Leadership Council

Ben Tucker

Former US Dep. Drug Czar and Former NYPD First Deputy Commissioner

Ben Tucker was first appointed to the NYPD as a police trainee in November 1969. He was sworn in as a patrol officer in 1972, and was promoted to sergeant in 1987. After serving the Department for 22 years, he later served in a public safety capacity in a variety of city, mayoral, and federal posts, including Assistant Director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Deputy Assistant Director for Law Enforcement Services in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations, and Deputy Director of the Community Oriented Policing Services at the U.S. Department of Justice during President Clinton’s administration. In 2002, he was appointed Chief Executive of the Office of School Safety and Planning in the New York City Department of Education. In 2010, President Obama nominated him as Deputy Director for State, Local, and Tribal Affairs, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. There, he directed the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HDTA) program and coordinated federal, state, local and tribal law-enforcement agencies in their effort to dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College, a Juris Doctorate from Fordham University School of Law, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Pace University where he is a tenured professorHe returned to the NYPD as Deputy Commissioner of Training in February 2014, and was subsequently appointed by Police Commissioner William Bratton as First Deputy Commissioner in November 2014.

Howard Koh

Former US Asst. Secretary of Health

Dr. Howard K. Koh is the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School. He previously served as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009-2014) after being nominated by President Barack Obama.  During that time, he oversaw 12 core public health offices, including the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, 10 Regional Health Offices across the nation, and 10 Presidential and Secretarial advisory committees.  From 1997-2003, Dr. Koh was Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts after being appointed by Governor William Weld. As Commissioner, he led the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which included a wide range of health services, four hospitals, and more than 3,000 health professionals. He emphasized the power of prevention and strengthened the state’s commitment to eliminating health disparities, while advancing progress in areas such as tobacco control, bioterrorism response after 9/11 and anthrax, health issues of the homeless, newborn screening, organ donation, suicide prevention and international public health partnerships. A graduate of Yale College and the Yale University School of Medicine, he trained at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, earned board certifications in four medical fields, has been Principal Investigator of research grants totaling $25M, published more than 300 articles in the medical and public health literature and has received over 70 awards, including six honorary doctorate degrees. He is on the Board of Directors of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Network for Public Health Law, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and New England Donor Services. Dr. Koh and his wife Dr. Claudia Arrigg have three adult children and two granddaughters.

Lauren Davis

Washington State Representative (D-WA)

Lauren Davis grew up in King County and is a proud product of the public school system. Lauren’s first job was teaching at a Head Start program, and this fueled her passion for early childhood education. After college, she spent several years working in global development, as a Fulbright Fellow in Ghana, West Africa, and a consultant at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. While at the Gates Foundation, Lauren served as the primary caregiver to her best friend Ricky Garcia, who was gravely ill with untreated alcohol and opiate addiction. This August, Ricky will celebrate seven years in long-term recovery. When Ricky got better, Lauren got busy—busy working to fix the system gap that nearly cost his life. Although she was working full-time and attending graduate school, this became her crusade. She championed HB 1713, named “Ricky’s Law,” which was signed by Governor Inslee in 2016. The legislation created an involuntary crisis commitment system for youth and adults with life-threatening addiction. Ricky’s Law represents one of the largest single investments in addiction treatment in Washington state history. It was during those long days at the capitol advocating for Ricky’s Law that women lawmakers began asking Lauren to run for office. For her efforts, Lauren was given the 2016 Hero Award from the Washington Council for Behavioral Health. The heartache of Ricky’s suffering propelled Lauren to leave her international development career and help launch a start-up suicide prevention nonprofit called Forefront. At Forefront, Lauren directed school and campus-based mental health and suicide prevention programs, working directly with high schools across King County and colleges across the state. She provided suicide prevention training to groups ranging from veterans to pharmacists to Grandmothers Against Gun Violence. Lauren helped to found the Washington Recovery Alliance, where she now serves as the organization’s first Executive Director. She also serves on the Public Policy Committee for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Washington State and served for many years on King County’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board. Lauren recently taught a mental health policy course in the Masters in Social Work program at the University of Washington. She is a strong champion for mental health and addiction recovery, strengthening our schools, reforming the criminal justice system, and affordable housing. Lauren resides in Shoreline, is a member of Grace United Methodist Church, and plays goalkeeper in a recreational soccer league.

