Board of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities

The Georgia Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities establishes the general policy to be followed by the Department. The nine-member board is appointed by the Governor. Each member of the board is appointed for a term of three years following initial appointments of staggered terms as provided by statute.

2021 Meetings

Past Meetings Archives

Download this pdf file. DBHDD Board By-Laws

Board Members


David Glass, ChFC, CFP

Chair (Atlanta)

Glass has been a principal with Glass Financial since 2001.  He has served on the boards of Parent to Parent, The Arc of Georgia and as an advisory member for the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. 


Lasa Joiner


Lasa Joiner is a staunch advocate for broader access to mental health treatments and brings expertise from her tenure as Executive Director of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.


Jan H. Ligon, Ph.D., LCSW

Secretary (Atlanta)

Ligon is an associate professor of social work at Georgia State University and a licensed clinical social worker.


Ellice Martin, Ed. D.

Vice-Chair (Homerville)

Martin has served as a board member and board chair of Unison Behavioral Health, and as the State President of the Georgia Association of Community Service Boards.


Jean R. Sumner, MD


Jean Sumner is an internal medicine physician practicing in Wrightsville. She is a former board member and past president of the Georgia Board of Medicine and currently serves as medical director of the board.


Jimmy Thomas

Sheriff (Pike County)

Jimmy Thomas is the current Sheriff of Pike County and now is in his  5th term as Sheriff, elected in 2000.  Sheriff Thomas has over 30 years of experience in public safety.


Dr. Justine Welsh is Director of Emory Healthcare Addiction Services and holds board certification in general, adolescent, and addiction psychiatry.

Laura Whitaker Headshot

Laura Whitaker serves as an executive director of Extra Special People, Inc. She earned both her bachelor's degree in Collaborative Special Education and her master's degree in Adapted Curriculum Classic Autism at the University of Georgia.