Eduardo Vega, MA
Eduardo Vega currently serves as the chief executive officer at Dignity Recovery Action International. He is an internationally recognized thought leader in mental health systems, programs and policy, consumer/patient engagement, stigma reduction, men’s health, and suicide prevention. Vega, who is a former Fulbright Specialist and California State Mental Health Commissioner, has spearheaded progressive social and public health change at local, national, and international levels.
For over 25 years, Vega has worked for the improvement of lives and systems of care in behavioral health. A suicide attempt survivor who experienced serious mental health conditions himself since childhood, Vega has served as counselor and/or manager in virtually every psychosocial and clinical mental health service setting. He has also performed executive roles in government, business, and non-profit administration. As president and CEO of Mental Health Association of San Francisco from 2010 to 2016, he drove organizational expansion nearly 1,000 percent in three years, focusing on innovation in consumer-run services and community empowerment. Simultaneously, as director and principal investigator at the international Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment, Vega spearheaded leading-edge research, TA, and training projects in suicide and stigma and discrimination reduction, community integration, self-help and peer support. Previously, he served at the executive management level of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, one of the world’s largest public mental health authorities.
Highly sought as a speaker for his dynamism and ability to connect personal experience with systems and social change, Mr. Vega has presented and consulted on policy and technical issues in behavioral health with stakeholder and consumer groups, private industry, and government. He has done so throughout the United States, in Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Fiji, and Latin America. He serves on the boards of the College for Behavioral Health Leadership and United Suicide Survivors International, the Steering Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance, and the Executive Committee of the U.S. National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, through which he founded the world’s first suicide attempt survivor task force.
Vega has been recognized by the State of California, the United States Senate, the U.S. federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the nation of Fiji, the International Initiative on Mental Health Leadership, and the United States Surgeon General, among others. He holds an MA in Psychology from the Graduate Faculty of New School for Social Research.