Biographies: Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) - Mental Illness Policy Org
Biographies: Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC)2017-09-02T09:00:38+00:00

Biographies of Federal and Non-Federal Public Members of  Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC as of 9/2017)

Federal Members (bios at end)

Thomas E. Price, M.D. – Chair
HHS Secretary

Alexander Acosta
Secretary of Labor

Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP
Assistant Secretary of Defense

Nancy Berryhill
Acting Commissioner of Social Security

Kimberly Brandt, J.D.
Principal Deputy Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.
HUD Secretary

Captain Robert DeMartino, M.D., USPHS
Lead Medical Officer in Office of Assistant Sec. of Defense

Ralph Gaines, M.B.A.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary HUD,

John McCarthy, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center,

Jeff Sessions
Attorney General

Jennifer Sheehy, M.B.A.
Deputy Assistant Secretary  Department of Labor

Tracey Trautman, M.P.A.
Acting Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

 Non Federal Public Members (bios at end)

  • Linda S. Beeber, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, School of Nursing;
  • Ron Bruno, Founding Board Member and Second Vice President, CIT International;
  • Clayton Chau,  M.D., Ph.D., Regional Executive Medical Director, Institute for Mental Health and Wellness at St. Joseph-Hoag Health;
  • David Covington, LPC, MBA, CEO/President, RI International;
  • Maryann Davis, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical Center;
  • Pete Earley, Author;
  • Paul Emrich, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Family and Mental Health Chickasaw Nation;
  • Mary Giliberti, J.D., Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance for Mental Illness, National Alliance on Mental Illness;
  • Elena Kravitz, Peer Support Provider and Manager, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey;
  • Kenneth Minkoff, M.D., Zia Partners;
  • Elyn Saks, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Law, Legal Scholar, University of Southern California Gould School of Law;
  • John Snook, Esq., Executive Director/Attorney, Treatment Advocacy Center;
  • Rhathelia Stroud, J.D., Presiding Judge, DeKalb County Magistrate Court; and
  • Conni Wells, Owner/Manager, Axis Group, LLC.

 Biographies of Federal Members

Thomas E. Price, M.D. – Chair
HHS Secretary 

Dr. Thomas E. Price, M.D. was sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 10, 2017.  He brings to the Department a lifetime of service and a dedication to advancing the quality of health care in America – both as a physician and policymaker.

His first calling was to care for patients as an orthopaedic surgeon. Dr. Price received his Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Michigan and completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency at Emory University. After his training and residency, Dr. Price – a third generation physician following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather – began a solo medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia, which would eventually grow to be one of the largest, non-academic orthopaedic practices in the country. During his 20 years as a practicing physician, he also served as Medical Director of the Orthopedic Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital as well as an Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine.

As with many physicians and health care providers, Dr. Price’s experience caring for patients also gave him a unique perspective about the impact of public policy on the practice of medicine.  Eager to broaden the impact he could have on improving access to quality health care, Dr. Price ran for public office and was elected to four terms in the Georgia State Senate – during which time he was chosen by his colleagues to serve as Senate Minority Whip and later as the first Republican Senate Majority Leader in the history of Georgia.

Most recently, Dr. Price served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. He held this office from 2005-2017 and earned a reputation amongst his colleagues for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on health care matters. During his congressional career, Dr. Price served in various leadership roles including, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, and Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.  Committed to advancing positive solutions under principled leadership, Dr. Price remains a fierce advocate for a patient-centered health care system that adheres to six key principles: affordability, accessibility, quality, choices, innovation, and responsiveness.  As Secretary, Dr. Price remains committed to these principles, administering a wide array of services, supporting life-saving research, and protecting and serving all Americans.  Additionally, he recognizes the Department must be efficient, effective and accountable, as well as willing to partner with those in our communities who are already doing remarkable work.  Under his leadership, HHS strives to preserve the promises that society has made to the American people.

Dr. Price and his wife, Betty, have lived in the Metro-Atlanta area for nearly 40 years.  They have one adult son.

