Director of Youth Mental Health Initiatives


Division of Community Engagement
Position Number:
LAA 05013
Salary Range:
$83,292.00 - $120,000.00 Yearly
Apply By:
Monday, December 18, 2023, 11:59 pm
Work Unit:
Job Location:
1300 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
Release Date:
Monday, December 4, 2023
Employment Type:
Position Type:

Find a rewarding career making a difference: Join the Office of the Attorney General!

The Department of Law’s (DOL’s) Division of Community Engagement (DCE) is seeking a public policy and legal advisor for the role of Director of Youth Mental Health Initiatives. This unique opportunity offers an attorney with experience working in public health, youth mental health, K-12 education or related areas, an impactful non-traditional legal role in strategic management and policy development and implementation.

The Director of Youth Mental Health will lead the DOL’s youth mental health strategy and manage partnerships within and outside of the DOL related to youth mental health.  The position will coordinate internal DOL efforts related to youth mental health and assist with relevant litigation, including the social media investigation and related cases. We’re looking for a leader driven by public service to coordinate and drive forward this important work.

The Director of Youth Mental Health Initiatives will develop and lead the Department of Law’s (DOL’s) youth mental health strategy and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. They will coordinate existing internal DOL efforts related to youth mental health and assist with relevant litigation, including the social media investigation and related cases.  Such work will include consulting, guiding, and assisting on underlying case strategies related to mental health topics or themes, helping identify relevant stakeholders, and evaluating possible remedies.  In addition to the DOL’s leadership of a multi-state investigation and litigation against social media companies for harming youth mental health, DOL initiatives focused on youth mental health include the management of Safe2Tell Colorado, the strategic design and execution of granting and partnership opportunities for youth mental health programs statewide (including the investment of around $32 million from a settlement with JUUL), and a range of existing legal and public policy roles related to educational institutions and community programs (including the DOL’s Healthy Youth/Strong Colorado initiative). Central to this role is helping to identify, prioritize, and lead other strategic opportunities related to youth mental health, including community engagement, public policy, and legal initiatives.

The Director will work to ensure that the DOL’s activities related to youth mental health are well coordinated. This includes work on developing the overall vision and strategy for all youth mental health related work of the DOL, spearheading a project plan, amplifying the DOL’s existing  efforts, and identifying areas of engagement around youth mental health that align with the Attorney General’s mission, vision, and priorities. This position will build out the framework for a synchronized approach to youth mental health at the DOL, engaging with relevant internal and external teams and experts to coordinate efforts across Colorado and positively impact youth, as it relates to their mental health.  Such work may involve, among other things,  efforts to reduce or remove barriers to quality mental health care, providing meaningful and positive engagement for youth that builds resilience and valuable life skills, and support the development of culturally sensitive and effective resources and programming for our youth.

In this role, the Director will work closely with various DOL sections, units, and offices, and with stakeholders across the state to execute the Attorney General’s strategies and goals to promote youth mental health. Such opportunities include working closely with school districts, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, and other local government entities. It also will require effective coordination with other state agencies to maximize impact and coordinate efforts.

The responsibilities of this position include the following core initiatives:

  • Developing, implementing, and managing the DOL’s youth mental health strategies, including partnering with other DOL staff to engage communities, schools, and local governments across Colorado;
  • Managing the DOL’s strategy, public policy, and coalition-building efforts related to youth mental health programs;
  • Understanding and navigating the Colorado education, healthcare, and policy systems and organizations that are concerned with youth mental health;
  • Working with relevant DOL litigation teams to develop and advise on appropriate remedial options as relevant to youth mental health;
  • Ensuring compliance with requirements, including approved purposes for spending, on settlement funds that result from DOL litigation and involve or impact Colorado youth;
  • Supporting the DOL’s public policy and legislative advocacy efforts related to youth mental health programs;
  • Developing strategies and partnerships to increase access to mental health resources, programming, and assistance for Colorado youth; and
  • Engaging, communicating, interacting, and working effectively and cooperatively with people of different backgrounds, identities, and culturally diverse communities to create or advance comprehensive, equitable, and culturally appropriate solutions to youth mental health issues.

Strategic management functions:

  • Establishing a strategic plan for directing DOL resources that support youth mental health services;
  • Providing guidance on the most impactful strategies for directing DOL grants awards and funding opportunities towards youth mental health initiatives;
  • Identifying, developing, and implementing ways to better support state and local agencies and service providers, utilizing best practices and input from community stakeholders;
  • Advising the Attorney General on youth mental health matters and aspects of current DOL programming, including Safe2Tell Colorado, DOL granting on youth mental health initiatives (i.e., JUUL settlement, etc.), and DOL outreach;
  • Working with other state agencies to align the DOL’s vision, mission, and goals for youth mental health and to ensure staff and resources are leveraged to maximize impact;
  • Conducting strategic outreach to both inform and raise awareness about DOL youth mental health programs and resources;
  • Exploring and analyzing additional funding sources, including by locating funds for community-based organizations that support youth mental health; and
  • Collaborating with and learning from other states and localities focusing on this work, including other attorney general offices, to identify best practices that can inform the DOL’s approach to the work.

