David L. Shern, PhD

From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Shern served as the President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA), formerly the National Mental Health Association, and on an interim basis in 2014 following the departure of his successor. MHA is the country’s oldest advocacy organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness.


After leaving MHA, Shern joined the staff of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors as a Senior Public Health Advisor. He also has an appointment in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins.


Prior to joining MHA, Dr. Shern served as dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida, one of the largest research and training institutes in behavioral health services in the United States. His work has spanned a variety of mental health services research topics including serving street dwelling individuals with SMI; epidemiological studies of the need for community services; the effects of differing organizational, financing, and service delivery strategies on continuity of care and client outcome, and the use of alternative service delivery strategies such as peer counseling and self-help on the outcomes of care.