Council of State Governments
  • 20-Nov-2018 to 19-Dec-2019 (EST)
  • Justice Center
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full Time


The Division Director for Behavioral Health is responsible for leading Justice Center programs and policy efforts designed to improve outcomes for people with mental illness and substance use disorders in the criminal justice system, including by reducing law enforcement contacts and rates of incarceration and by strengthening their connection to community-based care and services. This division is responsible for some of our signature successes: the landmark Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project and accompanying report; providing training and technical assistance to over 450 federal Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grantees in 49 states and territories and the District of Columbia since 2006; enlisting judicial leadership to improve court responses to people with mental illnesses; improving law enforcement agency responses to people with mental health needs;  and co-developing and leading (with the National Association of Counties and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation) the Stepping Up campaign, through which over 450 counties have now committed to reduce the numbers of individuals with mental illnesses in their jails.

This individual will have the ability to shape and direct the next phases of these initiatives, as well as our work around the opioid crisis, courts and competency to stand trial, and supportive housing. Moreover, this individual will be encouraged and expected to develop new initiatives for the division.



  • Help shape and articulate the division's long-range strategic direction and short-term priorities;
  • Identify the best strategies and tactics to accomplish the division's priorities and advance the field;
  • Ensure that division programming is focused on evidence, impact and results;
  • Ensure that programming is responsive to all of those who have been impacted by crime and the criminal justice system, including victims and individuals who have been incarcerated, and their family members and children;
  • Ensure that programming is responsive to those who suffer from mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders;
  • Ensure that the work of the division, is truly national in scope, working across race, class, ethnic and geographic boundaries;
  • Stay abreast of emerging trends within the division's policy areas;
  • Convene forums, encourage dialogue and commission research that frames and explores new critical issues relevant to the division; build consensus and support relating to those issues both within and outside of the CSG Justice Center;
  • Maintain strong relationships with our federal government partners, foundation funders, board members, consultants, and partner organizations and cultivate new relationships with these groups;
  • Fundraise to support the efforts of the division;
  • Further effective communication about the division and the CSG Justice Center, both facilitating the involvement of the division's varied constituencies with the media and personally serving as a spokesperson;
  • Communicate effectively internally; encourage cooperation and cross-fertilization between divisions within the CSG Justice Center; and
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion within the CSG Justice Center.


Operational responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervising a team of managers, policy staff and training and technical assistance providers, providing oversight and advice on program planning, project development, program management, compliance with grant requirements/obligations (including project timetables), personnel issues, meeting planning, budget development, and fundraising;
  • Participating in senior management meetings related to activities across the CSG Justice Center;
  • Motivating and maintaining a high-performance team by working with other senior staff to recruit new staff as appropriate, ensure effective training/development of current and new staff, and evaluating staff performance;
  • Coordinating with state initiatives and corrections and reentry divisions to develop and advance cross-divisional initiatives and projects;
  • Working with the communications and government affairs staff to advance the division's prerogatives with government partners and in the press; and
  • Represent the division (or particular projects within the division) in public presentations.



Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.



  • Strong leadership and people management skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire a team and to attract and develop talent;
  • Organizational savvy and a demonstrated ability to operationalize complex and competing priorities;
  • Superior research, writing, and editing skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills and knowledge of current trends, principal theories, leading thinkers, and major concerns in the criminal justice and behavioral health fields;
  • Strong oral communication skills, including the ability to effectively present complex information in a concise way to audiences of diverse backgrounds, levels of prior knowledge about criminal justice and health issues and political orientations;
  • Demonstrated success working in the policy arena in policy formulation, analysis, advocacy, and/or research;
  • Demonstrated success designing new projects and securing funding for them;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including maturity, keen judgment, and self-confidence, with a sense of humor and ability to maintain balance and perspective;
  • Ability to work with (and find consensus among) people from a wide array of backgrounds and perspectives, as well as an appreciation for the need to address issues in nonpartisan and non-polarizing ways;
  • Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and confidently; and
  • Willingness to travel an average of four to six days per month; a willingness to spend significant time in both the NY and DC offices.



  • Significant relevant work experience in behavioral health and/or criminal justice policy and practice;
  • Work in or with state or county systems and understanding of behavioral health service delivery systems;
  • Experience designing or delivering training and/or technical assistance;
  • Experience managing staff and budgets, preferably in a nonprofit/government organization;
  • Experience generating financial support, particularly from the federal government or private foundations; and
  • Experience interacting with the media and with officials in state and federal government.



A college degree is required, and a graduate degree in a related field, such as law, medicine, psychiatry, or public policy is preferred.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Frequently communicates with internal and external coworkers and constituents
  • Frequently operates a computer
  • Frequently remains in a stationary position to perform desk duties
  • Frequently works in a well lit, tempered room
  • Occasionally moves throughout office to communicate to coworkers
  • Seldom transports objects, such as files or paper boxes, with weight up to 25 pounds



Interested individuals should upload the following elements (in PDF format):

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. One or two writing samples (preferable no more than three pages)
  4. Names and contact information for references (at least three)


Incomplete applications will not be considered.


CSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer (Females/Minorities/Veterans/Disabled)

CSG participates in E-Verify

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