About Us


Advancing Transformation

S2i was founded in July 2020 with the goal of advancing transformation of mental health for all. Since then, S2i has developed into a platform and incubator that furthers investment to catalyze change by major philanthropy and partnerships among leading actors and thought leaders. S2i acts as a disruptive think and do tank, utilizing the expertise and decades of leadership experience from S2i’s small team and close partners. We tackle complex, cross-sectoral issues surrounding the systems at the crossroads of mental health, behavioral health, criminal justice, education, and workforce development.

disruptive think-and-do-tank founded to tackle complex, cross-cutting issues

Meet the Team!

Ken Zimmerman

Ken Zimmerman

Founder and Co-Director

Ken Zimmerman is the founder and co-director of S2i. A noted policy maker, civil rights leader, and philanthropist, he has increasingly focused on how to transform the nation’s broken mental health system following the mental illness and death of his son Jared in 2016. In doing so, he builds on his lengthy experience building (and dismantling barriers to) equitable and effective policy and program related to criminal justice reform, housing and homelessness, and other social policy areas critical to creating a society in which every individual’s dignity is acknowledged and supported.

From 2012-2018, Ken served as the Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Foundations, where he directed over $100 million in grants to organizations focused on equality, fairness, and justice. Previously, he served as a member of the Obama Administration’s HUD transition team as Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. In addition, he was a litigation partner for the pro bono practice group at Lowenstein Sandler, Chief Counsel to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and founding Executive Director of the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, Ken also serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the NYU Furman Center and teaches at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Keris Myrick

Keris Myrick


Keris Jän Myrick is a co-director of S2i. Ms. Myrick was formerly the Chief of Peer and Allied Health Professions for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and has served as the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the United States Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and was the Board President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Ms. Myrick is a leading mental health advocate and executive, known for her innovative and inclusive approach to mental health reform and the public disclosure of her personal story (as featured in the New York Times series: Lives Restored). Ms. Myrick has over 15 years of experience in mental health services innovations, transformation, and peer workforce development. She is known for her collaborative style and innovative “whole person” approach to mental health. Myrick serves on the board of the National Association of Peer Supporters and is a Co-Editor of the Journal of Psychiatric Services “Lived Experience and Leadership” column. Ms. Myrick has a MS in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University and an MBA from Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Fred Karnas

Fred Karnas

Co-Founder Emeritus & Senior Advisor

Fred Karnas is co-leading the S2i effort. Fred brings a long history of work in the areas of housing, health, and human services, with a special focus on addressing the needs of homeless persons, older Americans, and persons with disabilities. He has served as executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless and at HUD in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs, Director of the Office of AIDS Housing, and Director of the Interagency Council on the Homeless. He also served as a senior advisor to the Secretary of HUD in the Obama administration and in Arizona Governor Napolitano’s cabinet as Director of the Arizona Department of Housing and the Arizona Housing Finance Authority. Currently, Fred is a senior fellow at the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, having joined RMHF after serving several years in a similar position at The Kresge Foundation. He also served as President and CEO of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives in Phoenix. Fred holds degrees from the University of Virginia School of Architecture and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, as well as a PhD from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.

Margot Cronin-Furman

Margot Cronin-Furman

Chief of Staff

Margot Cronin-Furman is the chief of staff at S2i. Ms. Cronin-Furman recently received her Master’s in Public Administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service specializing in Health Policy and Management. Prior to her MPA, she completed her Masters in Social Work at Boston University and then spent nearly a decade as a medical social worker in pediatric and adult hospitals in Boston and NYC. She has worked clinically with patients and their families in multiple settings including emergency departments, intensive care units, solid organ and bone marrow transplant units, and pediatric long term care. During her MSW, Ms. Cronin-Furman completed a specialized Trauma Certificate Program and has provided trainings to interdisciplinary audiences on the effect of trauma on individuals, families, and systems. Ms. Cronin-Furman brings her clinical and educational background as well as her own mental health experiences to the S2i effort.

S2i Advisory Committee

Julian Adler, Director of Innovation and Strategy,  Center for Court Innovation

Xavier de Souza Briggs, Professor, NYU

Kenna Chic, member, Jed Foundation’s Student Advisory Council

Rebecca Cokley, Program Officer and Director, Disability Justice Initiative, Ford Foundation

Richard Frank, Senior Fellow – Economic Studies & Director – USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, Brookings

Sherry Glied, Dean, NYU Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Haner Hernandez, Executive Director,  Behavioral Health Workforce Leadership Development Institute, Inc.

Andy Keller, President, Chief Executive Officer, Meadows Mental Health Public Policy Institute

Kimberlyn Leary, Senior Vice President, Urban Institute

Stephanie LeMelle, Director of Public Psychiatry Education, Columbia University

John MacPhee, Executive Director, The Jed Foundation 

Kevin Martone, Executive Director, Technical Assistance Collaborative

Marie Monrad, Principal at Monrad Strategies (formerly with AFSCME & Kaiser Permanente

Keris Myrick, Co-Director, S2i

Ruth Shim, Associate Dean of Diverse and Inclusive Education, UC Davis School of Medicine

Bill Smith, Founder, Inseparable

Ashwin Vasan, NYC Health Commissioner (former President and CEO, Fountain House)

Vikki Wachino, Principle, Viaduct Consulting, LLC

Joe Wilson, Executive Director, Hospitality House

Sheryl Whitney, Partner and Management Consultant, Whitney Jennings