Accepting Applications for Leadership Institutes
Fall/Winter 2017 and Spring/Summer 2018

“Insuring Excellence While Leading Through Change”


The Leadership Institute is a leadership development program designed to help good behavioral health leaders become great leaders in the field of public behavioral health care. Over the past 16 years, the Institute has trained close to 500 California leaders. Faculty staff includes national and local experts from a range of leadership disciplines. All have been selected for their knowledge of, and experience in, multiple aspects of leadership, both within and outside of public behavioral health systems. Faculty selection is informed by rigorous evaluations, completed by staff and participants, that rate presenter on content relevance, depth of knowledge, and learning experience. 

More than ever, today’s behavioral health leaders must possess the skills and self-awareness that enables them to imagine, influence, and support system quality amid continuous change. They must ensure high-quality service, customer experience, and better outcomes while lowering inefficiencies and cost. They must be committed to mitigating adverse social determinants of health and to reducing health disparities; to listening to their customers and their communities; and to discovering and implementing new practices that better respond to customer needs. All this, while responding to changes in payment structures, local demands; and while attracting and retaining high-quality staff and promoting a healthy work environment. 

The Leadership Institute offers behavioral health leaders the opportunity to discover and expand their leadership strengths; to learn and explore new skills with their peers; and to learn from great teachers. This unique learning experience is offered in collaboration with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solution, the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and the California Behavioral Health Directors Association. 


California County Mental Health/Behavioral Health Directors, County Substance Use Disorder Services Administrators, Deputy Directors, those who are preparing to assume executive level leadership roles such as deputy level or director level positions, as well as Executive Directors/executive level leaders of community-based, non-profit agencies that provide public mental health or substance use disorder services.

The participation of leaders/emerging leaders reflecting the diversity of our communities as well as with lived experience as mental health clients/persons in recovery, parents or family members is strongly encouraged.

Your application must include a recommendation from your Behavioral Health/Mental Health Director, Substance Use Disorders/AOD Director, or Agency Executive Director. County Behavioral Health/Mental Health Departments are encouraged to share this application with their CBO partners and to encourage and support the participation of partner leaders.

For more information, Download LI Application - Fillable PDF

Application cut-off date for the Fall 2017 Institute is September 11, 2017. Application cut-off date for Spring 2018 Institute is February 5, 2018.

NOTE: Although you may complete the application in your browser, we recommend that you open and save the fillable PDF to your desktop, and complete it.


Please contact (916) 379-5317 or for logistics or Nancy Pena at (408) 605-0631 or for program concerns.