Billy Williams

Former Oregon US Attorney

During his 20-year tenure with the Department of Justice, Williams held numerous positions of leadership. As U.S. attorney in Oregon from 2015-2021, he worked to forge relationships, foster understanding, and represent victim and state interests. He served on numerous advisory subcommittees and working groups, including the Native American Issues Subcommittee, Civil Rights Subcommittee, Border and Immigration Subcommittee, Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, Ninth Circuit Fairness Committee and as chair of the Attorney General’s Marijuana Working Group. Before serving as U.S. attorney, Williams held DOJ roles as first assistant U.S. attorney, chief of the Criminal Division, chief of the Violent Crimes Unit, and as Oregon’s Indian Country assistant U.S. attorney and tribal liaison. Before launching his career in federal service, he served as a senior deputy district attorney in Oregon’s Multnomah County and as a state prosecutor handling violent crimes.

Tom Mutryn

FDPS Board Member

Tom Mutryn is an experienced business professional, having served as the Chief Financial Officer at three different public companies over 20+ years. A native of Schenectady NY, and who now lives in Potomac, MD, Tom attended Cornell University where he studied architecture and engineering, and after a short engineering career, earned a Master of Business Administration degree.  Tom founded Mike’s Place in 2016, a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to provide a safe and support community for young men is the early stages of recovery from substance abuse.  Mike’s Place currently operates three recovery houses in Rockville, MD.  Additionally, he serves on the Board or is an advisor to the Ruddie Memorial Youth Foundation, Changing Perceptions, Arise and Flourish and the Loudoun Serenity House.

Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf, Founder, Pacific Alliance For Prevention And Recovery, FDPS West Coast Initiative

Bob Troyer

Former Colorado US Attorney

Bob Troyer was the United States Attorney in Colorado from 2016 to 2018. He was the First Assistant US Attorney for six years before that, and in the early 2000s, he was a line criminal prosecutor in that office’s drug and violent crime units. Bob spent the other 15 years of his legal career in private practice conducting internal investigations and litigating civil cases. While US Attorney Bob received the PSN Outstanding Contribution Award from the US Attorney General for his years of pioneering work developing and deploying a highly successful, NIBIN-based violent crime reduction strategy in Colorado. Over the last two years, Bob has worked with numerous policing agencies in Colorado on policy issues, and he conducted an investigation of Catholic clergy child sex abuse in Colorado over the last 70 years.

James Down

Former President, Mercer Consulting

Prior to his retirement, James Down was vice chairman of Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and was responsible for the overall direction and management of the firm. Throughout his career, Mr. Down has been a senior advisor on strategic issues to a multitude of organizations, including UPS, CSX/Sea-Land, AT&T, Agility, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Merck. He is a past director of Redwood Logistics, Transplace, Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation, ProBuild, Care Group, Horizon Lines, MTG, Oxfam, The CDC Foundation, Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, The Perkins School for the Blind, and Outward Bound. Mr. Down holds a masters director certification from the Corporate Directors Group, a national board director education organization. He received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Karen Tandy

Former DEA Administrator

Karen Tandy has more than 40 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors with executive board experience serving on for-profit and nonprofit boards. She is the principal of KPT Consulting LLC, a government affairs consulting firm in the Washington DC area, and Executive Vice President of tele-health firm, NLW Partners. During her public service, Ms. Tandy was appointed by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate as the first female to head the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where she managed a $2.2 billion budget and led more than 10,000 employees in 86 global offices. Before that, Ms. Tandy was Associate Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton and Bush Administrations with responsibility for anti-money laundering, counter-drug policy and DEA regulatory oversight. She also led the nationwide Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces and served for more than 15 years as a federal prosecutor. Ms. Tandy remains active on public safety boards. In 2020, Ms. Tandy was appointed by U.S. Congress to the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. She also is the Vice Chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, appointed during the Obama, Trump and Biden Administrations. Ms. Tandy is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. She also has chaired several Homeland Security Advisory Council subcommittees on the use of privatized immigration detention facilities and on the Customs and Border Protection’s use of force and handling of families and children at the Southwest Border.

