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.