Meet Tara Beckman, LCSW, new incoming President & CEO of San Diego Center for Children

Tara Beckman headshot

The Board of Trustees of San Diego Center for Children is pleased to announce Tara Beckman, LCSW as the new President & CEO, joining the organization on January 29, 2024.

After a thorough search process, the Board of Trustees of San Diego Center for Children (the Center) selected Tara Beckman to lead the organization at a time of momentous growth and expansion.  Beckman will replace Moisés Barón, Ph.D., who announced his intention to retire in the spring of 2023.

As the first female CEO of San Diego Center for Children, Beckman will bring several years of professional experience and progressive leadership to this role as well as the personal passion and dedication necessary to lead the county’s oldest children’s nonprofit.

Most recently, she served as the Chief Program Officer for Hope Services in San Jose, CA and prior to that as Executive Director of Caminar in San Mateo. She also has extensive experience with the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program as Deputy Director, Case Supervisor, and CASA volunteer.

Board Chair, Ann Garland, Ph.D., served on the search committee that vetted hundreds of applications and spanned across the nation.

“The Board is confident in Tara’s leadership ability to advance the Center’s mission,” says Garland. “She exemplifies the competence and compassion essential to the incredibly important work that is being done at the Center every day. We also want to express our gratitude to Dr. Moisés Barón for his tremendous service as President & CEO. The Center has grown in every respect during his tenure. He has elevated the Center’s local and state-wide reputation and built the county’s only comprehensive continuum of care for children and families struggling with mental health challenges. His legacy will endure, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”

After 9 years of dedicated service, San Diego Center of Children will bid farewell to its esteemed and beloved CEO, Moisés Barón, as he retires at the end of January 2024. Under Barón’s leadership, the Center has flourished and grown to 9 program sites and 14 service lines, serving over 1,000 children and families every day. “I am delighted to welcome Tara in her new role as President and CEO” says Barón. “She brings the experience, passion and talent necessary to effectively partner with our skilled staff, and our Board, to further the mission of the Center at a time when we continue to experience a crisis of access to much needed behavioral health services.”

Beckman shared, “I am honored to take on the responsibilities that come with leading such a dynamic and forward-thinking organization. The prospect of working alongside such a talented and dedicated group of individuals, both within the organization and throughout the community, is truly exciting. Together, we will continue to empower children and families through transformative mental health care and educational services.”

Beckman earned her BA at the University of Memphis in Journalism and Public Relations, and her MSW at CSU East Bay, with a focus on Community Mental Health. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and accomplished advocate and book author.

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