Judith E. Klein, JD, has been the director of the Mental Health Initiative since 2000, and has worked for the Open Society Foundations on mental disability since 1995. The Mental Health Initiative, part of the Open Society Public Health Program, works in 13 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The Mental Health Initiative aims to ensure that people with mental disabilities are able to live as equal citizens in the community and to actively participate in society with full respect for their human rights. The initiative focuses on ending the unjustified and inappropriate institutionalization of people with mental disabilities throughout the region by advocating for the closure of institutions and the development of community-based alternatives.
Prior to working at the Foundations, Klein, who is a member of the state bars of Florida and Michigan, represented people with mental disabilities in guardianship and involuntary detention hearings in the United States.