Alexander Acosta
Secretary of Labor

Secretary Acosta is the son of Cuban refugees, a native of Miami, and first-generation college graduate. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.  Following law school, he worked as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He then worked at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis and went on to teach at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law.

Secretary Acosta has served in three presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed positions.  In 2002, he was appointed to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions.  In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Most recently, Secretary Acosta served as the dean of the FIU College of Law.  Secretary Acosta has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine. He was also named to the list of 100 most influential individuals in business ethics in 2008. In 2013, the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Chairman’s Higher Education Award in recognition of his “outstanding achievements, leadership and determination throughout a lifetime of caring and giving back to the community.”

Secretary Acosta and his wife enjoy spending time together as a family, raising their two daughters.

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP
Assistant Secretary of Defense

Dr. Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Services Policy and Oversight in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.  In this role, she serves as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs for clinical policies and programs, including oversight of quality assessment/quality improvement, patient safety, and population-based health care management across the Military Health System (MHS).  MHS serves approximately 9.6 million beneficiaries worldwide.

Dr. Adirim received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.  She completed pediatrics training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, pediatric emergency medicine training at the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), Washington, DC, as well as sports medicine discipline at Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences and CNMC.

She graduated from Harvard School of Public Health with a Master’s degree in Public Health and was subsequently selected as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2006-2007.

Dr. Adirim served as Senior Advisor for Science and Public Health in the Office of Health Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security (2006-2010), and afterwards was the Director of the Office of Special Health Affairs at the Health Resources and Services Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services (2010-2014).

Just prior to serving in her current position, Dr. Adirim returned to Philadelphia as an attending physician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children; Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine, as well as Director of Academic Advancement in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Nancy Berryhill
Acting Commissioner of Social Security

On January 23, I became the acting commissioner of Social Security.  That makes me responsible for overseeing one of the nation’s largest and most important social insurance programs, providing retirement, survivors, and disability protection to almost all Americans.  With a $12 billion budget and almost 64,000 employees serving in more than 1,500 offices across the country and around the world, plus 16,000 state employees making disability determinations, we issue more than $960 billion in payments to nearly 66 million people each year.  I am humbled to lead an agency with a legacy and continuing mission that helps so many people.

I’m no newcomer to Social Security.  I’ve been with Social Security for forty years, beginning my career as a student employee.  My previous position, as the deputy commissioner for Operations, our organization’s largest component, provided me with tremendous insight on the enormous scale of not only what we do, but why we do it.  Before I served in executive leadership positions at Social Security, I was on the frontlines providing the critical assistance the public needs.  My experience as a claims clerk, service representative, claims representative, operations supervisor, district manager, and area director helped define who I am and affirmed my commitment to serving you.  All of the amazing teams I’ve worked with over the years have helped me implement several expanded-service delivery options for the public and develop innovative initiatives that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.  The dedication of the workers in Social Security’s “family” is unwavering and unmatched.

I’m looking forward to using our history of professional excellence to remain mission-focused and mission-driven.  Social Security is with you through life’s journey, helping you secure today and tomorrow, and I’m proud to honor that promise.

Kimberly Brandt, J.D.
Principal Deputy Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Kimberly Brandt is the Principal Deputy Administrator for Operations of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She supports the Administrator for all activities necessary for the operation and management of CMS and its programs, including, Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Kim also assists with the implementation of the CMS priorities, cross-cutting and strategic plan initiatives and the Medicare and Medicaid program integrity programs.

Kim served as Chief Oversight Counsel on the Majority staff of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee where she has served on Committee staff from January 2011 – August 2017.  In her role on the Committee, Kim coordinated oversight of the whole range of Committee issues including tax, health care, social security and trade.   Before joining the Finance Committee staff, Kim was a Senior Counsel at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C. advising clients on health care compliance and fraud and abuse issues.  Kim’s previous government service includes serving for seven years as the CMS Director of the Medicare Program Integrity Group at.  Prior to her first tenure at CMS, Kim worked for five years at the HHS Office of Inspector General as Special Counsel and Director of External Affairs and as a Senior Counsel negotiating False Claims Act settlements and drafting and monitoring Corporate Integrity Agreements as well as authoring the OIG’s compliance guidance for Individual and Small Group Physician Practices.

