County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, Executive Director
Kirsten Barlow, MSW, began serving as Executive Director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) of California in October 2015. Over the past year, Kirsten has worked as Executive Officer of the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders, a position to which she was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. The Council on Mentally Ill Offenders develops strategies for keeping youth and adults with mental illness out of the criminal justice system.
Between 2009 and 2014, Kirsten was Associate Director at CBHDA, where she directed the Association’s legislative and budget advocacy efforts. Prior positions included serving as public information officer at the California Department of Mental Health, legislative advocate and information officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and Principal Consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Human Services under the leadership of former Assemblywoman Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley). Kirsten earned her Masters of Social Welfare degree in management and planning from the University of California – Berkeley and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Kirsten and her husband Ian live in Sacramento, CA, where they are raising their two sons, Myles and Bennett.