The Steinberg Institute is honored to have the counsel of a powerhouse Board of Directors, each a standout in his or her field and each committed to improving treatment and services for people living with brain illness.
Mayor and former State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is a powerful and effective advocate for mental health care policy in California. He has a long history of championing policy issues affecting brain health, and has gained the respect and trust of providers, decision-makers, business leaders and advocacy organizations across the state and nation.
Darrell has worked to bring awareness and solutions for what he calls “the under-attended issue of our time.” As a member of the state Assembly, he authored the 2004 Mental Health Services Act, landmark legislation that now generates $2.4 billion annually for “whatever-it takes” services for individuals with the most severe brain illnesses, as well as innovative programs and research focused on early detection, intervention, and prevention of psychosis and serious mood disorders.
His commitment to improving mental health care has resulted in services that provide integrated care to the homeless. In 2013, as a state senator, Darrell authored SB 82, propelling a major statewide expansion of crisis residential and stabilization beds and mobile crisis capacity. In 2015, continuing his press for change, he established a first-of-its-kind statewide organization, the Steinberg Institute, dedicated to raising the profile of quality mental health care as a critical public policy and civil rights issue. In February 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Darrell to co-lead a new statewide Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing.
Thomas Insel is an internationally renowned neuroscientist and psychiatrist who is co-founder of NEST Health and co-founder of Mindstrong, a Silicon Valley health care startup dedicated to developing new technologies to advance the diagnoses and treatment of mental illness. California Governor Gavin Newsom in May of 2019 appointed Dr. Insel as Special Advisor to the Governor on Mental Health.
From 2002-2015, Tom served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the component of the National Institutes of Health committed to research on mental disorders. In that role, he also served as chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, and as co-lead of the NIH BRAIN Initiative. He left NIMH to lead the mental health team at Verily, an Alphabet company focused on improving health care through technology, research and innovation.
Prior to serving as NIMH director, Tom was a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, where he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Center in Atlanta. His research has examined the neural basis of complex social behaviors, including maternal care and attachment. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, he has received numerous national and international awards and served in several leadership roles at NIH.
Over a 30-year career, Tina Thomas has built a reputation as a leading environmental and land-use attorney in California. She is founding partner of the Thomas Law Group, and before that, was a founding partner of Remy, Thomas, Moose & Manley, LLP, where she served as managing partner for 28 years.
Tina’s work extends beyond the traditional role of attorney, shaping not only land-use legislation, but also the way it is practiced and understood. She was one of the original authors of the Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act, a text that serves as a leading reference on CEQA. She played an integral role in the passage of Senate Bill 375, authored by then-Sen. Darrell Steinberg, which encourages smart growth and infill development.
Tina also has built a reputation for her extensive pro bono work in the Sacramento community. She has donated significant time and resources to championing the legal rights of nonprofit agencies that care for the homeless and disenfranchised. Among the organizations that have benefited from her counsel: Loaves & Fishes; Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services; WEAVE; WIND Youth Center; Serna Village; and Union Gospel Mission.
Over a nearly four-decade career, Rich Leib has distinguished himself in a striking array of endeavors, as a political and legislative strategist, regulatory expert, entrepreneur, political fundraiser and public servant.
Rich is currently president and CEO of Dunleer Strategies, a San Diego-based consulting firm that works with emerging companies to develop strategies to help them meet short- and long-term business goals. Before that, he spent 15 years as general counsel for Liquid Environmental Solutions, a company he co-founded and helped grow into the leading non-hazardous liquid waste recycling company in the U.S. The company, which ultimately employed 700 people, was sold to a private equity firm in 2017.
Prior to his work with Liquid Environmental Solutions, Rich served as executive vice president and general counsel of U.S. Public Technologies; and co-founded Stone and Youngberg, a private investment group based in San Francisco.
Rich has deep experience in California politics. He started his career as a legislative staffer for state Senators Gary Hart and Herschel Rosenthal. He went on to become chief political fundraiser for top elected officials throughout the Los Angeles area, including Congressmen Henry Waxman and Mel Levine.
His education includes a J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law, an M.A. in Public Affairs Fellowship with the Coro Foundation, and a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara. He is an appointed member of the UC Board of Regents and an elected member of the Solana Beach School Board. Rich previously served as President of the Board of Governors of the California Community College System, as an appointee of Gov. Gray Davis.
Steve Fields is executive director of Progress Foundation, which has played a pioneering role in modeling residential alternatives to hospitalization for people living with disabling mental illness. Over a 40-year career, Steve has championed development of mental health programs that emphasize rehabilitation and self-sufficiency through supportive, community-based services.
Steve has led Progress Foundation since its founding in 1969, and now oversees 19 programs across San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa Counties, serving more than 3,000 people. The foundation opened the first social model residential treatment programs for geriatric clients in the country, and the first social model residential treatment program for women and their children.
A leader in local, state and national efforts to develop and promote change in the mental health system, Steve was instrumental in forming the San Francisco Human Services Network, an association of more than 100 nonprofit agencies. He received his B.A. from Harvard, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco.
John Boyd is chief executive officer of Mental Health Services for the Sutter Health system, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit networks of community-based providers, with services in more than 100 Northern California communities. John has an extensive background in health care administration and mental health services. Prior to joining Sutter in 2008, he served as assistant administrator for Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center, and worked eight years at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
John has been appointed a commissioner by Gov. Jerry Brown for the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and currently serves as chair. He also serves on the board of Mental Health America and on advisory councils for the Movement for Global Mental Health, the Well Being Trust, and Mental Health America of Hawaii. He established and chairs the National Behavioral Health Council with over 40 health system participants.
John earned his doctorate in psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, and his master’s degree in health administration from USC. He has worked as both an inpatient and outpatient therapist in multiple organizations. He is a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.
With more than three decades of experience in association management, Azizza Davis Goines has established herself as an influential leader and dedicated business partner in Sacramento and beyond. For the last 10 years, as President and CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, Azizza has strengthened partnerships and helped businesses recognize their growth potential by encouraging active community participation.
As a longtime Sacramento resident, Azizza has helped lead multiple efforts to advance healthcare, social justice, education and economic development. She has served as Executive Director for the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association; President/CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento; and Community Relations and Development Director for CARES, an organization specializing in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Azizza was the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Award, as well as a recipient of the Woman of Inspiration Award, Woman of Excellence Award, Community Service Award from the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce, and the California Black Chamber of the Year Award from the California Black Chamber of Commerce. Her work reaches beyond California’s borders, and includes visits to Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Turkey, where she identifies opportunities for trade, investment and agriculture.