. The next CEO will recognize and leverage SPC’s full potential and identify ways to expand on the impact of SPC as a key player in the global mental health and suicide prevention community. 


The next CEO will work with the Board to examine, advance, and strengthen the current strategic plan in a manner consistent with the organization’s values, without sacrificing the strong client outcomes that are central to the organization’s culture. The CEO will make necessary changes to the plan to ensure there is alignment between the CEO’s vision and expectations from the various stakeholders including the Board, staff, funders, and others.   Currently, the strategic plan outlines five priorities:

Goal One: Maximize financial strength in order to sustain current programs and capitalize on future opportunities. Develop a major donor program and complete the Capital Campaign for the Suicide Prevention Center.

Goal Two: Provide transformative care that addresses gaps and disparities in services. Improve client outcomes, expand the system of care, provide trauma informed services across the lifespan, and lead the nation in Suicide Prevention.

Goal Three: Foster a culture that uses cutting-edge technology and data-driven decision-making to drive quality improvement. Be a leader in practice-based research, enhance client care and access, and enhance employee efficiency through the use of technology.

Goal Four: Increase visibility as a leader in treatment, training, advocacy, and erasing stigma. Use community outreach and media to elevate the profile of the Agency.

Goal Five: Create an environment that makes Didi Hirsch an employer of choice. Use best practices in the recruitment, hiring, and training of staff, maintain a stable, satisfied workforce, and maintain a culture where employees embrace the Agency’s mission and take pride in their contributions.

For more information on Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, please visit

Core Competencies

The next CEO will be a seasoned and passionate advocate in the mental health sector, with a track record of achievement in previous executive leadership roles. This human services/mental health professional will have extensive business acumen and the experience necessary to lead an operationally complex healthcare delivery organization. The ideal candidate will have a high level of comfort taking measured and strategic risks with the proven experience leading an organization through transition, adapting to various changes and needs in the field and region.

This individual will have the executive presence, gravitas, and credibility needed to lead and to grow a $52M organization with over 550 staff. With savvy fundraising capabilities, this leader will be instrumental in identifying new and innovative ways to raise the remaining $4M of Didi Hirsch’s current $20M Capital Campaign. The person will be highly knowledgeable of trends in the healthcare field such as funding patterns, reimbursement changes and models, and ways to offer a continuum of care in an effective manner.

The ideal candidate will have experience leading effective, high-performing teams with an entrepreneurial outlook and a strategic programmatic vision. This experience could involve direct experience as a leader of a mental health enterprise or as a business leader who has served on a Board of a comparably sized mental health or human services agency with passion and energy. While a background as a clinician is not required, successful candidates will have a significant and personal commitment to raising awareness of mental illness, and to educate the public, fight stigma, and provide support.

Ideal candidates will have the following professional competencies and personal characteristics:

Visible Mental Health Thought Leader and Expert: The CEO will bring relevant leadership experiences and/or possess the capacity to lead the staff internally with vigor and passion and to promote the Agency externally. This leader will have the gravitas and persona to be a national expert and persuasive voice on all issues relating to the global mental health crisis and suicide prevention. In particular, this new CEO in partnership with marketing and communications team members will architect a media strategy plan that consistently promotes Didi Hirsch ensuring it is viewed as the ‘go-to’ resource locally and nationally for all mental health and suicide prevention issues. The person will be comfortable as a media representative and external spokesperson for the organization and will use other staff and Board members to speak about Didi Hirsch’s work in the community to erase the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. This person will lead with a genuine connection to and passion for mental health advocacy and have keen political skills.

Visionary and Strategic Leader: The CEO will, with the Board of Directors and staff, set and articulate an ambitious and inspiring vision for the next chapter of Didi Hirsch and can effectively leverage its history, assets, and distinct programs to make a greater impact. The CEO will be a strategic and results-oriented leader, with experience articulating and implementing a strategic plan. This person will come in prepared to assess the organization and identify key opportunities for growth and increased impact. This leader will use data to inform and to evaluate these decisions and will envision new opportunities to use metrics for accountability and growth within the organization. This strategic leader will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities for Didi Hirsch, while still maintaining the Agency’s sterling reputation as a high-quality healthcare delivery organization. This person will inspire the staff, Board of Directors, and volunteer community at Didi Hirsch to continue to be innovative leaders in the mental health sector.

