Brenda Simmons


My great mentor and former IPS board member, the late David Alan Hall, believed that for our work to be successful, it must be meaningful, purposeful, and relevant. This is as true today as when I began my IPS career as a community organizer in 2003. I have also come to understand that public health is intrinsically tied to equity and social justice. Our commitment to these ideals demands that we focus on working with – not for – communities to implement positive change.

I take pride in having managed an IPS project in Montana that shifted the culture of drinking and driving and underage drinking in conservative rural communities, and on reservations. I also opened our first office in Los Angeles County and launched our substance use prevention program in West Hollywood.

Since being appointed CEO in 2019, it’s been my privilege to lead a first-rate team dedicated to building safe, secure, vibrant communities where everyone can thrive. My path to leadership includes a Master’s Degree in Communication from San Diego State University and undergraduate work in the same subject from the University of Montana.

In my experience, treating everyone with respect is inherent to bringing people together. This is the foundation of our IPS mission to “work alongside communities to build power, challenge systems of inequality, protect health, and improve quality of life.”