The Kennedy Forum Announces Rebecca O. Bagley as President & CEO

The Kennedy Forum Announces Rebecca O. Bagley as President & CEO
April 19, 2022

New position will amplify the organization’s emphasis on mental health as essential health

Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2022) — The Kennedy Forum, a national mental health nonprofit, announced today that Rebecca O. Bagley has been named President and Chief Executive Officer. Bagley will oversee efforts to expand the reach of promising practices in mental health policy, workplace mental health, school-based mental health, and health care integration. She will also lead initiatives designed to coalesce historically siloed communities and maximize collective impact.

Bagley has more than 20 years of experience collaborating with stakeholders through strategic partnerships that achieve shared goals and outcomes. Utilizing a vast professional network of experts and resources to forge partnerships, she is deeply focused on inspiring cultures of progress and innovation. Prior to joining The Forum, Rebecca was CEO of Cannex Scientific, responsible for commercializing a new anti-anxiety medication. Earlier in her career, as Vice Chancellor of Economic Partnerships at the University of Pittsburgh, she successfully expanded a network of global partnerships with financial groups, corporations, and government entities to support $850M+ in research. Rebecca was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of NorTech, a technology-focused organization that accelerated products to market by compiling diverse teams. While at NorTech, she also led a national effort to create the Innovation Advocacy Council (IAC), which successfully secured a $50 million line item in the federal budget and contributed to the creation of a $1 billion Build Back Better regional challenge.

“Rebecca’s ability to harness the power of a vision is truly unique,” said former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, founder of The Kennedy Forum. “In a world full of good ideas and intentions—but limited bandwidth—that’s incredibly important. She’s poised to build on the strong foundation of The Kennedy Forum and achieve tangible results in the most critical areas.”

“We are at an exciting moment in time where the work of advocates and the will of the nation are aligning,” said Bagley. The focus from government, nonprofit, and corporate entities is unprecedented. There is opportunity for exponential change—the partnerships we will solidify over the next few months and years will shape mental health care for years to come. We are positioned to lead and contribute because of the commitment and impact of The Kennedy Forum over the last decade.”

Bagley previously served as Deputy Secretary for the Technology Investment Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which managed $1.7 billion, over 5 years, of programmatic and endowment funding that accelerated commercialization and supported company growth. She led a cross agency teams that drove the passage of a $650 million Energy Independence Fund.

Bagley has worked for several investment banks, most notably JPMorgan Chase in New York City, and has been engaged in global efforts and organizations including Clinton Global Initiative and the federally appointed National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

About The Kennedy Forum

Founded in 2013 by former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.), The Kennedy Forum leads a national dialogue on transforming the health care system by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around a common set of principles, including full implementation of the Federal Parity Law. Launched in celebration of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the landmark Community Mental Health Act, the nonprofit aims to achieve health equity by advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming for the treatment of mental health and addiction. The Kennedy Forum’s “Don’t Deny Me” campaign educates consumers about their rights under the Federal Parity Law and connects them with essential appeals guidance and resources. To learn more about The Kennedy Forum, please visit