John Kelly

Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Kelly is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School - the first endowed professor in addiction medicine at Harvard. He is also the Founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM) at MGH, and the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS). Dr. Kelly is a former President of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology, and is a Fellow of the APA and a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies and non-federal institutions, as well as foreign governments and the United Nations. Dr. Kelly has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, chapters, and books in the field of addiction medicine, and was an author on the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. His clinical and research work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process, mechanisms of behavior change, and reducing stigma and discrimination among individuals suffering from addiction.

Bill Stauffer

Executive Director, The Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations – Alliance

William Stauffer is the Executive Director of Pennsylvania Recovery Organization Alliance (PRO-A), the statewide recovery organization of Pennsylvania. He is in long-term recovery since age 21 and has been actively engaged in public policy in the recovery arena for most of those years. He is also an adjunct professor of Social Work at Misericordia University in Dallas Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor's in Social Work degree from Cedar Crest College and a Master's of Social Work Degree from Kutztown University. He ran a recovery house taskforce for the Pennsylvania that helped inform PA Act 59 of 2017. In 2018, he testified in front of the US Senate Special Committee on Aging on the opioid epidemic and older adults, and in 2019, he conducted a hearing with the PA House Human Services Committee to expand recovery opportunities for young people. He is co-chair of the public policy committee for Faces & Voices of Recovery and the 2019 recipient of the Vernon Johnson Award Individual Recovery Advocate of the year. Mr. Stauffer was also the 2002 Recipient of the Lecie G. Machell prize in Social Work and, prior to taking the position of executive director of PRO-A , received Pennsylvania Recovery Organization Alliances award of the Recovery Advocate of the year, in 2008.

Judge Shari Olefson

Florida Circuit Judge

The Hon. Shari Africk Olefson is a judge for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County, Florida. She was elected to the Circuit Court in 2018. Judge Africk Olefson graduated with her B.A. in professional writing and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985. She went on to earn a J.D. from Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1988 and an LL.M. in real property, land development, and finance law from the University of Miami School of Law in 1989. While in law school, Africk Olefson interned at the Office of the Public Defender for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. In 1989, she began serving as general counsel for Forecast Trading Corporation, a position she held until 1999. Africk Olefson was the director of Investor Title Service from 1999 to 2006 and became director of The Carnegie Group in 2011. She also served as a shareholder at Fowler White Boggs from 2009 to 2012. She specialized in business and commercial real estate transactions, mediations, work outs, foreclosures, regulatory compliance, and new product structuring. She became a Board-Certified Specialist in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education in 1995. Africk Olefson is the author of several books pertaining to the subjects of real estate law and economics and has appeared as a guest expert on CNN, CNBC, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, and CBS. While on the Circuit Court, she has presided in the Juvenile Dependency Division. Africk Olefson has been a member of the Realtors Political Advocacy Fund for over thirty years and has also served as a member of the National Association of Realtors Presidents Circle. She was born in New York.