Fundraising Acumen: The CEO will have a measurable track record of success in and genuine enthusiasm for development, and the expertise and mindset to build strong relationships with current and potential donors and the Board. This leader will have demonstrated expertise with various fundraising and communications channels, and the ability to inspire and engage all of Didi Hirsch’s constituents, including foundations, individual donors, community leaders, and other supporters. This confident executive will bring a network of potential institutional and individual donors and the desire to develop and nurture new relationships with local, statewide, and national funders. The CEO will be a flexible, self-motivated team player who will offer insight as appropriate to the Board of Directors in identifying and devising development strategies for Didi Hirsch in order to diversify and strengthen its resource base.

Entrepreneurial and Business Savvy: The CEO will have a strong business sense and a thorough understanding of operations and finance. This executive will strategically prioritize resources and identify key programmatic areas that Didi Hirsch can expand, monetize, and promote throughout the international mental health community to diversify funding, inspire growth, increase visibility, and substantially improve sustainability for the organization. This person will work with the internal finance and accounting staff to create efficiencies where possible, while expanding the revenue opportunities for the organization.

The CEO will ensure that sound financial management practices and accountability are maintained across the organization. This financially confident leader will have a sophisticated understanding of the complex local, state, and national funding mechanisms that Didi Hirsch relies on, with a particular understanding of California’s Department of Healthcare Services. The CEO will bring technological vision and savvy to Didi Hirsch, with an understanding of how to utilize new and existing technologies to increase impact.

Organization Leadership and Management: The CEO will have strong operational experience to continually improve Didi Hirsch’s outcomes and programs. This executive will understand and implement best-in-class healthcare nonprofit management practices, ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are streamlined and aligned with strategic goals. The CEO will oversee an executive team of six direct reports: Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations, the Chief Financial Officer, the Vice President of Quality and Innovation, the Vice President of Development, the Medical Director, and the Vice President of Human Resources. This person will indirectly support a senior leadership team of about 20, and an overall staff of over 550 individuals, in addition to a core volunteer base. This natural leader will understand the strengths of the leadership team and staff and will deploy them effectively to meet organizational goals.

The CEO will have an inspiring, collaborative, and inclusive leadership style with a successful track record of creating high performing work environments. The CEO will excel at building teams, and have demonstrated success in attracting, managing, and retaining top-tier staff. This individual will be a strong manager who trusts staff and holds people accountable, with the demonstrated ability to provide clear expectations and standards, while simultaneously encouraging innovation and initiative.

Exceptional Communication and Relationship Building Skills: The CEO will be a high-energy, charismatic leader with the communications experience and confidence to serve as the public face of Didi Hirsch. The CEO will have the ability and sophistication to inspire trust and confidence with a diverse range of stakeholders, including staff, donors, the Board, partner organizations, and clients. The CEO will be immersed in the mental health field and will be seen as an authentic leader in the mental health community. In particular, the CEO will have the ability to work with an engaged and highly accomplished Board.

The CEO will also be responsible for maintaining and enhancing many of the Agency’s relationships with government funders such as Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, the California Department of Healthcare Services, elected and appointed officials, and foundation executives. In addition, the CEO will identify opportunities for strategic partnerships and collaborations with national organizations. This leader be able to thoughtfully and strategically articulate Didi Hirsch’s value-add in a way that resonates not only with current stakeholders, but with those outside the organization’s usual base of supporters. This leader will connect with people’s heads and hearts, providing a compelling narrative for Didi Hirsch that will resonate with diverse audiences.


Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Andrew Wheeler, Managing Directors supported by Medelene Beasley with Koya. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or email Michelle and Andrew at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Andrew Wheeler
Managing Director

Medelene Beasley
Vice President

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, religious belief (including dress or grooming practices), color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions (including breast feeding), age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identification and expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics, family care, marital status, status as a veteran or qualified disabled veteran, or any other classification protected by law.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit