Mr. Robert Gebbia serves as the CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which has become the leading suicide prevention nonprofit organization in the United States. In 16 years, Gebbia has developed a nationwide network of 75 chapters and increased AFSP’s annual revenue from $700,000 to over $16 million in support of the mission. In the last five years alone, AFSP has initiated and funded one out of every five studies on suicide – making AFSP the largest private funder of suicide research in the United States. In 2014, Gebbia announced AFSP’s bold goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.
Gebbia collaborates with scientists, business, civic, and political leaders, and people personally impacted by suicide to develop a comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy. During his leadership, AFSP has created public awareness campaigns and educational programs that have reached millions, and established a network of support for friends and families affected by suicide.
Gebbia helped launch the Out of the Darkness Walks to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. The walks – now held in almost 400 locations across the country – have given millions of people a way to raise awareness and take action against this leading cause of death. In 2009, Gebbia led the effort to bring AFSP and the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA together to strengthen grassroots advocacy. The merger has helped advocates secure funding for mental health and suicide prevention programs at both the state and federal levels.
Gebbia is a founding member of the National Council for Suicide Prevention, serves on the National Lifeline Advisory Committee, the Executive Committee of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the Board of Directors of the National Health Council.
Gebbia has an extensive background in nonprofit management, strategic planning, fundraising, and program development. Prior to joining AFSP, Gebbia had a successful career with the United Way and served as a Public Health Advisor for the City of New York.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in Sociology from the New School for Social Research. He completed the Harvard Business School’s Human Services Management Executive Program and IBM’s Leadership Commitment Program for nonprofit executives.