Center for Resilience Announces New CEO

Alex Gray Headshot
Alexandra Gray

NEW ORLEANS — The Center for Resilience, a therapeutic day treatment program for children with emotional and behavioral health needs, has announced a new chapter in its leadership. Alexandra “Alex” Gray will assume the role of chief executive officer. Gray succeeds the organization’s founder, Liz Marcell Williams, who will transition to the role of senior advisor to support the transition process.

Gray most recently served as the senior managing director of regional management and operations at Teach For America Greater New Orleans.

The Center for Resilience was founded in 2015 as the New Orleans Therapeutic Day Treatment Program, an agency of the Recovery School District of Louisiana, to address gaps in the continuum of care for children with moderate to severe mental and/or behavioral health needs in New Orleans. CfR’s mission is to improve the emotional well-being and academic readiness of children by delivering high-quality, interdisciplinary care, and collaborating with partners to develop new programs that meet the needs of our region’s children and families.

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During Williams’ tenure, CfR expanded to serve high-school aged children, launched a program for children with autism, and became the only regional hub for the stress management intervention Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY). CfR partnered with numerous community agencies, including Tulane University Medical School and Children’s Hospital New Orleans. 

“Liz’s indefatigable efforts have laid a strong foundation for the Center for Resilience,” said Adam Hawf, the organization’s board chair. “Her commitment to creating a more equitable New Orleans has inspired me personally, and our board is intensely grateful for her leadership.” 

At Teach For America, Gray steered efforts to manage and direct a development team with an annual revenue goal of $3 million and an “enabling conditions” team focusing on regional sustainability, health, talent and operations. 

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A graduate of Dickinson College and Pace University, Gray has more than 15 years of experience in public education.

“I am excited to work alongside parents, teachers, clinicians, school leaders and our community members to ensure that all children, regardless of their behavioral health needs, have access to environments that allow them to thrive,” she said. “The CEO role at the Center for Resilience allows me the opportunity to make a real and meaningful impact within the lived experiences of our children in New Orleans who need the most support.”

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