Tom lnsel, MD

Co-founder and Exec Chair, Vanna Health; former Director of NIMH/NIH

Tom lnsel, M.D., a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, has been a national leader in mental health research, policy, and technology. From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). More recently (2015 – 2017), he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) in South San Francisco, CA. In 2017 he co-founded Mindstrong Health, a Silicon Valley start-up building tools for people with serious mental illness. In 2019, Dr. Insel served as a special advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom, helping on behavioral health issues. In 2020, he co-founded Humanest Care, a therapeutic online community for recovery. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Steinberg Institute and serves on the boards of Fountain House, Foundation for NIH, and the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy as well as being an advisor to several mental health start-ups. He is the author of the forthcoming book Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health, to be published by Penguin Random House in February 2022. With journalist co-founders, he recently launched MindSite News (, a non-profit digital publication focused on mental health issues. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe.