Administrator - Director of Behavioral Health Services and Mental Health SF Job at San Francisco, San Francisco County, California

Administrator - Director of Behavioral Health Services and Mental Health SF

City and County of San Francisco , California

Job Information 


Public Health

Executive Level


$236,574.00 - $301,964.00 Annually

Application Deadline 


No Application Deadline

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


Department of Public Health

The City and County of San Francisco’s (City) Department of Public Health (DPH) is the largest City Department, with an annual operating budget of $2.4 billion. DPH employs over 8,000 people and contracts for more than $400 million in community-based services. As an integrated health department, DPH has two major Divisions, the San Francisco Health Network and the Public Health Division, to fulfill its mission of protecting and promoting the health of all San Franciscans. For more information, please visit

Behavioral Health Services 

This network consists of a delivery system of a civil service staff of 600, a Private Provider Network of approximately 250 individual providers, and 200 community-based programs operated by non-profit partners.  This includes services provided at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, San Francisco Health Network Primary Care and Behavioral Health Centers, Jail Health Services, behavioral health residential treatment facilities, and contracted programs. The overall budget is approximately $450 million.

The Position

The 1166 Administrator, DPH - Director of Behavioral Health Services and Mental Health SF (The Director) provides vision, strategic direction, and administrative leadership for addressing mental health and substance use disorders for people in San Francisco.  This new role requires visionary leadership, bold ideas, courage to innovate, subject matter expertise, a commitment to health equity, and an ability to bring people together to achieve success. San Francisco is experiencing a “Behavioral Health Moment” where the public, policymakers, providers, and others are focused on realizing a new and improved approach to behavioral health in the City. The Director will play a major and integral role towards this vision. In keeping with DPH's prominent role in addressing the HIV epidemic, increasing health care coverage through Healthy San Francisco, and implementing the Affordable Care Act, mobilizing a City-wide response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we now must transform the City's behavioral health system. The Director will lead this new era.  

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned leader with extensive background in leading major behavioral health initiatives and/or systems. The Director leads an executive team charged with planning and oversight of the county’s extensive behavioral health strategy, policy, and services, as well as implementation of Mental Health SF; manages responsibility for the county’s Mental Health Plan, Mental Health Service Act, Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System, and general fund allocation; and manages responsibility for the Office of Care Coordination, utilization management, and service quality, including contractual and regulatory oversight over a wide array of civil service and community-based organizations providing full spectrum mental health and substance use disorder services; coordinates behavioral health services across the City to ensure quality care, appropriate use of resources, collaboration and evidence-based practices; and directs a network of behavioral health services for children, youth, families, transitional age youth, adults, older adults and criminal justice involved youth and adults.

Under administrative direction of the Director of Health and the Director of the San Francisco Health Network, the 1166 Administrator, DPH - Director of Behavioral Health Services and Mental Health SF leads behavioral health strategy, policy, investments, oversight, and delivery systems across the Department and with key partners across the San Francisco community, and performs the following: 

  • Provides executive leadership and vision for the overall strategy, policy, and performance of the city’s behavioral health system through the development of annual objectives, outcomes, and long-term goals that are in alignment with the safety net mission and community-based care philosophy, and grounded in the principles of health equity, trauma-informed systems, cultural humility, racial equity evidence-based practice, and continuous quality improvement;
  • Oversees the implementation and budget of Mental Health SF, as well as the implementation of the Office of Coordinated Care, the Working Group, and other policy and administrative functions; ensures implementation and compliance with Mental Health SF, the Mental Health Plan, and Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System for all Medi-Cal beneficiaries in San Francisco;
  • Inspires, leads, manages, mentors, and develops behavioral health expertise across the Department;
  • Coordinates and collaborates with Managed Care Plans and other service providers to ensure smooth transitions across the continuum of health care, including placements from locked units to board and care to transition to housing;
  • Oversees all systems of care for behavioral health and substance use disorder across the Department;
  • Provides direction in assessing and addressing the dynamic and evolving behavioral health needs of the San Francisco population, with a key focus on the overlap between homelessness and behavioral health, a key focus of Mental Health SF; supports ongoing evaluation and improvement of existing programs, as well as strategic planning around the development of innovative initiatives, and data-driven decisions regarding the overall allocation of behavioral health resources to promote effective treatment;
  • Manages and coordinates the annual budget development process; directs ongoing expenditure analysis and revenue monitoring; oversees contractual relationships with community-based organizations, and developing revenue models;
  • Establishes policies, procedures, and standards for the behavioral health system; 
  • Works closely, on a regular basis, with executive-level DPH staff regarding behavioral health priorities and activities as needed;
  • Attends San Francisco’s Behavioral Health Commission meetings and meets routinely with the Behavioral Health Board Chairpersons; represents DPH before legislative boards, community agencies, governing bodies, regulatory agencies, and the Mayor’s Office;
  • Assures compliance with local ordinances and state and federal regulations;
  • Responds to local, state, and federal legislative issues impacting behavioral health services;
  • Provides expertise, consultation, and guidance on behavioral health issues to boards and commissions including but not limited to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Office of the Mayor, Behavioral Health Commission, Health Commission, the Unified School District, and the Police Commission, as well as to representatives from local, state and federal governments;
  • Works with key leaders across SFDPH, other City Departments, elected officials, and community stakeholders throughout the City to set behavioral health policy and priorities, including, but not limited to law enforcement agencies, Superior Court, Office of the District Attorney, Office of the Public Defender, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, Human Services Aging, Department of Aging and Adult Services, Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, and other key partners – to ensure behavioral health needs are appropriately addressed in all settings;
  • Develops strategy, policy, and oversight of innovative initiatives such as Assisted Outpatient Treatment, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, Mental Health Diversion, and community-based conservatorships;
  • Establishes effective working relationships with members of the community, local, state and federal agencies, and the media;
  • Collaborates actively with healthcare leaders across DPH and the City; and 
  • Ensures that behavioral health transformation is in alignment with Statewide MediCal changes and payment reform, including improved access to alternate care models, integration of services and a focus on the whole person.


