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Associate Director, Center of Excellence on the Social Determinants of Mental Health

Chicago, Illinois
Deadline December 15, 2011

The Adler School of Professional Psychology

The 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.  Program offerings include an APA-accredited clinical psychology program and five Master’s Degree programs at its Chicago location and a Master of Arts in Counseling at its Vancouver location. The Adler School is committed to continuing the pioneering work of the first community psychologist Alfred Adler. The School graduates socially responsible practitioners, engages in communities, and advances social justice.  

Institute on Social Exclusion

The Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE) is one of the Institutes for Social Change at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. 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. We pursue our mission through three areas of activities:

  • Applied Research to identify the structural origins of social disadvantage and inform structural approaches to change
  • Public Awareness to increase public understanding of how disadvantage is structured and why structural interventions are imperative
  • Community Outreach to address community-identified needs

In 2012, the ISE will launch a new Center of Excellence on the Social Determinants of Mental Health (Center). We are looking for an Associate Director for the new Center.

Center Vision: We aim to be a national center of excellence for the generation and dissemination of knowledge about the influence of social conditions on public mental health, especially as it relates to disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

Mission:  Our mission is to engage in action-oriented, community-informed scholarship that expands the frontiers of knowledge necessary to develop strategies and tactics that eliminate mental health inequalities.  Our approach is marked by two important features. First, we work through mutually beneficial and respectful partnerships with communities, government entities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Second, we work in transdisciplinary teams that tap the knowledge, frameworks, approaches, methods, tools, and languages of both professionals and the lay public.


  • 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 building for addressing the social conditions that impact mental health
  • Bridge the gulf between public health and mental health
  • Advance the integration mental health considerations into the practice of Health Impact Assessment

Center activities will include:

  • Development and refinement of the Mental Health Impact Assessment
  • Technical Assistance
  • Training/Education
  • Research
  • Evaluation
  • Advocacy
  • Curriculum development
  • Outreach and Public Awareness
  • Resource Center

Position Summary

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

Major Responsibilities

Fundraising (i.e., government and private foundation grants; private donations)
Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the relevant fields of practice - both in the United States and globally
Maintain a working knowledge of current events and issues that impact marginalized and excluded populations - both in the United States and globally
Concept development
Program development, implementation, and evaluation
Research and publications


  • The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following qualities:
  • Visionary thought-leadership
  • The ability to develop and implement innovative programming
  • The ability to raise public and private funding to launch and sustain the Center
  • Commitment to improving the health outcomes of marginalized populations
  • Skill in developing relationships with government agencies, community groups and not-for-profit organizations;
  • Excellent analytic skills (e.g., qualitative and quantitative research skills);
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • Familiarity with legislative and policymaking processes
  • Capacity to solve problems


The ideal candidate will have:

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

Application Process: Please send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and sample publications to by December 15, 2011. Please write “Associate Director” in the subject line.
[Source: SDOH-L,]