County of Santa Barbara


To view the full recruitment announcement go to:

As Director of Alcohol Drug and Mental Health (ADMHS) for Santa Barbara County, your vision, leadership, passion, and dedication will lead our Department’s services and systems changes to best serve our community. We are seeking a health services professional who is a proven leader and has expertise regarding the complexities of behavioral health services, multi-million dollar budget oversight experience and associated programmatic financing acuity.

THE COUNTY Santa Barbara County government is a service-oriented organization with an approximate $903 million budget, 20 departments, and a workforce of approximately 4,000 employees dedicated to providing quality services to a diverse population of 425,000. The County is governed by an elected five-member Board of Supervisors which appoints the County Executive Officer (CEO). The Sheriff, District Attorney, Auditor-Controller, Treasurer/Tax Collector and Clerk-Recorder-Assessor are also elected with the majority of the department heads appointed by the CEO. The region is one of the most beautiful areas in California. The County covers 2,737 square miles, one-third of which is located in the Los Padres National Forest. Bordered on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, the County has 110 miles of coastline. The County is well-known for its mild climate, picturesque coastline, scenic mountains and numerous parks and beaches. It has four distinct areas: Santa Barbara Coast, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Lompoc Valley. Together these areas contribute to the unique profile of the County, blending the characteristics of each area into one world-class county and a great place to work, live and play.

THE DEPARTMENT: ADMHS has been focused on systems change efforts for the past two years and the incumbent will join us at an exciting time of change and improvement. Our goal is to ensure sufficient capacity at all levels of care along the continuum and seamless and coordinated transitions. Our broad strategy is to strengthen prevention, early intervention, and outpatient programs. We orient services that will focus on:

  • being more welcoming,
  • inclusive,
  • transparent,
  • accountable,
  • responsive,
  • recovery oriented,
  • trauma-sensitive,
  • culturally competent,
  • integrated,
  • co-occurring and complexity competent, and
  • fiscally responsible.

Joining Santa Barbara County is an opportunity to make a difference in how mental health services are delivered in our County and become a model for statewide best practices.

ADMHS’ mission is to promote the prevention of and recovery from addiction and mental illness among individuals, families, and communities by providing effective leadership and delivering state‐of‐the‐art, evidence-based and culturally competent services. Annually, ADMHS provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to approximately 7,600 mentally-ill clients and 4,500 clients with substance use disorders. The Department currently employs 281 FTE and has secured approval to expand this number to 409 FTE by the end of FY 14-15. The Department also contracts with approximately 23 community based providers.

THE POSITIONThe ADMHS Director is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and is under the general direction of the Board with a reporting relationship to the County Executive Officer (CEO). This position oversees an operating budget of $106.5 million, a capital budget of $324,000, five budget programs and five executive direct reports, and provides services in various locations throughout North and South County. The Department’s budget programs include: Administration and Support, Mental Health Inpatient Services and Mental Health Outpatient Services, Mental Health Community Services Programs, and Alcohol and Drug Programs. ADMHS provides services through a system of both community-based and County-operated services including:

  • Child and Adult Outpatient Clinics
  • Child and Adult Crisis Services
  • Inpatient services, including a 16 bed Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF)
  • Contracted Adult and Children’s services through community based organizations
  • Contracted inpatient acute and long-term psychiatric beds
  • Alcohol and Drug Programs, both internal and contracted

The Director works closely with state and federal officials, legislators, the County Executive Officer (CEO) and Assistant CEO, Board of Supervisors, Mental Health Commission, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board and other departments such as Public Health, Social Services and Probation. In addition, he/she plays a strategic and critical role in collaborating with our employees, nonprofit organizations, foundations, committees, community-based organizations, and the community-at-large to set local priorities and ensure a holistic, client-centered approach to programs and services and ensure our behavior health system upholds the adopted vision and guiding principles over time.

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE Our ideal candidate is an experienced organizational leader who is masterful at leveraging the technical expertise of internal and external resources and a proven professional with strong communication skills. The individual will also be politically astute, and have a track record of partnering, collaborating, building strong relationships, and embracing diversity. He/she will understand, value, validate, and build on the work that is already being done and continue to develop systems, partnerships, and our organizational vision to obtain our goals. With a passion for public service and a desire to serve those in need, the ADMHS Director will be dedicated to supporting the dignity of social, ethnic, and cultural values through collaborative assessment and delivery of services.

Ideal/Preferred background and credentials include: Knowledge, Experience, and Education:

  • An administrator with a master's degree in hospital administration, public health administration, or public administration, or closely related field from an accredited college or university, with at least three years of experience in hospital or health care administration, and considerable experience in the mental health field.
  • Other ideal licensure could include a California licensed: physician, psychologist, clinical social worker, MFT, or nurse.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience in a California county system is ideal, or executive/administrative capacity of comparable level in a state or federal agency; and experience with behavioral health programs, financing, mandates, laws, systems, regulations, and federal healthcare changes.
  • Foster and achieve a work environment where employees are valued for their knowledge and expertise. 

HOW TO APPLY Apply by August 13, 2014 for first consideration and submit cover letter and resume by completing a County of Santa Barbara application (required) at

Please contact Wendi Brown with any questions:

  • 541-858-0376 (direct)
  • 866-929-WBCP (toll free)

You can also send resume and cover to to Wendi Brown at:

  • Email to:, or
  • Fax to: 866-224-1423

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