Mr. Simons has 30 years of management experience in providing community and facility-based supports to people with intellectual developmental disabilities. He has a strong history of building partnerships with consumers, families, providers and other state agencies to further the advancement of the state's clients.
Mr. Simons is active with numerous national associations and is knowledgeable about federal policy on developmental disabilities.
"Mr. Simons is a professional with a proven track record," said Dr. Sharfstein," His history of building coalitions among clients, providers and policymakers will be invaluable as DDA moves forward. In addition, I want to take this opportunity to thank Patrick Dooley for serving as DDA’s acting director and for his guidance during this transition."
Most recently, he served as the Director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. While there, he oversaw a $849 million budget; 3,360 employees; supports for 34,000 people, and redesigned statewide quality enhancement services from focusing on compliance to achieving measureable outcomes. Prior to that position, he was Superintendent of Missouri's Bellefontaine Habilitation Center.
“Bernie Simons is a proven leader in the field of developmental disabilities,” said Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. “He has a life-long commitment to supporting people with disabilities and their families; a strong belief that people should fully participate in community life, and the skill to manage large public service systems to achieve that outcome.”
Mr. Simons has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts; a Masters of Arts in Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Special Education from Boston University.
Mr. Simons will start mid- April.