Patrick Kennedy

Former Congressman

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008–and his brave openness about his own health challenges.  The son of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father’s death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, a global leader in open science collaboration in brain research. Kennedy is also the co-author of “A Common Struggle,” which outlines both his personal story and a bold plan for the future of mental health in America. He is also the co-founder of SAM, Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey

Former White House Drug Czar

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey was the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) during the Clinton Administration. He was confirmed to the position by unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate and served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the National Security Council for drug related issues. He currently serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC News. Following government service, McCaffrey served as the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies and then as an Adjunct Professor of International Security Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  McCaffrey graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He holds a Master of Arts degree in civil government from American University. He attended the Harvard University National Security Program as well as the Business School Executive Education Program. McCaffrey is a member Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society dedicated to the recognition and promotion of academic excellence in all disciplines. In 2010, he was honored as a Distinguished Graduate by the West Point Association of Graduates at the United States Military Academy. He was also inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame at Ft Benning. At retirement from active duty, he was the most highly decorated four-star general in the U.S. Army. He twice received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest medal for valor. He was also awarded two Silver Stars for valor, and received three Purple Heart medals for wounds sustained in combat.

Michele Leonhart

Former Head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

The former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart graduated from Bemidji State College in Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1978. She began her law enforcement career by attending the Baltimore Police Academy, after which Leonhart served as a patrol officer in the Northwest District of Baltimore. Leonhart was appointed in 1997 as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of DEA’s San Francisco Field Division, where she served until her appointment in September 1998 as the SAC of DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division. In that capacity, she commanded DEA offices and enforcement operations in the Los Angeles area, as well as Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. Leonhart served as the deputy administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration from March 2004 until administrator Karen Tandy resigned in October 2007. Leonhart took over as acting administrator in November 2007, and was confirmed as permanent administrator on December 22, 2010 where she served until her retirement in May 2015.

Ron Brooks

38-year Law enforcement Veteran

Ron Brooks is a 38-year law enforcement veteran and a national leader on public safety policy issues.  As the executive officer of a successful criminal intelligence enterprise for more than ten years, Ron combined the intelligence, technology, and information sharing resources of the Northern California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NC HIDTA) and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) into one of the nation’s most effective fusion centers.   Ron applied the national policies and standards that he helped to create as Chairman of the Global Justice Initiative’s Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) and as Chairman of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Partners Board to lead the development of a suite of integrated and interoperable resources that enabled new capabilities and relationships to enhance public safety.  Ron also served as the state and local law enforcement representative to the White House Interagency Policy Committee for Information Sharing Access (IPC-ISA).  Prior to his service at the NCRIC, Ron retired as Assistant Chief from the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.  He served from 1998-2013 as President of the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC) representing over 65,000 law enforcement officers in 44 state associations on national policy issues affecting drug law enforcement.

Mitch Rosenthal, M.D. (In Memoriam)

In Memoriam, Founder of Phoenix House

A pioneer in the treatment of substance abuse, Dr. Mitchell S. “Mitch” Rosenthal was founder of Phoenix House, the nation's leading private, non-profit provider of substance abuse services. He began work in the field in 1965 as a psychiatrist at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California (1965-1967), where he established the first service-sponsored therapeutic community. Up until his death, he was president of the Rosenthal Center for Addiction Studies, a nonprofit institution designed to meet the informational needs of healthcare professionals, policy makers, and members of the public confronting issues of drug use and addiction. He passed away in 2022 and is fondly remembered by the FDPS staff and board. As a leading advocate for the treatment community, Dr. Rosenthal chaired the New York State Advisory Council on Substance Abuse from 1985 to 1997. He has been a White House advisor on drug abuse and a special consultant to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. A graduate of Lafayette College, Dr. Rosenthal earned his medical degree at the State University of New York's (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. He served his residencies - in adult, child, and community psychiatry at Kings County Psychiatric Hospital, and the Staten Island Mental Health Society. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was awarded an honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) by SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 2002.

Kent “Oz” Nelson (In Memoriam)

Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Parcel Service and CDC Foundation Chair

Kent C. (Oz) Nelson was an American businessman who is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Parcel Service, a position he held from November 1989 to December 1996. Nelson served as chairman of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the world's largest foundation dedicated to helping disadvantaged children. He serves as a director of the United Way of America and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta He has been active in several educational initiatives: the Partnership for Kentucky Schools and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Nelson was also appointed to the Georgia Governors Education Reform Committee. Nelson serves on the Board of Trustees of The Carter Center of Emory University and the Ball State University Foundation. He is also a member of the board of directors Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation and the CDC Foundation. Ball State University has honored him with two awards: the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1991 and the Business Hall of Fame Award in 1990. He received an honorary doctoral degree from Ball State University in 1994. He also received an honorary doctoral degree of management from Kettering University in June 1993.

