Marvin Southard, D.S.W.
Board Member at Large

Marvin Southard is the Director of County of Los Angeles – Department of Mental Health. He leads the largest public mental health system in the country, serving over 200,000 clients annually in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation with a budget of over $1 billion. Prior to this, he served in a similar capacity in Kern County for five years.

Dr. Southard is a past President of the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA) and a Commissioner on Los Angeles County Children and Families First – First 4 LA Commission. He has served as an Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences; as a Senior Fellow, Public Policy at UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research; and as a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Southard’s experience in academia also includes an eight-year stint teaching graduate psychosocial science courses for the Department of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach.

His prior experience with the Los Angeles County public mental health system includes seven years as Vice President of Mental Health Programs and Director of Clinical Services at El Centro Human Services Corporation, and four more years in other positions with El Centro.

Dr. Southard is the 2006 Social Worker of the Year for the National Association of Social Workers – California Chapter. He is the recipient of NAMI’s 2003 award for Excellence in Community Mental Health Services presented in recognition of his ongoing efforts in building a comprehensive community care mental health system in Los Angeles County. He is also the recipient of the 2003 Tom Bradley Equal Opportunity award from the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.

A member of the American College of Mental Health Administrators, he actively participates, and has held leadership roles, in a variety of professional and community organizations, including the California Mental Health Directors Association, Southern California Mental Health Directors Association, Southern California Mental Health Directors Association, Kern County Network for Children, and California Social Work Education Consortium.

A licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Southard received his master’s degree in social work from University of California, Berkeley, after which he completed his post-graduate studies in social work at UCLA.

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