Estelle Richman

Executive Director of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives and Senior Advisor to the City Managing Director

Currently Ms. Richman has stepped out of retirement for a year to work on gun violence prevention programs in Philadelphia. She currently is the Executive Director of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives and Senior Advisor to the City Managing Director on gun violence programs.

Ms. Richman continues to serve on several local and national Boards. She also participates on task forces and other civic activities.

Ms. Richman retired as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for health and human services issues in 2013. While at HUD she held the positions of Chief Operating Officer and Acting Deputy Secretary. As COO, she worked with staff to develop a HUDstat process that regularly reviewed outcomes and set tangible goals for all major departments. As Acting Deputy Secretary, she focused on the scope of authority of the regional offices and the integration of budgets. Finally, as liaison for health and human services, she managed relationships with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran Affairs (VA), Department of Justice (DOJ) and other partners within the Federal Government. She also contributed expertise to the efforts underway to break down internal agency silos.

Ms. Richman was appointed Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare by Governor Ed Rendell in 2003 and held that position for seven (7) years. The Department of Public Welfare is an umbrella agency that includes Medicaid, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Child Welfare; Long Term Living; Developmental Program; Early Childhood Services; and Income Maintenance. During these years, the focus of the Department was integration of services, expansion of managed care – behavioral and physical, cost containment, and establishment of pay for performance.

During her years in Pennsylvania Ms. Richman was known for her work in closing State institutions, creating community based services, creating a behavioral Medicaid agency, creating a system of care for people on the Autism spectrum, integrating systems of care, and being an advocate for people with disabilities.

She also served as the Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia and the Director of Social Services. Other positions held by Richman include the City of Philadelphia’s Commissioner of Public Health and Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services

A nationally recognized expert on issues of behavioral health and children’s services, Richman has been honored for advocacy efforts by the National Alliance on Mental illness, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association, among others. She is also the recipient of the 1998 Ford Foundation/Good Housekeeping Award for Women in Government.

Locally, Ms. Richman has been honored by Women’s Way with the Lucretia Mott Award and the Woman One Award by Drexel University College of Medicine.

In addition, the Philadelphia Behavioral Health System was named the winner of the 1999 Innovations in American Government from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Richman received her master’s degree from Cleveland State University. She has Honorary Doctorate degrees from Alvernia University, Drexel University, and Temple University.

Last updated: Feb 1, 2024