AFSP Appoints New Members to National Board, Advancing Suicide Prevention Efforts

AFSP Appoints New Members to National Board

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, has announced the appointment of new members to its National Board of Directors, as well as current members taking on new roles. The appointments aim to continue advancing suicide prevention efforts in the country.

“Suicide is one of our nation’s leading, yet preventable causes of death,” said AFSP Chief Executive Officer Robert Gebbia. “It’s through the leadership and dedication of those who serve on the national board that we will continue advancing suicide prevention in our country.”

New Board Members

Four new members will be joining the National Board of Directors in 2023, bringing the total membership to 29, with each member serving at least one three-year term. The newly elected members are:

  1. Mark Baer, Chief Executive Officer at Crowe LLP
  2. Tami Benton, M.D., Professor in Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Psychiatrist-in-Chief & Chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director of Child and Youth Suicide Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  3. Jeryn Jacobs
  4. Scott Rising, Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

Current Members in New Roles

Current members have also been appointed to new positions, including:

  1. Jim Compton becoming Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee after serving as Chair of the Board
  2. Nina Gussack, Senior Council at Troutman Pepper, becoming Treasurer after serving as a Director
  3. Gretchen Haas, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh, becoming President after serving as Chair of the Scientific Council
  4. Ray Paul, Jr. becoming Chair of the Board after serving as Vice Chair and Secretary
  5. Naomi Simon, Professor, Department of Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Vice Chair for Research Faculty Development and Mentorship, Department of Psychiatry, Director, Anxiety and Complicated Grief Disorders, Senior Advisor, Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic; becoming Chair of the Scientific Council after serving as a Director
  6. Ed Stelmakh, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer at OptimizeRX; becoming Chair of Development after serving as Treasurer
  7. Christopher Thomas, Co-Founder & CEO of The Defensive Line; becoming Secretary after serving as a Director

Members Completing Their Term

Some members have completed their term, including:

  1. Christopher Epperson, Director and Owner of Soul Shop™
  2. Maria Oquendo, M.D., Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Ruth Meltzer Professor of Psychiatry and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at University of Pennsylvania Medicine
  3. Kelly Posner, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology, Columbia University Medical Center

The appointments of these new members and current members to new roles demonstrate AFSP’s commitment to advancing suicide prevention efforts in the country. The organization aims to empower those affected by suicide with research, education, and advocacy. The newly elected members will bring diversity to the board, ensuring that all voices are represented as AFSP works to realize its mission.


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