David W. Covington, LPC, MBA is CEO and President of RI International (d/b/a for Recovery Innovations, Inc.). He is a behavioral health innovator, entrepreneur, and storyteller. He is also a partner in Behavioral Health Link, founder of the Five Lanes Crisis Partners family of companies and Crisis Now Academy consulting and training business, producer of the Moving America’s Soul on Suicide film series and founder of the international initiatives Crisis Talk and Hope Inc. Stories. David also hosts and curates the popular weekly 988 “Crisis Jam” Learning Community in partnership with SAMHSA and NASMHPD.
A licensed professional counselor, Covington received an MBA from Kennesaw State University and an MS from The University of Memphis. He previously served as vice president at Magellan Health responsible for executive and clinical operations of the $750 million Arizona contract. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC), established in 2017 in accordance with the 21st Century Cures Act to report to Congress on advances in behavioral health.
Covington is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award. He also competed as a finalist in the 2009 Harvard Kennedy School Innovations in American Government Awards Program on behalf of the Georgia Crisis and Access Line, which was featured in Bloomberg Businessweek. He started his career in ministry where he served as a senior pastor for Grace Communion International.
Covington has served on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee since 2010. In 2011, he co-led the Action Alliance task force on clinical care which founded the international movement Zero Suicide. He was also the vice-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Steering Committee from 2005 until 2020, and he is a past president of the American Association of Suicidology. In addition, Covington has served on numerous committees and task forces on clinical care and crisis services, including the National Council for Mental Wellbeing Board of Directors.