Nicole Connell, M.Ed.
Chief of Staff
Nicole Connell is the Chief of Staff for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). She oversees activities that support the Commissioner with transformation efforts that advance behavioral health and intellectual disability services in the City of Philadelphia. She plans and directs administrative, financial, and operational activities on behalf of the Commissioner and serves as the chief adviser on a broad range of operational and policy issues. She serves as a gatekeeper between executive management and other internal/external stakeholders.
Connell has more than 15 years’ experience with Philadelphia’s social service entities and nonprofit community-based organizations. She has experience in partnership development, and strategic planning/alignment, and develops innovative plans and processes that foster organizational change with notable outcomes. Connell joined DBHIDS in 2014, and provided strategic guidance, coordination, and leadership on many of the department’s innovative population health initiatives, and partnerships. She also implemented procedures, best practices, and technical infrastructure resulting in enhanced capacity of DBHIDS’ community-based services.
Prior to joining DBHIDS, Connell worked for several years at the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) managing self-sufficiency programs designed to mitigate quality-of-life barriers for more than 80,000 PHA residents. Connell has also worked as a grant administrator, teacher, school-based counselor, case manager, and behavioral health professional. Her experience across the public service continuum ranges from direct service to executive leadership, and contributes to her population health orientation, and in-depth knowledge of complex community challenges.
As a Philadelphia native, Connell is extremely passionate and connected to efforts aimed at improving the quality of life for the people of Philadelphia, specifically those with the greatest needs. She is a graduate of Temple University’s College of Education, and Eastern University, and is currently a doctoral candidate of public administration. Connell remains active in civic and service organizations, and serves in positions of leadership on several nonprofit boards/advisory committees in Philadelphia.
- Leadership Team
- P.A.C.E. Strategic Framework
- Grants Opportunities
- DBHIDS Study Tours