Dr. Jodi Gilman

Science Advisor

Dr. Jodi Gilman is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and the Director of Neuroscience at the Center for Addiction Medicine. She received her BS from Tufts University in 2004, and her PhD in Neuroscience from Brown University in 2008, where she participated in the Graduate Partnership Program with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). At NIAAA, Dr. Gilman received training in neuroimaging, experimental psychology, and in drug and alcohol addiction. Dr. Gilman has authored a series of scientific publications on the effects of alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse on the structure and function of the brain. She has also co-authored a book chapter on the pharmacological effects of alcohol. Her work has been featured in media outlets throughout the world, including Reuters, NPR's Science Friday, and the BBC.  Dr. Gilman’s research focuses on the acute and long-term effects of addiction on the brain, specifically on neural circuitry underlying emotion and decision-making throughout the initiation, continuance, and cessation of drug and alcohol use. Currently, she is using brain-imaging paradigms to understand decision-making throughout different stages of drug use in young adult users. Her goal is to examine risk factors for the development of addiction, with the hope that this information will lead to the development of specific interventions to mitigate this risk.  Dr. Gilman is a recent awardee of a NIDA K01 Career Development Award to investigate neural mechanisms of peer influence among young adults using cannabis. She was also awarded the Harvard Medical School Norman E. Zinberg Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry Research, as well as a NIDA Loan Repayment Award entitled Neuroimaging Techniques to Study and Treat Addiction. She has received numerous additional awards, including the Fellows Award for Research Excellence from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Marilyn Huestis

Science Advisor

Marilyn conducted human drug administration studies for 23 years before retiring from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where she was a tenured senior investigator and chief of the section of Chemistry and Drug Metabolism of the Intramural Research Program. She is a senior fellow at the Institute on Emerging Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University; Honorary Professor at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London; member of the Smart Approaches to Marijuana Science Advisory Board; and president of Huestis & Smith Toxicology, LLC. Marilyn has published more than 500 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and has had more than 800 abstracts presented at meetings worldwide. Her recent honors include the Distinguished Service to Safety Award, National Safety Council (2021); the American Association of Clinical Chemistry’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award (2021); the Alexander O. Gettler Award, Toxicology Section, American Academy of Forensic Sciences (2021); the Lyons-Voorhees Endowed Lectureship at the University of Colorado Medical School Department of Psychiatry, Aurora, Colo. (2019); the Robert F. Borkenstein Award, National Safety Council (2018); the Marian W. Fischman Lectureship Award, College on Problems of Drug dependence (2016); and Distinguished Fellow, American Academy of Forensic Sciences (2015). The journal Clinical Chemistry has featured Marilyn in its “Inspiring Minds” series of essays.

Dr. Aaron Weiner

Science Advisor

Dr. Aaron Weiner is a board-certified Psychologist and owner of Bridge Forward Group, a private practice and consulting organization.  He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed his fellowship in Addiction Psychology at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.  Prior to forming Bridge Forward in 2020, Dr. Weiner served as the Director of Addiction Services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in Naperville, Illinois, and the founder and clinical director of the Spectrum Health Addiction Rehabilitation Program in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Weiner is a strong advocate for evidence-based care in treating chemical dependency and behavioral addictions, as well as a proponent of integrating behavioral health services into medical settings.  Dr. Weiner has been an outspoken advocate for numerous forward-leaning trends, including naloxone co-prescribing in hospital settings, fentanyl test strips, responsible opioid destruction, marijuana education, person-first language for stigma reduction, and vaping awareness for youth.  He has spoken nationally on the topics of opioid addiction, marijuana commercialization, and the vaping epidemic, as well as has served as a context expert for both policy-makers and media outlets. In addition to his work in healthcare systems, Dr. Weiner is adjunct faculty in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He has served on the Board of the Society of Addiction Psychology, and won multiple regional awards for his commitment to converting best-practice ideas into real-world change. For more information about Dr. Weiner and his areas of focus, visit his website at weinerphd.com.

