Aileen L. Smith Selected as Director of Human Services for City of Virginia Beach

Thursday, August 22, 2019

​City Manager Dave Hansen has selected Aileen L. Smith as director of the Human Services Department effective Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. She is filling the vacancy created this past January following the resignation of Human Services Director Dannette Smith, who became the CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Aileen is currently deputy director for Human Services and has more than 27 years of experience in the human services field, with the last seven working for the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services. She started in 2012 as a clinical services coordinator. In 2013, she became the Behavioral Health Developmental Services (BHDS) Deputy Director. In this position, she led a team of 860 employees across 25 locations for individuals diagnosed with a behavioral health or developmental disability. A major focus of her work has been in strategic planning, building the integration and diversity of behavioral health, developmental services and social services programs, as well as budget and resource management. She also served as the liaison to both the Community Services Board and its Executive Committee to help guide and direct BHDS program planning and developmental functions. Prior to coming to the City, Aileen worked from July 1995 to February 2012 for the Norfolk Community Services Board in various program director capacities.

"Aileen is known as a dedicated and strategic leader who has the skills and expertise to take the organization to the next level and navigate the increasingly complex and challenging behavioral health and social services environments," stated City Manager Dave Hansen. "In addition to her work in Human Services, she has served on many local, regional and state committees and workgroups including Governor McAuliffe's Behavioral Health Task Force, Governor Northam's Mental Health Policy Group, the Region V Community Services Board leadership team, the Virginia Jail Mental Health Standards Workgroup, and the Hampton Roads Heroin Task Force. These activities have provided Aileen with a broad base of statewide support as well as exposure to how other agencies operate, which is a significant benefit to Virginia Beach."

"I am excited to support Aileen in this monumental career step," said Deputy City Manager Ken Chandler. "Aileen has acquired critical core knowledge and skills of her profession through several key and progressive service appointments in both the private and public sectors. Her 'can do' attitude of service geared toward bettering the lives she can touch is evident in all she does. The residents and clients of the City of Virginia Beach as well as the employees are in good hands."

Smith has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in education with a concentration in counseling from Old Dominion University. She is a member of the National Association of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Directors, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Alliance for Mental Illness and the Virginia Beach NAMI Association, and in the past the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Norfolk Alliance on Mental Illness.

"I am looking forward to an exciting future leading this innovative public service agency and I appreciate the city manager's confidence in my abilities to accomplish our mission and providing quality services to our clients," Smith said.


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