Kim received her J.D. with a concentration in health law from the DePaul School of Law, an M.A. in legislative affairs and health policy from George Washington University, and her B.A. from Valparaiso University.  She is a nationally recognized expert in healthcare compliance and fraud and abuse issues and in 2016 received the Healthcare Compliance and Ethics Professional of the Year award from the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association.

Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.
HUD Secretary

On March 2nd, 2017, Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., was sworn in as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For nearly 30 years, Secretary Carson served as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he assumed when he was just 33 years old, becoming the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history.  In 1987, he successfully performed the first separation of craniopagus twins conjoined at the back of the head.  He also performed the first fully successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa.

Dr. Carson received dozens of honors and awards in recognition of his achievements including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.  He is also a recipient of the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Dr. Carson authored nine books, four of which he co-wrote with his wife Candy.  The U.S. News Media Group and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership named him among “America’s Best Leaders” in 2008.

Dr. Carson and his wife co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments.  The Fund is currently operating in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and has recognized more than 7,300 scholars, awarded more than $7.3 million in scholarships, and installed more than 150 Ben Carson Reading Rooms around the country.

Born in Detroit to a single mother with a 3rd grade education who worked multiple jobs to support their family, Secretary Carson was raised to love reading and education.  He graduated from Yale University and earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School.  He and his wife are the proud parents of three adult sons and three grandchildren.

Captain Robert DeMartino, M.D., USPHS
Lead Medical Officer in Office of Assistant Sec. of Defense

Captain Robert DeMartino, MD, is currently the Lead Medical Officer for the Office of Health Services Policy and Oversight within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.  In that role, he provides management and medical policy support to the Deputy Assistant Secretary and oversees the work of senior medical professionals responsible for advancing a myriad of health policy issues within the MHS such as accession medical standards, women’s health, HIV treatment, and mental health policy.

In previous roles with DoD, CAPT DeMartino served as Director, Mental Health Programs where he provided DoD-wide coordination of policy and initiatives on mental health, including combat stress control, substance misuse, suicide prevention, mental health surveillance, and other mental health initiatives, and served as Director of the Behavioral Medicine Division in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer.

In work outside of DoD, CAPT DeMartino served as Chief of Staff to the US Surgeon General and was responsible for the direction and management of the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG).  In that role, he oversaw operations of the OSG to ensure that program objectives were met and he provided advice and recommendations on Commissioned Corps policy and operations to the Surgeon General, the Deputy Surgeon General and the Assistant Secretary for Health.

Ralph Gaines, M.B.A.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary HUD,

Ralph Gaines is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  He is the former President and CEO of BeBetter Health Inc., a national population health management company.  Under his leadership BeBetter Health transformed into a leading provider of health and wellbeing solutions to state governments, municipalities, hospital systems, and employers; creating and delivering products and programs to address behavior change.  Mr. Gaines’ career has encompassed positions in large and small company cultures including investment banking, manufacturing, and technology with broad experience in general management, strategic planning, and operations.  Mr. Gaines maintains an active lifestyle having competed in Kona, Hawaii’s Ironman 70.3 triathlon, and Chicago’s Olympic triathlon and regularly pursues his love of skiing, golf, and tennis.  He is a former member of the Young President’s Organization, YPO, and a former member of the Associates Board at Rush University Medical Center.  In 2009 Governor Joe Manchin appointed Mr. Gaines to The Healthy Lifestyles Coalition in the state of West Virginia.  Mr. Gaines earned a Master in Business Administration from the J.L Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

President Donald J. Trump nominated Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., on June 15, 2017 to be Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Dr. McCance-Katz on August 3, 2017.  As the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. McCance-Katz advises HHS Secretary Thomas Price on improving behavioral healthcare in America and leads the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in HHS.  Dr. McCance-Katz works across Federal agencies to bring the full force of the government to bear in support of the clinical priorities identified by Secretary Price to address the opioid epidemic and focus on the treatment and care needs of Americans with serious mental illness.

