Director of US Programs

  • StrongMinds Mental Health Africa
  • Maplewood, NJ, USA
Full Time Executive Health Care Nonprofit Operations Program Management

Job Description

Position:          Director of US Programs

Reporting to:   Chief Executive Officer

Location:         Maplewood, New Jersey


StrongMinds ( is a dynamic and fast growing 501(c)(3) social enterprise based in Maplewood, N.J, that focuses on one of the most underserved populations and one of the most pervasive mental illnesses in the world.  We treat depression among women of all ages in Africa, where access to mental health treatment is extremely limited.  


Since its start in 2014, StrongMinds has treated over 100,000 women with depression in Uganda and Zambia. We are the only organization scaling a solution to depression in Africa with a potential to serve millions of people in the next ten years. StrongMinds has earned an impressive reputation in the global mental health space. In addition to media coverage in the New York Times, Forbes and the BBC, we are described by Founders Pledge as the most cost-effective mental health organization working in the developing world.


In early 2022, StrongMinds will launch its unique depression treatment program in the US.  We will test, iterate, and deploy our group talk therapy model initially in New Jersey with ambitious plans to expand to many other locations in the US in the following years.


Position Description: Director of US Programs:


This Director of US Program position is a newly created role for StrongMinds (hereafter, “SM”) and is an exciting opportunity for a passionate and energetic individual to lead its expansion into the US.  Leveraging the organization’s expertise in successfully treating over 100,000 people with depression in Africa since 2014, the individual will work closely with SM’s CEO and senior staff to launch a depression treatment program in NJ/US for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) population, with a focus on women/men between 18 and 25 years of age.  The ideal candidate will possess an entrepreneurial spirit and the demonstrated ability to launch and lead health programs in the US; experience with mental health is deeply appreciated but not required.  Ideally, s/he will also be intimately familiar with the BIPOC population in the NJ area and adept at working collaboratively with target communities to design and implement health projects.


This is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated leader to join the StrongMinds’ team and make a difference in the mental health of millions of people in the US living with depression.




  • Determine the SM/US short and long-term strategic direction to include the plan for expansion outside NJ to other states in the US.
  • Drive the organization’s ambitious US launch in January 2022, including program design, staff recruitment and training, operations, and logistics, to begin treating clients in Q3/Q4.
  • Set, in partnership with the CEO, and achieve ambitious annual goals. Develop detailed program plans, budgets and reports as well as targets for clients treated and impact.
  • Build and manage the program team, including oversight and management of consultants in line with outlined deliverables. Mentor and demonstrate solid leadership for all program staff to ensure that organizational core values are respected and maintained.
  • Actively collaborate with the existing SM team to leverage their expertise in mental health, fundraising, and administration/finance.
  • Develop the US program services leveraging StrongMinds’ existing work and insights gained from experience and focus population learnings; iterate program as needed to be more effective.
  • Engage and empower clients in program design and service implementation, ensuring their voices and needs are well-represented across the program and with relevant stakeholders.
  • Create an advisory panel populated with a diverse team of experts who can serve as a source of guidance for the US program.
  • Develop a network of community mental health experts and ensure that the SM/US program continually builds its knowledge of the US mental health “market.”
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with community stakeholders to create awareness of StrongMinds’ services and to drive mobilization of potential clients.
  • Cultivate SM’s brand and reputation in the US.
  • Serve as an active member of SM’s senior management team.
  • Embrace a start-up philosophy, to include the inherent ambiguity, and lead the team/program to role model the “Think big/Act fast” SM mentality.
  • In partnership with the CEO, develop a funding pipeline with a diverse set of supporters to help fuel the US program growth.
  • Embrace StrongMinds’ focus on cost efficiency and ensure the Cost Per Patient for the SM/US program is steadily improving and achieving ambitious targets.


Desired Skills and Experience:


  • Bachelor’s degree: Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least 10 years of experience implementing health/nonprofit programs in the US to include oversight of large-scale program implementation and management – including development of strategy, continued iteration of program design, identification of program targets/ outcomes and metrics, and team supervision.
  • Demonstrated comfort with ambiguity and being able to drive a team and results in a fast-changing environment.
  • Proven experience developing and implementing public sector/government and community-based partnerships.
  • Programmatic experience working alongside and empowering vulnerable populations.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and to be accountable for achievement of job requirements through dynamic, responsible, and collaborative supervision of staff.
  • Excellent verbal and communication skills, focused on transparency and accessibility.
  • Ability to develop and sustain professional relationships, partnerships, and networks.
  • Proven ability to work with a team under minimal supervision and to prioritize work and meet tight deadlines.
  • A track record of strong planning, organizing and negotiation skills with creative problem-solving abilities.
  • Entrepreneurial vision, workstyle, and experience, with the ability to quickly and efficiently shepherd programs and projects from inception to completion.
  • World class sense of humor.


The successful Director of US Programs will also be expected to embrace and role model the core values of StrongMinds: 


  • We are people focused.
  • We think big and act fast.
  • We are data driven.
  • We do what we say and say what we do.
  • We believe in collaboration, not competition.


As part of a rapidly growing NGO, this role has potential for advancement.   Smart, aggressive, and ambitious candidates are encouraged to apply.




Location: The Director of US Programs will be based in the StrongMinds’ office in Maplewood, NJ.  Some flexibility in work arrangements/location may be possible for an exceptional candidate.


Start Date:  On/about January 3, 2022.


Project Management, Public Health Administration

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree


Commensurate with experience