Kiessling-240.jpgRebecca Kiessling

NAMI Northern Virginia Executive Director
Member, NAMI Northern Virginia
Nominated by Susan Motley, Executive Director of NAMI Central Virginia and seconded by Nick Macrini, Executive Director of NAMI Virginia
Listen to Rebecca's Candidate Speech

Job Title or Position:

  • Executive Director

NAMI Leadership Experience:

  • NAMI Northern Virginia, Executive Director, 2022-Present

NAMI Program Leader Experience:

  • NAMI Ending the Silence, NAMI In Our Own Voice, NAMI Sharing Your Story with Law Enforcement

Additional NAMI Involvement:

  • NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Relationship to Mental Health:

  • Individual with first-person experience of mental illness, Family member or direct support of someone with mental illness, Non-profit advocate

Candidate Strengths Assessment

The candidate indicated they have experience in the following areas that will help NAMI achieve its mission and strategic goals:

  • Advocacy, Business/Nonprofit Administration, Business/Nonprofit Leadership, Philanthropy/Donor Cultivation

The candidate indicated they have connections and networks in the following areas:

  • Criminal Justice, Lobbying, Marketing/Public Relations, Philanthropy, Politics/Elected Officials, Social Media

Candidate Leadership Style

The candidate indicated the following descriptors represent their leadership style:

  • Action-oriented, Consensus Builder, Devil's Advocate, Innovator, Outcome-oriented, Process Thinker, Risk Taker, Team Player

Candidate Narrative

The candidate indicated specific skill areas identified as high priority for the 2024-2025 Board where they excel and additional skill areas that would be an asset to the NAMI Board: 

Experience/expertise with social media; Knowledge of the philanthropic community and track record with donor cultivation; Criminal Justice; Peer and Family Member

As the Executive Director of a NAMI Affiliate and with a career dedicated to nonprofit organizations, including working with Boards of Directors, I am confident in my ability to contribute to the governance of the National organization and effectively represent the EDC. Moreover, as someone who has personally navigated mental health challenges and witnessed the impact on my family, with my father frequently in psychiatric hospitals during my childhood, I deeply understand the importance of NAMI's nationwide mission to support those in need.

I personally have helped advance the NAMI mission on the council by...
I have advanced the NAMI mission locally, statewide, and nationally, diligently advocating for mental health crisis intervention, supportive housing for people with mental illness, and fair treatment within the criminal legal system. I have also championed mental health support for transgender students in our schools. As Executive Director for 2 years, I secured funding and launched our first programs designed specifically to enhance service diversity, including our inaugural LGBTQ+ support group, as well as substantially expanded the diversity of our volunteer base.

I work well in coordination with other leaders to accomplish goals as evidenced by...
Being part of the NAMI Alliance is an honor, and I believe completely in our motto, "Stronger Together." An active member of the EDC, I participate in EDLE, online forums, and networking. I volunteer with NAMI working groups and provide feedback on materials. Leveraging my expertise in nonprofit management, I share resources, opportunities, and ideas with other leaders, and I foster a collaborative environment, encouraging my team to engage non-competitively with Alliance members and local nonprofits. Additionally, I advocate confidently for the Affiliate role in the Alliance, both publicly and behind the scenes.

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