Dr. McCance-Katz’s first calling was caring for patients as a psychiatrist, providing care for individuals with serious mental health disorders at the Yale Psychiatric Institute.  Dr. McCance-Katz was drawn to caring for people suffering with mental and substance use disorders while completing a clinical rotation in Psychiatry during her third year of medical school.  Dr. McCance-Katz treated a woman experiencing a severe mental health crisis.  As the patient responded to medical treatment and a supportive environment, her depression and psychosis lifted, and she was able to think clearly about her life, her family, and future goals.  This experience inspired Dr. McCance-Katz to use her medical knowledge to provide breakthrough treatments for patients with a mental health or substance use disorder.

Dr. McCance-Katz has a medical degree from the University of Connecticut, School of Medicine as well as a Ph.D. in infectious disease epidemiology from Yale University Graduate School.  She completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale and has a B.A. in biology from Eastern Connecticut State University.  In addition to treating patients, Dr. McCance-Katz served as the Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She ensured that SAMHSA programs considered the psychiatric needs of patients, and she focused on integrating primary care into the treatment of substance use and mental disorders.

Most recently, Dr. McCance-Katz served as the Chief Medical Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals where she developed and implemented policies related to substance use and mental disorders. She played a prominent role in addressing Rhode Island’s opioid epidemic through her work developing the Centers of Excellence for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders. Dr. McCance-Katz was also the Medical Director for the Eleanor Slater Hospital which is Rhode Island’s state hospital for those with serious and persistent mental illness and for those with serious medical illnesses requiring long term care and rehabilitation services.

Furthermore, Dr. McCance-Katz is an experienced and recognized clinical researcher. While at Yale University, Dr. McCance-Katz studied and published scientific research related to the interaction of cocaine with alcohol and the clinical pharmacology of cocaethylene, a metabolite formed in humans who co-consume these drugs. As a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. McCance-Katz established a research program to define drug-drug interactions between opioids used to treat opioid use disorder and co-prescribed medications used in the treatment of HIV infection. Her research also explored interactions between alcohol and antiretroviral medications as well as the effects of alcohol use in individuals with untreated HIV disease.

Dr. McCance-Katz and her husband Michael reside in Cranston, Rhode Island and have three adult children. She is passionate about giving shelter animals a new home, particularly senior pets, and is devoted to her three rescue dogs—a Chihuahua/dachshund mix, Abbie, a Boston Terrier named Eli and a Rottweiler named Mandy.

 John McCarthy, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center,

John McCarthy, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center, a Program Evaluation Center in the VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.  His work has included establishment of the VA’s National Psychosis Registry, the VA’s National Primary Care- Mental Health Integration Evaluation, and national monitoring and analytics regarding suicide among individuals receiving VA services.  Under the leadership of Dr. Ira Katz, his team developed VA’s proof-of-concept suicide predictive modeling, which has guided the VA’s Recovery Engagement And Coordination for Health – Veterans Enhanced Treatment (REACH VET) program.  He is an Investigator at the VA Center for Clinical Management Research and Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan.  He has a Ph.D. in Health Services Organization and Policy from the University of Michigan.

Jeff Sessions
Attorney General

Jeff Sessions was sworn in as the 84th Attorney General of the United States on February 9, 2017 by Michael R. Pence. President Donald J. Trump announced his intention to nominate Mr. Sessions on November 18, 2016.

Prior to becoming Attorney General, Mr. Sessions served as a United States Senator for Alabama since 1996.  As a United States Senator, he focused his energies on maintaining a strong military, upholding the rule of law, limiting the role of government, and providing tax relief to stimulate economic growth and to empower Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Mr. Sessions was born in Selma, Alabama on December 24, 1946, and grew up in Hybart, the son of a country store owner.  Growing up in the country, Sessions was instilled with certain core values – honesty, hard work, belief in God and parental respect – that define him today.  In 1964, he became an Eagle Scout and thereafter received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.  After attending school in nearby Camden, Sessions attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969.  He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Alabama in 1973.  Sessions served in the United States Army Reserve from 1973 to 1986, ultimately attaining the rank of Captain.  He still considers that period to be one of the most rewarding chapters of his life.

