Chief External Affairs Officer - Vibrant Emotional Health

New York, NY
Full Time
Senior Executive

About Vibrant Emotional Health

Formerly the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC), Vibrant Emotional Health has been at the forefront of promoting emotional well-being for all people for more than 50 years. As leaders, advocates, educators, and innovators in mental health, we have been raising awareness and offering support to everyone who is struggling. We work every single day to help save lives and assist people to get care anytime, anywhere, and in any way that works for them. We are unwavering in our belief that everyone can achieve emotional wellness with the right care and support. As part of our work, we administer the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in emotional distress across the United States. With nearly $100M in revenue, Vibrant operates a diverse portfolio of more than 30 national and local programs that offer life-changing support to millions of people every year.

Vibrant is currently undergoing a transformation, expanding both in size and programming. As the administrator of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline since its inception in 2005, Vibrant recently won the grant to launch a three-digit code for the Lifeline, 988, which will replace the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Vibrant knows that a national three-digit phone number can improve access to vital crisis services, improve the efficacy of suicide prevention efforts, and reduce the stigma about mental health and getting help. 

Through our state-of-the-art technology-enabled services, community wellness programs, and advocacy and education work, we are building a society in which emotional wellness can be a reality for everyone. For more information, please visit

About the Opportunity

Reporting to the CEO, this is an opportunity for a seasoned and innovative leader to advance all elements of externally facing strategy, impact, recognition, and stakeholder engagement. Vibrant’s first-ever Chief External Affairs Officer (CXO) will lead and help establish a robust and integrated best-in-class External Affairs department that brings together four functional areas, blending initiatives and cross-functional projects: Marketing & Communications; Development & Fundraising;  Business Development; and Public Policy. The CXO will have the opportunity to elevate the brand, foster strategic partnerships, build a first-ever Development team to help grow the institutional and individual donor base, and expand relationships with key stakeholders during a period of unprecedented growth and expansion of services. The CXO will be responsible for setting and achieving long- and short-term public awareness and engagement goals in collaboration with Vibrant’s functional team leaders and the Board of Directors Marketing & Communications and Fundraising Strategic Initiatives Committees.

The CXO will systematically and significantly increase this new external affairs function’s and combined teams’ capacity for the successful advancement of the organization, energized by the opportunity to both curate a team and strengthen the culture of philanthropy and engagement at Vibrant. 

Finalist candidates bring a belief in the mission and vision of Vibrant Emotional Health, its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and building an anti-racist organization; a commitment to work with individuals and families to help them achieve mental and emotional wellbeing; and an alignment with our core values: lead the way; respect; commitment to excellence; be well. 

Areas of Leadership

Executive & Organizational Leadership: Serve as a key member of the Leadership team, responsible for all Development & Fundraising, Marketing & Communications, Business Development and Public Policy teams’ activities. Partner with other senior leaders, Board members, and staff to continue to grow Vibrant’s reach and impact while supporting the establishment of and driving sustainable, inclusive and anti-racist strategic initiatives across the organization.

  • Key qualifications: Executive leader with a track record of working with and through other executive leaders, members of an organization, and Board committees, to drive strategy organization-wide. Leadership experience must include change management, vision setting, innovation, and setting clear priorities, goals, and road maps at the enterprise level.


Team Leadership: Develop and build upon the existing Marketing & Communications, Business Development, and Public Policy teams, while building a first-ever Development team. Intentionally and authentically build trusting and collaborative relationships at all levels of the organization, across departments and programs, in order to establish the structure, systems, and processes to create an integrated and thriving External Affairs function. 

  • Key qualifications: Proven ability to simultaneously manage and develop multiple, thriving teams of professionals at various levels of career. Astute driver of strategy, including managing teams through strategic pivots and changes, and interdependent systems and processes. 


Setting Vision, Strategy & Direction for Public Advancement: 

  • Marketing & Communications: Enhance Vibrant’s marketing and branding strategy, highlighting achievements and programs to advance the organization’s presence. Drive digital marketing positioning to conceive and implement successful campaigns across all channels and subbrands. Measure the performance of all activities and campaigns, assess them against goals, and adjust strategy and activities to achieve them. 
    • Key qualifications: Extensive experience as a marketing and communications leader and practitioner, including leading branding, digital, and innovative marketing campaigns. Track record of envisioning and operationalizing enterprise-level marketing strategy, in a large, complex nonprofit or mission-driven environment is preferred. Outstanding storyteller with experience leading teams to develop compelling images, messages, and voices that make an organization stand out and amplify its impact.


  • Development & Fundraising: Build and lead a team that will develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan, building on a recent growth plan, and including a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors, acknowledging gifts through public and private recognition, and addressing nuanced fundraising in government-restricted brands. Set the strategy for and manage fundraising efforts, including digital; peer-to-peer; major gifts; annual giving; corporate and foundation support; volunteer management; special events; and development communications. 
    • Key qualifications: Proven ability to build a new department function and set and drive sustainable, inclusive, and anti-racist fundraising strategies at the organizational level. Ability to secure unrestricted funding at the six and seven-figure level. Digitally savvy, and able to leverage all of the fundraising tools of the moment to both raise funds and elevate an organization’s profile. An adept storyteller, able to motivate and inspire donors and stakeholders to action and support. 


  • Business Development: Set and drive strategic business development priorities within the context of the broader strategic plan. Support the leadership of strategic partnership activities and relationship development with business partners and prospective customers, helping to ensure that Vibrant has a strong pipeline of growth opportunities that align with its vision, mission, and core strengths.
    • Key qualifications: Ability to build and nurture strong external relationships with partner organizations and other stakeholders in support of an organization’s growth, awareness, and overall success. Background in business strategy development and knowledge of trends in behavioral health, a plus.


  • Public Policy: Partner with the leadership of Vibrant’s national and state policy and advocacy strategy to elevate the importance of, needed investment in, and role of government/policy in the social determinants of mental health. Cultivate deep and effective relationships with key governmental stakeholders and partners in current and prospective policy areas that impact mental health. 
    • Key qualifications: Proficient experience in and understanding of local, state, and national government structures, processes, and influencers. Ability to build a broader vision around the key relationships, strategies, and issue areas to leverage to grow Vibrant’s impact. Background in healthcare policy is a plus.

The Benefits

This position is remote - with at least quarterly travel required for anyone based outside of the New York City-metro area - full time, exempt, and includes an annual starting salary range of $275,000 - $325,000, depending on experience. Compensation also includes 12 paid holidays and a generous benefits package, covering: medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, as well as a 457b plan, and bonus structure.


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