Legal and public policy functions: 

  • Conducting legal and policy research and analysis, and developing policy and strategic recommendations for the Director of the Division of Community Engagement and the Attorney General pertaining to youth mental health;
  • Providing counsel to the Attorney General in a broad array of legal and policy areas where the DOL’s work intersects with youth mental health issues;
  • Proposing, in coordination with departmental legislative leadership, recommended changes in policy or legislation for systems changes and/or creation of supports for youth mental health;
  • Reviewing active litigation and advise on impacts on the DOL’s youth mental health initiatives; and
  • Working with relevant litigation teams to develop and advise teams on appropriate remedial options as needed.


Salary Note: The Department of Law uses a wage progression compensation model. Although a salary range is listed, salary will be set commensurate with the successful candidate’s qualifications and in compliance with the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

Attorneys with less than 3 years of experience as a practicing attorney will be hired as an Assistant Attorney General I (AAG I). The salary range for an AAG I is $83,292-$92,400/annually.
Attorneys with more than 3 years of experience practicing as an attorney will be hired as an Assistant Attorney General II (AAG II). The AAG II salary range is $96,420-$120,000/annually.

Salary will be paid on a biweekly basis.


Applicants must:

  • Be admitted to the Colorado bar or be clearly eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar and be in good standing at the time of application. Candidates eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar will be required to submit proof of their completed application and application for Practice Pending Admission before the first day of employment. For more information about admission to the Colorado bar please review information on the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

In addition, the following are strongly preferred:

  • At least four years of experience developing and implementing OR advising on policies, programs, and systems focused on public health, youth mental health, K-12 education, human services organizations, child support services, or juvenile justice;
  • Knowledge of youth mental health policies and practices;
  • Experience in an external facing/customer-oriented role interacting with members of the public and stakeholder organizations and performing complex advisory and assistance functions;
  • Demonstrated partnership with stakeholders impacted by youth mental health issues;
  • Management of public policy or legal programs requiring consultation and coordination of a range of stakeholders;
  • Experience with issues related to youth mental health, public health, behavioral health, mental health, youth services, and/or K-12 education; and
  • Senior/high level strategic management experience.

Additional Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience working on the current issues and challenges pertaining to youth mental health;
  • Experience in consultative, coordination, coaching, or supervisory roles;
  • Experience working with local governments, State agencies, nonprofits,   non-governmental organizations, health systems, and/or school districts to provide resources and community outreach to the public; and
  • Experience with financial/budget management, including experience overseeing and providing direct accountability over large budgets, settlements, or grants.

Desired Leadership Competencies:

  • Leading People: A proven ability to motivate, develop, and direct people as they lead their teams, and create successful work environments to achieve the organization’s mission, vision, and goals;
  • Leading Change: Ability to bring about strategic change to meet organizational goals;
  • Driving Results: Ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Ability to work and perform while operating within strict time constraints and competing priorities; and
  • Organizational Development: Ability to establish organizational structure, develop strategic work plans, budgets and controls, set goals and objectives to achieve program results, and foster a team environment.

The nature of the position will require outstanding organizational skills.  The nature of the organizational management will include the following:

  • Analysis of complex human resources, financial, and administrative management, policy, and program issues;
  • Ability to provide strategic direction and ensure an effective work structure to maximize productivity and achieve goals;
  • Ability to oversee and execute data-driven performance management and outcome-based systems and initiatives;
  • Collaboration: Ability to work effectively and build coalitions with key stakeholders, speak, and write authoritatively and compellingly, resolve communication problems, and negotiate and manage competing interests. Ability to work well with constituents regardless of position and authority, contribute to governing boards and committees, and adhere to clear lines of responsibility and accountability;
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively with policymakers, administrators, advocates, and a variety of local communities. Maintain ongoing communication with stakeholders across the state;
  • Complex Problem Solving: Identify complex problems and review related information to develop and evaluate options, consider alternative solutions, distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information, and use sound reasoning to arrive at decisions. Approach work with a solutions orientation. Manage competing interests of stakeholders;
  • Innovation: Create and thrive in a work environment that encourages creative thinking and innovation. Explore new ideas, methodologies, different positions, and alternatives to reach outcomes. Assess, manage, and take calculated risks to achieve goals. Suggest alternative ways to view or define problems; is not constrained by conventional thinking and established approaches;
  • Critical Thinking: Use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems;
  • Judgment and Decision Making: Consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one;
  • Commitment to public service: Recognizes distinct differences that come with leading in government versus leading in the private sector. Serving the people of Colorado serves as a guiding force behind decisions;
  • Ability to interpret law and understand the big picture and end-goal; and
  • Ability to incorporate and prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and strategies into organizations.

Conditions of Employment:

  • The successful candidate must pass a thorough background check prior to employment
  • Candidates eligible to waive into the Colorado Bar will be required to submit proof of their completed application and application for Practice Pending Admission before the first day of employment. For more information about admission to the Colorado bar please review information on the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel website.
Please view the full job announcement for more information, including information about compensation and benefits, and to apply online.
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