The 1166 Administrator, DPH - Director of Behavioral Health Services and Mental Health SF performs related duties as required.

Compensation and Benefits
The normal annual salary range is $236,574 – $301,964. Appointment above the maximum of the normal range may be considered based on documented and substantiated recruitment and retention issues or exceptional skills. A special approval process is necessary for appointment above the normal salary range. For additional information about the City's benefits package, please visit: Municipal Executives' Association Benefit Summary

Other outstanding benefits offered with this position include:

  • Medical, Dental, and Life Insurance; Long-term Disability Plan; Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Municipal Executives Flexible Credits Defined Retirement Plan
  • Deferred Compensation; and Social Security
  • Paid Management Training Program; Wellness Program
  • Vacation/Holiday/Sick Time; and Administrative Leave 

Appointment Type
Permanent Exempt.  In accordance with San Francisco Charter Section 10.104, exempt employees serve at the discretion of the appointing authority. 


Minimum Qualifications

  1. Possession of a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Hospital Administration, Nursing, Public Health Administration or a closely related field; AND
  2. Five (5) years of experience as an administrator of a large general teaching hospital OR five (5) years of complex health care administrative experience.

One (1) year of full-time employment is equivalent to 2,000 hours (2,000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a forty (40) hour work week). Any overtime hours that you work above forty (40) hours per week are not included in the calculation to determine full-time employment. Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

Desirable Qualifications
The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Knowledge of principles, practices, and techniques of strategy, policy, and program planning, as applied to behavioral systems.
  • Ability to envision and implement system-wide changes with demonstrable improvements in behavioral health outcomes.
  • Experience in behavioral health policy at the federal, state, or county level.
  • Knowledge of principles, practices and techniques of budgeting, health care reimbursement, managed care, and value-based care.
  • Knowledge of practices and strategies to address racial and cultural disparities in behavioral health, using principles of Trauma Informed Systems, cultural and racial humility, and Wellness and Recovery.
  • Knowledge of principles, practices, and techniques that ensure compliance with State and Federal regulations for Short Doyle billing, the Mental Health Services Act, and the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System.  
  • Understanding of criminal justice related policies and practices affecting patients with behavioral health disorders and public health’s role in preventing and reducing criminal justice involvement as well as addressing and treating the health consequences of incarceration on patients and their families.
  • Knowledge of principles, practices, and techniques of workforce development, labor practices, and employee relations.
  • Ability to identify, understand, and forecast how external issues (economic, political, social) may affect behavioral health systems, and direct policy and practice to respond to potential effects.
  • Experience managing government partnerships with community-based organizations and academic institutions.
  • Experience with multicultural clients and workforce in an urban setting.
  • Experience with strategies, policies, or services that effectively meet the needs of patients with behavioral health disorders, criminal justice involvement, and homelessness.
  • Experience with Electronic Health Record implementation, including at least two (2) years of experience working with an electronic medical record.
  • Experience working in a system which has implemented Quality Improvement principles and tools, using performance improvement tools such a Lean.
  • Solid understanding of the foundations of population health and how these relate to behavioral health needs and systems.
  • Familiarity with basic research principles and implementation research as they relate to behavioral health.
  • Clinical experience in a safety-net system of care.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

Verification of required education typically must be a photocopy of the degree or transcript from an accredited college or university.  

Verification of required work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of employment, hours per week, and signature of the employer, supervisor, or appropriate representative.  City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) employees do not need to submit verification of their City employment, but must submit written verification of outside experience. CCSF employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1/111A.11.2.     

Verification of required licensure/certification typically must be a photocopy of the license/certificate including the name of the issuing agency as well as the name of the license/certificate holder, license/certificate number, and expiration date.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

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