Sessions’ interest in the law led to a distinguished legal career, first as a practicing attorney in Russellville, Alabama, and then in Mobile.  Following a two-year stint as Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama (1975-1977), Sessions was nominated by President Reagan in 1981 and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, a position he held for 12 years.  Sessions was elected Alabama Attorney General in 1995, serving as the State’s chief legal officer until 1996, when he entered the United States Senate.

Sessions and his wife, Mary Blackshear Sessions, originally of Gadsden, Alabama, have three children, Mary Abigail Reinhardt, Ruth Sessions Walk, and Sam.  They have seven granddaughters, Jane Ritchie, Alexa, Gracie, Sophia, Hannah, Joanna, and Phoebe, and three grandsons, Jim Beau, Lewis, and Nicholas.

Jennifer Sheehy, M.B.A.
Deputy Assistant Secretary  Department of Labor

Jennifer Sheehy is the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), US Department of Labor.  The mission of ODEP is to develop policy that increases job opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities.  Prior to her current position, Jennifer spent ten years at the U.S. Department of Education in many roles, including acting Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, acting Deputy Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.  Jennifer came to the Department of Education from the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities where she was Senior Policy Advisor and served a detail as Associate Director in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Before she joined the task force staff, Jennifer was Vice President of the National Organization on Disability and Director of its CEO Council.

Jennifer earned a BA from Cornell University and graduated with honors from Georgetown University, where she received her MBA.  While in graduate school, she worked in marketing research with Anheuser-Busch Companies in St. Louis.  Before graduate school, Jennifer also worked in marketing and management for Sheraton and Marriott.  Jennifer has received many civic and achievement awards including the Georgetown MBA Program “Outstanding Student Leader” award; the Accenture Women in Government “Rising Leader” award, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association Hall of Fame designation; and the Diet Coke/Glamour magazine “Women at Their Best” award.  Jennifer lives in Washington, DC, with her husband.

Melissa Spencer
Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Social Security Administration

Melissa Spencer is the Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Disability Policy.  Melissa is a graduate of SSA’s Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program.

Before entering the SES program, Melissa served as the Acting Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Office of Quality Review with responsibility for quality reviews of all of SSA’s programmatic workloads, including disability claims. She led the redesign of the Disability Determination quality review processes, instituting virtual review and SSA’s Targeted Denial Review.

In 1996, Melissa joined SSA, working in the Center for Disability Programs in the Philadelphia Regional Office. There, she served as a national expert in several areas including the Process Unification Social Security Rulings and childhood disability policy. She was also a Disability Program Administrator for Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Before joining, SSA Melissa spent 13 years in the Virginia Disability Determination Services as a disability examiner and manager after beginning her career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tracey Trautman, M.P.A.
Acting Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Tracey Trautman currently serves as the Acting Director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Office of Justice Programs.  She is also assigned as the Deputy Director for the Programs Office within in the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  In this capacity, she provides oversight for all grants management activity within BJA, including application review, award processing, liaison with grantees, performance measurement and programmatic grant monitoring.  BJA awards approximately 1,500 new grants each year, while managing a portfolio of almost 4,000 open and active grants worth approximately $2 billion dollars.

She also manages the development and execution of all formula grants and payment programs within BJA, including OJP’s flagship program, the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG).

Prior to her position at DOJ, Ms. Trautman worked at the Department of Homeland Security’s Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) as the Deputy Assistant Administrator, with responsibility for the oversight of all programmatic and financial activities for the DHS/FEMA preparedness grant programs.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from North Dakota State University, a Masters of Public Administration from George Mason University in Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Non Federal Public Members

Linda Beeber, Ph.D. 

