Executive Team

Toby Ewing portrait photo

Toby Ewing

Executive Director

Toby Ewing, Ph.D., joined the Mental Health Commission in 2015 after working for governance reform as a consultant to the California State Senate, research director at California Forward, and a project manager at the Little Hoover Commission. In addition, Ewing worked as the Director of the California Research Bureau and the California Cost Control Commission.

With the Commission, Toby launched California’s first Mental Health Innovation Summit and an Innovation Incubator to promote novel approaches to improving mental health systems in California. He has also steadfastly worked to increase public access to high-quality data on mental health funding, programs, and outcomes.

Toby has championed community engagement with more than $5 million in annual grants that support stakeholder advocacy, the launch of a youth leadership initiative, and creative ways of reaching the public, including through community engagement and filmmaking. The goal has always been the same: to elevate the voices of consumers, family members, and communities on mental health issues.

Toby did his undergraduate studies at Grinnell College and received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Syracuse University. He served as a Fulbright Scholar in Central America.

Norma Pate portrait photo

Norma Pate

Deputy Director for Program Operations and Administrative and Legislative Services

Norma Pate joined the Commission in 2010. After the Commission separated from the Department of Mental Health in 2012, Norma established the agency’s Human Resources, contracting, procurement, and budgeting divisions. Since then, Norma has focused on programs aimed at improving the wellbeing of children, increasing access to crisis services, and addressing disparities.

Norma oversees the Commission’s Innovation, Prevention and Early Intervention, Mental Health Wellness Act of 2013, Mental Health Student Services Act of 2018, Youth Drop-In Centers, and Early Psychosis Intervention programs. She is also one of the Commission’s main liaisons with the State Legislature, where she advocates for legislation to strengthen mental health services in California.

Before joining the Commission, Norma held leadership positions with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations’ Division of Addiction and Recovery Services, the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, and the Victim Compensation and Government Claim Board.

Brian Sala portrait photo

Brian Sala

Deputy Director for Research and Evaluation

Brian R. Sala, Ph.D., joined the Commission in 2015 after serving as Acting Director and Assistant Director of the California Research Bureau following 15 years in academia.

Brian has focused on building the Commission’s data visualization and analytics capacities. He helped the Commission negotiate data sharing agreements with partner agencies and counties to create new, linked data sets to track and analyze how communities are affected by unserved, underserved, or inappropriately served mental health needs and identify and disseminate information about effective services.

Brian earned a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in political economy at Carleton College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.

Andrea Anderson portrait photo

Andrea Everett Anderson

Chief of Communications

Andrea Anderson joined the Commission in 2019 and is leading efforts to increase the quality and quantity of messaging with a goal of expanding public understanding of mental health needs, the potential for recovery, and opportunities for improving mental health outcomes for all Californians.

Before coming to the Commission, Andrea was on the senior management team at PBS KVIE as the Director of Marketing, a position in which she creatively connected audiences of the venerable institution to new technologies.

Andrea previously worked as a senior product manager in tech and telecom, responsible for the success of marketing teams across the nation, and also for the Texas International Education Consortium during the initial phases of NAFTA.

Andrea graduated with her B.A. from the University of Oregon and her M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Andrea served on the Board of Directors for Saint John’s Program for Real Change, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team, and the Executive Board of The Sacramento Web Awards.

Maureen Riley portrait photo

Maureen Reilly

Chief Counsel

Maureen Reilly, J.D., joined the Commission in 2021 coming from the California State Library where she worked for two years as Acting Chief Counsel. Previously, she served for 12 years as General Counsel of the Employment Training Panel.

Over the span of her 40-year career in State service, Maureen also worked as legal counsel at the Office of Administrative Law, Department of Health Services and CalPERS. The breadth of this specialty practice in administrative law allows Maureen to focus on process improvement in her advisory capacity over the legal procedures needed to implement programs. She provides opinion analysis in support of policy formulation; and advises the Commission and staff on various statutes that govern State agencies such as the Open Meeting Act, Political Reform Act, Public Records Act, and Administrative Procedures Act.

Maureen earned her Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, in 2013. In addition, she holds a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University in Sacramento and an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Nevada in Reno.