Mimi Silbert

President and CEO, Delancey Street

Mimi silbert

Mimi Silbert serves as the President and CEO of the Delancey Street Foundation, which serves ex-felons, sex workers, substance abusers, and others who have hit bottom, in six national centers, located in New York, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Los Angeles and headquartered in San Francisco, all living drug, crime, and alcohol free.

For 40 years, Delancey Street, a residential educational community, has provided residents with academic, vocational, and social skills, and the discipline, values, and attitudes they need to live in society legitimately and successfully – at no cost to the client or taxpayer. There are currently over 18,000 thousand successful graduates.

Silbert lives in Delancey Street, and the organization functions as an extended family, sharing everything. Silbert has been appointed to the National Institute of Justice by President Carter, to the California Board of Corrections (now the Corrections Standards Authority) by every Governor from Governor Deukmejian (1986) through Governor Schwarzenegger (her current appointment continues through 2012) to the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Inmate Population Management by the State Legislature, to the Expert Panel on Corrections, and to the State Police Officers Standards and Training Advisory Commission, among other correction oriented appointments.

She and Delancey Street have received commendations, certificates, and awards from Presidents Bush (H.W.), Carter, and Reagan, numerous Senate and Congressional Leaders, the New Mexico, California, and Delaware State Legislatures and New Mexico and California Governors, the Key to the City of San Francisco, six Mayoral Proclamations of “Mimi Silbert Days” in San Francisco, and commendations from local boards of supervisors and she was awarded the first Minerva Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Silbert was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2014. She has been featured on 20/20 in a segment entitled “The Power of Mimi”; on This Is Your Life; Oprah Winfrey Prime Time Special; Sunday Morning with Charles Kurault; John Stossel Goes to Washington; Street Stories with Ed Bradley; Good Morning America; several segments on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, including their “Year in Review” and featuring Silbert as “Person of the Week”; along with over 50 segments on local channels, national and international media including Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and Africa. Silbert holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts (1963), and Masters (1965) and Doctorate Degrees (1968) in Counseling Psychology and Criminology from the University of California at Berkeley, has two children and five grandchildren of her own, along with thousands of her Delancey Street “children” (considered by others to be society’s “losers”) with whom she has cast her lot to prove her belief that with struggle, courage and discipline, together they can be “winners” and transform impossible dreams into reality by pooling their resources, supporting one another, and living lives of purpose and integrity.