Dr. Timothy Brennan

Science Advisor

Dr. Timothy Brennan is the Director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospitals. He is also the Director of the Fellowship in Addiction Medicine Program at the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai. Dr. Brennan has spoken at local, state, national and international levels about addiction policy issues, particularly as related to young adults. He is the co-editor of Lippincott’s “Essentials of Addiction Medicine”, and was appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve on the Medical Review Board at the New York State Justice Center. He is a frequent contributor in the media regarding addiction issues and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, and NPR. Dr. Brennan volunteers as a member of the Adolescent Advisory Panel at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Dr. Brennan completed his Fellowship in Addiction Medicine at The Addiction Institute, a Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, and a Residency in Pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical College. He also completed an intern year in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital. He received a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a combined MD/MPH from Tulane University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He is Board Certified in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and Board Certified in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Hoover Adger

Science Advisor

Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Adolescent Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which he joined in 1984. Since that time, he has served as Director of the Substance Abuse Assessment/Intervention Team at The Johns Hopkins Hospital Adolescent Program and as Director of The Johns Hopkins Substance Abuse Faculty Development Programs. In February 1997, Dr. Adger was selected to fill the position of Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. In July 1998, he returned to Johns Hopkins to resume his duties as a full-time faculty member. From 1999-2005, he served as Co-Director of the Strategic Planning Initiative funded by HRSA and SAMHSA/CSAT to advise the federal government and others on improving and expanding interdisciplinary education and training of health professionals in substance use disorders. He currently serves as principal investigator and project director of the HRSA-funded Leadership & Education in Adolescent Health project at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and as the faculty leader of the Florence Sabin College in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Adger also is a past president of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse and a past president of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics.

Judge Arthur Burnett (In Memoriam)

First Black US Magistrate Judge

A trailblazer for civil rights, and former Executive Director of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Judge Arthur Burnett, Sr. operates was a national treasure and advisor on many issues facing American youth including juvenile delinquency, neglect, abuse and the foster care system. Judge Burnett, Sr. also served as the senior judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia where he heard cases involving neglect, abuse, termination of parental rights, and adoption. He was also the court’s community relations liaison judge, with the responsibility of preventing and reducing juvenile delinquency and promoting improvements in the foster care and adoption systems of the district. Judge Burnett, Sr. he began his law career in 1958 specializing in fraud, obscenity and public integrity criminal cases in the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the United States Department of Justice in the Criminal Division and serving as a special prosecutor for the U. S. Department of Justice. From 1965 to 1969, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C. where he prosecuted homicide and other cases, for nearly four years. In 1968 he became First Legal Adviser for the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department. In 1969, Judge Burnett, Sr. was appointed the first African American United States Magistrate in the United States. He served until 1975 and then became the Legal Advisor for the United States Civil Service System. From 1977 to 1980, he was also a legal advisor to the President of the United States on all civil service and personnel laws and as one of the President’s chief representatives in dealing with federal personnel system bills pending before the U.S. Congress. In 1980 he was again appointed United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and served until appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the President in 1987. Judge Burnett, Sr. received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics summa cum laude from Howard University and his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 1958. Highlights of his college and law school years include being elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a Howard University junior, graduating from New York University School of Law in the top 10% of his class and as a Founders’ Day Award Recipient, and holding the title of Associate Research Editor of its Law Review. He was a member of the American Bar Association Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and the District of Columbia Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. He was a former Chair of the National Bar Association Juvenile Justice Task Force and former Chair of its Juvenile Justice Committee.

