February 22, 2020
Samaritans Appoints Kathleen Marchi as ED and President

Kathleen Marchi
December 5, 2019 — Samaritans, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides programs and services aimed at preventing suicide, this week announced that Kathleen Marchi has been appointed executive director and president of the organization.

Marchi succeeds Steve Mongeau, who was executive director of Samaritans for nearly five years, after serving on the board for eight years, until his recent retirement.

Board chair Mark Horgan said of Marchi, "She is a terrific fit for both the mission and culture of our organization, and we are ecstatic to have her on board," noting her "outstanding leadership skills."

In addition to leading the nonprofit, Marchi, working with other organizations in the suicide prevention community, corporate partners, and legislative leaders in Massachusetts, aim to further raise awareness that suicide is preventable.

Marchi, who has more than 30 years of leadership, advancement, and management experience, most recently served as director of alumni relations at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which included fundraising responsibilities.

Earlier, she served as executive director of The Newton Partnership Child Care Scholarship Fund where she managed the annual scholarship program, oversaw the board of directors, engaged with community leaders, and collaborated with local agencies. She also worked as grants director for the Newton Public Schools and as acting executive director of The Genesis Foundation for Children.

“There’s not a person in the universe who hasn’t felt despair and isolation at one point or another in their lives, and in those moments, there’s nothing like a compassionate and kind ear to listen and offer friendship and support," said Marchi. "I couldn’t be more aligned personally or professionally with Samaritans’ mission and am eager to help lead the next phase of its growth and development alongside a dedicated and compassionate team, amazing board of directors, and exceptional volunteers.”

Mongeau commented, "As Samaritans expands our services across the Commonwealth, I know Kathy can lead our team with the mission to save lives always at the forefront of her mind.”

Established in 1974, Samaritans has worked to reduce the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, and suicidal feelings among individuals in their community through a process known as befriending. During that time, 5,200 volunteers, are selected, trained, and supported by a professional staff, have provided round-the-clock telephone support.

According to Samaritans, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for people of all ages in the United States, and the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34 in Massachusetts. Its most recently adopted strategic plan calls for the organization to, among other goals, expand text services, expand outreach and education within Greater Boston and MetroWest schools and introduce proactive strategies to help at-risk students, and increase prevention and postvention services through webinars and on-line educational content.

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