Linda Beeber, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, FAAN is a doctorally-prepared advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurse with over 40 years of experience in practice and over 20 years of research experience in mental health.  Funded through federal grants and private foundations, Dr. Beeber and her colleagues have conducted community-based research focused on reducing maternal depressive symptoms and enhancing parenting in populations of high-risk mothers of infants and toddlers.  Her work has shown that reduction of barriers and provision of culturally and contextually tailored, evidence-based interventions can effectively reduce maternal depressive symptoms and improve parenting.  Dr. Beeber has experience as an educator, academic administrator, and psychiatric nursing leader.  Through her work with the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) as the Chair of the Research Council, and more recently, President Elect, and as the past Co-Chair of the Psychiatric Mental Health and Substance Abuse Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing, she advocates to reduce the risk factors that threaten mental health, and improve the lives of people living with symptoms of mental illness through models of recovery, culturally-congruent symptom management, social support mobilization, and healthy lifestyle patterning.  Dr. Beeber has disseminated her work through peer-reviewed papers, national and international presentations, and service on national policymaking panels.

Ron L. Bruno 

Ron L. Bruno is the Director of CTS Services, LLC, an organization that provides de-escalation training to law enforcement officers and other disciplines throughout the country.  Mr. Bruno received his training at the Memphis Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program.  He then returned to Utah, where he served as a CIT patrol officer and then as a CIT coordinator.  Mr. Bruno was appointed CIT Utah Program Director.  In this position, he expanded the program regionally throughout Utah, and developed a statewide program for correction officers.  Mr. Bruno was a key figure in developing the Salt Lake County crisis response system.  He also has participated on numerous councils and committees dedicated to more effective crisis services, including the National Empowerment Center, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Law Enforcement Leadership Institutes on Juvenile Justice. An advocate for effective criminal justice and behavioral health services integration, Mr. Bruno was a founding board director and Executive Director of CIT Utah, Inc., and a founding board director and second Vice President of CIT International.

Clayton Chau, M.D. 

Clayton Chau, M.D. is the Regional Executive Medical Director for the Mental Health Network, St. Joseph Hoag Health/Providence St. Joseph Health System in Orange County, California.  He obtained his M.D. from the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Chelsea University.  Dr. Chau completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, followed by a fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health in psychoneuroimmunology focusing on substance use and HIV.  Previously, he served as Senior Medical Director for Health Services at L.A. Care Health Plan, where he was Co-Principal Investigator for a multi-year Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ health care innovation grant in transforming clinical practice.  Dr. Chau also is a lecturer for the UCLA School of Public Health and an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at UC Irvine School of Medicine. Previously, he worked for the Orange County Health Care Agency Behavioral Health Services and was the Director of the Center of Excellence in Education, Training, Research and Advocacy for Reducing Health Disparities.  Dr. Chau was named the 2012 Visionary Leader by the National Council for Behavioral Health and received the Warren Williams, MD Award from the American Psychiatric Association.  He also has conducted international trainings in the areas of health care integration, health care system reform, cultural competency, veterans’ health, trauma, homelessness, and mental health policy.

David Covington, L.P.C., M.B.A.

David Covington, L.P.C., M.B.A. serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of RI International.  He is a partner in Behavioral Health Link, co-founder of CrisisTech 360, and leads the international initiatives “Crisis Now,” “Zero Suicide” and “Peer 2.0.”  A licensed professional counselor, Mr. Covington received an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State and an M.S. from the University of Memphis.  He previously served as CEO of Behavioral Health Link, Director of Public Sector Quality Management at APS Healthcare, and Vice President at Magellan Health.  A recognized health care innovations global speaker and blogger, Mr. Covington is the two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award. He also competed as a national finalist in innovations competitions, including Harvard’s Innovations in American Government in 2009, and was featured in Business Week magazine.  Mr. Covington is President-Elect of the American Association of Suicidology, for which he has served on the board of directors since 2014. He is also the Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline SAMHSA Steering Committee. In this capacity, he has served on numerous committees and task forces on clinical care and crisis services, including the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee and the National Council for Behavioral Health Boards of Directors.

Maryann Davis, Ph.D.

