WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 8, 2024) — The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is pleased to announce the appointment of Philip Rutherford as its inaugural Strategy Lead for Substance Use. This key role, situated within the Strategy and Growth Office, marks a significant step forward in the organization’s ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of individuals with substance use challenges.
In this position, Rutherford will expand the organization’s impact in addressing the quality, effectiveness, accessibility and affordability of substance use programs and services for National Council members. More broadly, Rutherford will lead the National Council in charting a course for sustained progress and transformation of the substance use field.
“I am honored to step into this role and support the National Council members who provide substance use and mental health treatment and care. Their work is more important than ever, especially in communities where there are stark disparities in health equity,” said Rutherford. “This new role provides new opportunities to make meaningful change that saves lives.”
Rutherford will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Ingoglia.
“I’m honored to have Philip Rutherford join the National Council. His depth of knowledge, compassion and lived experience will support our efforts in profound ways now and into the future,” said Ingoglia. “Phil is a trailblazer in the substance use field, with a passion for revolutionizing and enhancing quality of care.”
Prior to joining the National Council, Rutherford served as the Chief Operating Officer at Faces & Voices of Recovery, where he led the development and management of the groundbreaking Recovery Data Platform. The first-of-its-kind, cloud-based platform, along with the development of Recovery Vital Signs, revolutionized longitudinal data collection for peer-based services and greatly impacted how to quantify and qualify recovery.
Rutherford is also the Founder of Black Faces Black Voices, a collaborative of professionals that are focused on increasing accessibility and promoting recovery and wellness in Black communities across the nation.
Throughout his career, Rutherford has served on numerous boards of directors, advisory boards, committees and task forces — both on grassroots and national levels. He previously held the position of Director of Operations at Recovery Is Happening and Program Services Coordinator at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota in the nonprofit sector.
His longstanding commitment to the recovery community includes roles on several national committees with federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, he serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Serve Minnesota and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
Prior to the nonprofit world, Rutherford worked in corporate sales, marketing and management at Microsoft, Micron Electronics and companies within the Taylor Corporation.
Rutherford earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a specialization in substance use disorders from Argosy University-Twin Cities.
About The National Council
Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,300 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.