Job Opportunity with the STAR Center

Project Director - STAR Center

Closing Date: August 20, 2013

Location: Arlington, VA

Employment Type: Full-Time


NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with mental illness and their families. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and

We currently have an opening for a Project Director of the STAR Center. The STAR Center is funded by a grant from the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides support, technical assistance and resources to assist consumer-operated and consumer-supporter programs in meeting the needs of under-served populations. Specifically, the STAR Center's focus areas are cultural competence and diversity in the context of mental health recovery and consumer self-help and self-empowerment. In addition to serving as a national technical assistance center, the following regions have been designated as STAR Center focus regions/states:  Washington DC, Rhode Island, New Mexico and Puerto Rico.  

NAMI seeks a highly able leader with demonstrated experience in assisting consumer-operated and consumer-supporter programs in meeting the needs of under-served populations. An ideal candidate will have personal experience with mental illness, combine substantive expertise in consumer/peer-run program approaches and related issues, including cultural competence and recovery-oriented self-help and empowerment program development with strong managerial skills, federal grant management experience and a passion for NAMI's mission. 

The Project Director has responsibility for the overall design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of grant activities consistent with NAMI's mission and SAMHSA requirements.

Location:  NAMI Headquarters, Arlington, Virginia

Travel:  Travel Required

Reports To:  Chief Operating Officer 

*This position is grant-funded.

Essential Functions:  

  • Oversees program activities, ensuring integration and alignment with NAMI and grant goals and objectives
  • Ensures full compliance with the terms of the CMHS National Consumer & Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Centers grant and SAMHSA grant requirements, including oversight of grant allocations, reporting and annual renewal processes 
  • Designs, oversees, documents and evaluates project activities  
  • Develops and disseminates one-on-one and group support, technical assistance and resource to assist consumer-operated and consumer-supporter programs in meeting the needs of under-served populations  
  • Contributes to the formation, interpretation and promotion of policies related to improving mental health service delivery and disseminates tools, resources and information in support of this focus 
  • Coordinates, presents and participates in meetings and conferences, representing the Center for Mental Health Services' National Consumer and Consumer-Supporter Technical Assistance Centers (NCCS-TAC) and NAMI 
  • Works with consumers, cooperating services providers/ agencies and various stakeholders to improve policies and strategies in support of best practices and standards that help promote recovery and full integration of people with psychiatric disabilities in the community  
  • Supervises project staff.  

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • Minimum of seven to ten years working in mental health field serving in a supervisory or leadership capacity
  • Leadership of, or active engagement in, consumer programs, in cultural outreach and self-help adaptation, employment and training, community integration/ participation, political advocacy, and work with underserved populations
  • Strong history of accountability in grant oversight
  • Demonstrated history of strong program, budget and resource management
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Research/programming experience in consumer self-help and empowerment
  • Experience in policy analysis and presenting to policy makers and mental health stakeholders
  • Sensitivity to the variety of issues affecting people living with mental illness
  • High degree of flexibility, leadership and interpersonal skills. 

Desired Qualifications:  

  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Previous experience with grant management
  • Personal experience with mental illness.  


  • Bachelor's Degree, or equivalent experience, in psychology, public policy, organizational management or related field.

Must pass background check.