Maryann Davis, Ph.D., is Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and Director of the Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC), and the Transitions Research and Training Center (RTC).  A clinically trained research psychologist, she has spent her career studying transition-age youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. Dr. Davis is a grant recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and SAMHSA.  She has collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in addressing the needs of transition-age youth for over 20 years.  As Director of the Transitions RTC, she possesses extensive experience in sharing research-based knowledge to key stakeholders, including people with lived experience of serious mental health conditions and their families, administrators, policymakers, and service providers.  Dr. Davis has provided expert testimony on transition-age youth with serious mental health conditions before Congress, and served on multiple committees of the National Academy of Medicine.

Pete Earley

Pete Earley is a New York Times bestselling author and former reporter for The Washington Post. A 1973 graduate of Phillips University in Oklahoma, he previously worked for the Emporia Gazette in Kansas and the Tulsa Tribune in Oklahoma.  From 1980 until 1986, Mr. Earley worked as a reporter at The Washington Post before writing books full-time.  He is the author of six novels and 11 non-fiction books, including CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, which was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize.  Mr. Earley is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, serves on the board of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and was appointed to a Virginia Supreme Court task force that recommended changes to that state’s involuntary commitment laws and is currently serving on a committee investigating ways to improve Virginia jails.  An advocate for mental health, Mr. Earley has testified five times before the U.S. Congress, lectured in five foreign countries, spoken in every state except Hawaii, and toured a combined total of more than a hundred jails, prisons, treatment programs and housing facilities.

Paul Emrich, Ph.D.

Paul Emrich, Ph.D. serves as Undersecretary of Family and Mental Health Services for the Chickasaw Nation, for which he is responsible for leading the integration of human services, addiction recovery, mental health, and medical care.  Dr. Emrich received his training at Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Baptist University where he completed a post-graduate certificate in Medical Family Therapy, a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science, an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a B.A. in Family Psychology.  Dr. Emrich is dually licensed as a licensed marital and family therapist (LMFT) and licensed professional counselor (LPC).  He is also approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Behavioral Health Licensure to provide clinical supervision for license candidates.  Dr. Emrich is a clinical fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a member of the American Society for Addiction Medicine.  He has served on Oklahoma’s licensing board for LMFT and on the Tribal Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Health for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).  Having worked as a clinician, supervisor, administrator, researcher, advocate, and educator, Dr. Emrich has over 20 years of experience in the mental health field helping children, adults, and families experiencing serious emotional illnesses.

Mary Giliberti, J.D.

Mary Giliberti, J.D. is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  A native of North Bellmore, New York, she earned her B.A. at Harvard College and her J.D. at Yale Law School.  During her tenure of over 20 years in the mental health field, Ms. Giliberti has served as disability counsel for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and as a senior attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.  Before becoming CEO of NAMI, she worked as a section chief in the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Prior to that, Ms. Giliberti served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for federal and state issues at NAMI.

Elena M. Kravitz

Elena M. Kravitz is a community mental health provider and advocate.  A resident of Old Bridge, NJ, she is a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner and an active volunteer and provider who brings a lived experience of recovery.  Ms. Kravitz manages a peer support wellness center for the Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, a nationally recognized peer-led mental health organization. She also served as coordinator and lead presenter of the Hearts and Minds for the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) New Jersey and assists NAMI as a trainer in the In Our Own Voice and NAMI Connection programs.  A board member of Disability Rights-New Jersey and her county’s Freeholder-appointed Mental Health Board, Ms. Kravitz supports legal protections for people pursuing recoveries.  She is one of New Jersey’s leading trainers on Psychiatric Advance Directives, taking a leadership role in her own county on initiatives to bring law enforcement and mental health together, promoting the Police Crisis Intervention Team.  As a former staff member of a peer-staffed crisis respite house and as a peer worker in a psychiatric emergency service, Ms. Kravitz works to assist people pursuing recoveries move beyond a medication- and hospitalization-based model of mental health care, helping to spread awareness of Shared Decision Making, Trauma-Informed Care, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, and the Recovery Library.

Kenneth Minkoff, M.D.