Dr. Yifrah Kaminer

Science Advisor

Dr. Yifrah Kaminer is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with an appointment as a Professor of Psychiatry at University of Connecticut School of Medicine’s Alcohol Research Center and Professor of Pediatrics at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s Injury Prevention Center. Dr. Kaminer’s research focuses on the assessment and treatment of youth substance use disorders. He has authored/edited five books, published more than 160 scientific articles, and guest edited journals including Substance Abuse Journal and American Journal of Addictions. He received his M.D. from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and his MBA from the University of Hartford. Dr. Kaminer is also coordinator of the Youth Treatment Section of the Research Society on Marijuana (RSMj)’s advisory board.

Dr Leslie Walker-Harding

Science Advisor

The appointed chair of the University of Washington School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics, Leslie Walker-Harding also serves as the associate dean of the UW medical school and as senior vice president/chief academic officer for Seattle Children's. She was previously the medical director of Penn State Children's Hospital and pediatrics department chair for Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Mel Pohl

Science Advisor

Mel Pohl, MD, DFASAM is a Family Practitioner. He is the Senior Medical Consultant of the Pain Recovery Program at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He is the author of A Day without Pain, revised edition (Central Recovery Press, 2011) and The Pain Antidote - Stop Suffering from Chronic Pain, Avoid Addiction to Painkillers, and Reclaim Your Life (DaCapo, 2015). Dr. Pohl filmed a show for PBS on chronic pain which aired around the country in 2016.

Sue Rusche

Founder, National Families in Action

Sue Rusche (now retired) co-founded and served as president and CEO of National Families in Action (NFIA). NFIA helped lead the original national parent movement credited with reducing past-month illicit drug use by two-thirds among adolescents and young adults between 1979 and 1992. In the 80s, Ms. Rusche also wrote a twice-weekly column on drug use and addiction that was syndicated by King Features to more than 100 newspapers nationwide. NFIA and Wake Forest University School of Medicine created the Addiction Studies Program which ran from 1999 through 2014. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the program conducted workshops for those who shape public opinion (journalists) and public policy (state executives and legislators) to provide an understanding of the science that underlies addiction, prevention, and treatment.  NFIA obtained a $5 million grant in 2003 to create the Parent Corps and implement a pilot program of it. The Parent Corps recruited, trained, and paid salaries and benefits to two Parent Leaders in their child’s school to mobilize other parents into drug prevention. The pilot program ran for four years at 19 schools in 9 states, recruited 8,000 parents into the Parent Corps and, when the kids asked, “What about us?” created the Youth Corps and recruited 6,000 students into it. Results: attendance, grades, and positive communications from parents increased; discipline problems and school drop-outs decreased. NFIA has tracked the drug prevention and drug legalization movement since its founding in 1977. Our But What about the Children? Campaign developed 12 provisions that any law legalizing marijuana should include to prevent a commercial marijuana industry from targeting underage children, like the tobacco and alcohol industries do.  In May 2013, NFIA hosted a workshop, keynoted by former President Jimmy Carter, for leaders from Colorado and Washington to help them devise regulations to protect kids from a legal, commercial marijuana industry. The workshop resulted in the creation of The Marijuana Report.Org, a website that tracks the marijuana story unfolding across the nation. Ms. Rusche wrote The Marijuana Report e-newsletter weekly between 2014 and 2022, which went to 15,000 subscribers.  In 2018, NFIA formed a Science Advisory Board on which sit world-renowned scientists in the addiction field. NFIA recorded podcasts with each scientist in a series called “What Should I Know about Marijuana?” Thousands have been downloaded since their release in 2019-2020. NFIA will come to a formal close January 31, 2023, at which time our Drug Information Collection spanning 45 years and covering the parent movement, the prevention movement, and the drug legalization movement, which drove both, will be moved to the University of California, San Francisco Library Archive and Special Collections where it will be digitized and made available to the public. UCSF holds the tobacco industry and tobacco control documents and is collecting the documents from the opioid trials currently taking place in courtrooms across the country. Mr. Rusche is the author with David Friedman of False Messengers: How Addictive Drugs Change the Brain (1999). She is currently writing a book titled Biological Capture: How Companies that Make Addictive Drugs Get Us to Keep Buying Them.

