Division Director (DSAMH)

This position is exempt from the State of Delaware Merit System

Recruitment #083120-MUPA05-350600

Summary Statement

The Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) functions as a senior level administrator that reports to the Office of the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). Through the execution and management of an applied strategic vision, the Division Director is responsible for coordinating and implementing initiatives that sustain, foster and improve access, quality, and efficiencies within the State of Delaware’s Behavioral Health System.
The Division Director is directly responsible for clinical and administrative program development, fiscal administration of a $130+ million budget, procurement and contracts management,  licensure and certification, internal and external regulatory compliance, federal grant administration, operational management of community provider contractors; providing leadership and human resources development to 600+ staff members, communicating, building and maintaining effective working relationships with members of the Governor’s Office, General Assembly, Department of Justice, the Advocacy Community, local labor unions and other public and private entities regarding programmatic and legislative initiatives. 
Immediate Priorities
Immediate responsibilities and oversight include: 
Addressing opioid related substance use challenges across the State of Delaware; providing key oversight to the Delaware Psychiatric Center, the single state mental health hospital inclusive of a nationally accredited Psychiatric Residency Program; ensuring the operation of an integrated community-based behavioral health system with a focus on the Social Determinants of Health; and coordinating multiple funding streams to ensure fiscal sustainability.

Essential Functions

Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class. Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Plans, directs and coordinates DSAMH’s statewide Strategic Management and Quality Management Program. Develops, implements, and manages initiatives to enhance and ensure the quality of mental health and substance abuse disorder programs operated, certified and licensed by the State of Delaware.
  • Prepares legislation and regulatory proposals in collaboration with executive staff and other stakeholders and serves as a subject matter expert on such proposals as required.  Represents DHSS in meetings with the Legislature, other State agencies, local government entities, clients and other advocacy groups to promote agency programs and resolve identified concerns.
  • Oversees the administration and operation of the single state-operated in-patient psychiatric facility to ensure the facility maintains compliance with The Joint Commission (TJC) standards and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) requirements. Establish and maintains collaborative partnerships with community hospitals, community health-care centers and various treatment stakeholders related to the admission, treatment provision and discharge of in-patient psychiatric clients.
  • Analyzes compiled information related to quality outcomes of care delivered at licensed  substance abuse disorder and mental health treatment facilities. Determines through performance management the impact and efficacy of service initiatives. Fosters collaboration with the Department of Justice and other regulatory agencies to ensure all complaints, allegations and/or adverse outcomes related to mental health and substance abuse disorder services are promptly and thoroughly investigated and addressed accordingly.
  • Serves as a member of the DHSS Cabinet Secretary’s Executive Team requiring attendance and participation at various high-level leadership meetings. Develops and implements policy recommendations based on operational needs. Participates in executive-level management planning, policy and decision-making regarding new programs/services and changes to existing programs/services that comprise the State’s mental health and substance abuse disorder services systems.
  • Researches, analyzes, recommends and monitors fiscal activities with regard to mental health and substance abuse disorder services. Directs the preparation of the annual budget and responds to inquiries from fiscal leadership.
  • Attends and participates in events and meetings hosted by advocates, providers or the general community as a way to hear from individuals and families impacted by mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder and to solicit feedback. Works with the Communications Team to respond to media requests, write op-eds or tell our own story through social media.
  • Remains current on best practices for integrating multiple funding streams, payment reform and delivery system reform models relating to mental health and substance use disorders. Knowledge of health home, Medicaid funding and integrative care models.
  • Works with division staff, advocates, state legislature, providers and all stakeholders to create programs, services, and systems that help reduce stigma associated with mental health issues and substance use disorders and builds a robust behavioral health workforce that meets the needs of Delawareans. 
  • Communicates and collaborates regularly with the provider and stakeholder communities to ensure division strategies and initiatives are data informed, achievable, and operational at the direct service level. 
  • Able to build and manage a leadership team and their direct reports who are able to fulfil the mission and objectives of the division.
  • Works to promote a full continuum of care and follows best practice for all mental health issues and substance use disorders.

Job Requirements

Job Requirements for Division Director

Please attach a resume with your online application or use the resume tab in DEL to provide a detailed description of how your education, training and/or experience meets each job requirement including employer, experience/responsibilities and dates (month/year) of employment/training.  Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:

  1. Knowledge of facilities management, public sector mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems and applied knowledge of private sector systems.
  2. Master’s degree or higher in Public Administration, Business Administration, Behavioral Health, Social Science or related field.
  3. Possess strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
  4. Must be able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills.
  5. Must be mission-driven, strategic and collaborative and exhibit the ability to actualize goals and achieve results within a complex organization while addressing the demands of varied stakeholders.
  6. Knowledge of federal funding and grant processes and compliance.
  7. Knowledge of trauma-informed system of care.
  8. Knowledge with billing and reimbursement systems.
  9. Ability to manage and lead large and diverse staff.
  10. Ability to create a culture of collaboration and transparency.
  11. At least 5 years of experience at the management and executive leadership level in an agency providing mental health and/or substance use disorder services or similar experience in an agency providing other types of direct services to vulnerable populations.


To learn more about the comprehensive benefit package please visit our website at https://dhr.delaware.gov/benefits/

Selection Process

The application and resume are evaluated based upon a rating of your education, training and experience as they relate to the job requirements of the position.  It is essential that you provide complete and accurate information on your application and the resume to include dates of employment, job title and job duties.  For education and training, list name of educational provider, training course titles and summary of course content.   Narrative information supplied in response to the questions must be supported by the information supplied on the application including your employment, education and training history as it relates to the job requirements.

Once you have submitted your application on-line, all future correspondence related to your application will be sent via email.  Please keep your contact information current.  You may also view all correspondence sent to you by the State of Delaware in the “My Applications” tab at statejobs.delaware.gov.


Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process.  To request an auxiliary aid or service please call (302) 739-5458. TDD users should call the Delaware Relay Service Number 1-800-232-5460 for assistance.  The State of Delaware – An Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Application NOW using the Internet.
Contact us via conventional means. For further assistance, you may contact us by phone at (302) 739-5458, or e-mail at jobs@delaware.gov.