Robert Gebbia, MA
Robert Gebbia is the chief executive officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Prior to this role, he was named the executive director of the organization in 1998. Since joining AFSP, Gebbia has successfully expanded the Foundation’s efforts to prevent suicide, significantly increasing its support of scientific research and adding many new educational programs, public awareness initiatives, and supportive services for individuals and families that have lost a loved one to suicide.
Under his leadership, AFSP’s annual revenue has grown from $700,000 to over $13 million. Furthermore, the organization has developed a nationwide network of over 64 chapters and created the Out of the Darkness walks. Over 300 of these walks take place annually to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention.
In his current role, Gebbia works closely with AFSP’s Board of Directors and Chapter leadership; nationally recognized scientists in suicide research; business, civic and political leaders; media; professional associations; and people personally impacted by suicide.
In 2009, Gebbia led the effort to bring AFSP and the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA together through a merger aimed at strengthening grassroots advocacy and promoting policies and legislation at the national and state levels that advance mental health treatment and suicide prevention.
He is a founding member of the National Council for Suicide Prevention, serves on the National Lifeline Advisory Committee, and was recently nominated to join the Board of Directors of the National Health Council.
Gebbia has an extensive background in not-for-profit management, strategic planning, fundraising, and program development. Prior to joining AFSP, he had a successful career with the United Way and served as a public health advisor for the City of New York.
He holds a BA in sociology from Hofstra University and an MA in sociology from the New School for Social Research. He completed the Harvard Business School’s Human Services Management Executive Program and IBM’s Leadership Commitment Program for not-for-profit executives.