Patricia Clay

Executive Director, Treatment Communities of America

Patricia Clay currently serves as the Executive Director of Treatment Communities of America (TCA) and as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL). She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, a Master’s degree in Counseling from Assumption College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts. Mrs. Clay has more than 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field and has been previously employed by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, as the Administrator for the Rappahannock Regional Adult and Juvenile Drug Treatment Court programs, Social Worker III, In Home Therapist, Family Service Officer / Court Mediator (in the Probate & Family Court), State Probation Officer, and Addiction Specialist. Mrs. Clay is married to William “Lacy” Clay and has two children, two bonus children and a granddaughter.

Gary Tennis

Former President, NAMSDL

Gary Tennis serves on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), having served as the President of NAMSDL from 2017 to 2020. In 1992-1993, he served as Executive Director of NAMSDL’s predecessor entity, the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws. Gary specializes in drafting and developing treatment, intervention and prevention model laws, policies, guidelines and strategies. With the exception of his two years’ service with the President’s Commission, Gary was a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office from 1980 to 2006, the last 20 years of which he served as the Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. In 1987, as Chairman of the Hiring Committee for the District Attorney’s Office, Gary created the Minority Hiring Recruitment Committee. Gary was appointed as Pennsylvania’s first Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs from 2012 to 2017, during which time he served as an Officer on the NASADAD Board. He continues to serve on the Board of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Gary was awarded the NASADAD Award for Exceptional Leadership and Support of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in 2014 and the National Ramstad-Kennedy award in 2015. Gary is also a co-founder of NAMSDL.

Mary Pat Angelini

CEO, Preferred Behavioral Health Group

A former legislator, Mary Pat Angelini is currently the outgoing CEO of Preferred Behavioral Health Group (PBHG), a non-profit behavioral healthcare organization located in central New Jersey. Prior to her position at PBHG, she served as Executive Director of Prevention First, where she oversaw programs to counter the negative effects of substance use, violence, and bullying.   Previously, Ms. Angelini served as a program development specialist with Monmouth County’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, where she coordinated Monmouth County’s local coalitions to prevent substance abuse.   While serving in the New Jersey Legislature from 2008 to 2016 as Deputy Conference Leader, Ms. Angelini sponsored numerous legislative initiatives to help Garden State families. As Ranking Member of the Health and Senior Services Committee, she crafted legislation to improve the conditions at state psychiatric hospitals and to address underage drinking and drug use. She was the prime sponsor of the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights,” and the “911” or “Lifeline” legislation, which establishes a “safe haven” from prosecution for minors who summon medical assistance for intoxicated underage persons. In addition, she fought for strict ethics reform and stronger regulations for childcare centers.   Mary Pat has received numerous honors and awards over her professional career, notably for her commitment and support of children and families in New Jersey. She was honored by the Children’s Aid and Family Services and named “Children’s Advocate of the Year” by the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was also named “Legislative Champion for Improving Treatment” by the NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies and Mental Health Association of Monmouth County “Tony Dowling Child Advocacy” Award.   Ms. Angelini is also a recognized leader in New Jersey’s business community, receiving the 2021 “Executive of the Year” award from New Jersey Business and Industry Association and named among the “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ in 2019. Her civic contributions to her community are extensive. She serves as Vice Chair of the 200 Club of Monmouth County and sits on the Executive Board of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council, the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees, and formerly served on the Monmouth County Board of Elections. She was appointed by Governor Christie to the board of the Ann Klein Forensic Center, and she is also the Chair of the Human Services Advisory Council of Monmouth County. A proud resident of the Jersey shore, she is a member of the Jersey Shore Partnership’s Executive Board where she advocates for protection of coastal communities.   Mary Pat earned a Bachelor of Social Welfare from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a Certified Prevention Specialist. She and her husband, Robert, reside in Ocean Township. They have two children and three grandchildren.