John Kastan

Dr. John Kastan is an accomplished executive with a wealth of experience in leadership roles within the healthcare, behavioral health, and social services sectors in New York. His expertise spans strategic planning, program development and implementation, change management, and mergers and services integration. Most recently, he served as the Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at The Jewish Board, a large non-profit in NYC serving 45,000 individuals yearly. He also led the agency as Interim CEO during the COVID-19 pandemic; his tenure at the agency began as Chief Program Officer.

Prior to this, he held key roles such as Vice President for Behavioral Health at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, where he established the World Trade Center Healing Service in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. This service provided emotional support services to first responders, loved ones of those who tragically perished in the attack, community members, and school children in lower Manhattan. He also served as the Executive Director of Peninsula Counseling Center, Director of the New York Metro region for a behavioral health managed care company, Corporate Administrator for Psychiatry at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital (where he helped lead the transformation of two separate psychiatry departments into one dual-site, integrated Department), and Assistant Commissioner for Planning & Project Management in NYC’s Department of Mental Health. His successes in these diverse roles highlight his creativity, adaptability, and deep understanding of leadership, management, and strategy, as well as his passion to increase access to services for those most in need.

Beyond his organizational responsibilities, Dr. Kastan actively contributes to shaping industry policy through his participation in government advisory councils and work groups, including The New York State Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council, appointed by the Governor. His commitment extends to leadership roles on trade association boards, including serving as Board President of the NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and as a board member of The National Council for Mental Wellbeing, underscoring his dedication to advancing the broader industry. Dr. Kastan holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center and an M.A. in Anthropology from The New School for Social Research.

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