Kenneth Minkoff, M.D. is a Senior System Consultant for ZiaPartners, Inc, a part-time Assistant Professor of Psychiatry for Harvard Medical School, and Director of Systems Integration for the Meadows MH Policy Institute in Dallas, TX.  A recognized expert on integrated services and systems for individuals with co-occurring serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders, he is a Board-Certified Addiction Psychiatrist.  In the 1990s, he chaired a SAMHSA Managed Care Initiative Panel on Co-occurring Disorders and developed a national model for integrated system design for individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.  For the past 17 years, Dr. Minkoff has worked with his consulting partner Christie A. Cline, M.D., M.B.A.., to improve behavioral health systems all over the world. Dr. Minkoff also is active in policy and practice on a national and state level, serving as an emeritus Board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists and currently as Chair of the Products and Services Plank.  An active participant in designing SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice Curriculum for psychiatrists, he is the co-chair of the Committee on Psychiatry and the Community for the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, and is an incoming Board member for the College for Behavioral Health Leadership.

Elyn R. Saks, J.D., Ph.D.

Elyn R. Saks is Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.  Dr. Saks is also Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. She is an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis.  Dr. Saks received her J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Psychoanalytic Science from the New Center for Psychoanalysis.  She writes extensively on law and mental health, having published five books and more than fifty articles and book chapters. Her memoir, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, describes her struggles with schizophrenia and her managing to craft a good life for herself in the face of a dire prognosis.  Dr. Saks has won numerous honors, including a 2009 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Pepperdine University.

John Snook, J.D.

John Snook is Executive Director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, an influential mental health advocacy organization.  He received his J.D. from the George Mason School of Law in Virginia and his B.A. from Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania.  Mr. Snook brings to TAC nearly twenty years of policy and advocacy experience at both the federal and state levels.  Prior to joining the Treatment Advocacy Center, John worked on housing policy at the Mortgage Bankers Association and at Habitat for Humanity International, where he grew Habitat’s nascent state and local advocacy network into a driving nationwide force for affordable housing policy.  John’s passion has always been mental health reform.  His focus on the issue began early, as he saw a loved one struggle with untreated serious mental illness.  John championed mental illness reform, working first with the West Virginia Supreme Court on mental health issues and then at the Treatment Advocacy Center.  Thus, his return to the Treatment Advocacy Center as Executive Director represents a homecoming in his work on these important issues.

Judge Rhathelia Stroud, J.D.

Judge Rhathelia Stroud is a DeKalb County, Georgia Magistrate and as Chief Judge for the City of Decatur, Georgia Municipal Court.  A native of Atlanta, GA, she graduated from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University College of Law.  As a magistrate, Judge Stroud presides over the DeKalb County Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (“MMHC”) and over Temporary Protective Order calendars as a superior court judge by designation.  She has presided over the mental health court for seven years.  Judge Stroud has served as faculty for the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education (ICJE) eLearning 20-Hour Jail Diversion Online Course and for Emory University’s School of Law Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program. Before serving on the bench, Judge Stroud was a practicing attorney and partner with Mitchell Graham & Stroud, P. C. in Decatur, Georgia and worked as Deputy General Counsel and Executive Director for the Department of Community Health (DCH) and the DCH’s Division of Health Planning, respectively.  Her civic and professional affiliations include the State Bar of Georgia, DeKalb Lawyers Association’s Community and Education Foundation, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. and the Providence Baptist Church Trustee Ministry.

Conni Wells

Conni Wells is a mental health consultant and advocate with over 30 years of lived experience. The parent and grandparent of children and young adults with health and mental health challenges, she served as a consultant and then Project Director of a National Technical Assistance (TA) Center, expanding the capacity of family and consumer run organizations serving children and youth with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.  She was as a member of the Systems of Care Site Visit Team for three states, for which she also provided consulting on developing organizational capacity for family run organizations.  For 12 years, Ms. Wells directed the FL Statewide Family Network, assisting the state in developing their system of care approach for vulnerable populations with mental health challenges.  She also developed Florida’s statewide family provider program for their Title V/CYSHCN Program, and served as a Senior Consultant at the Georgetown University National Center on Cultural Competence and as a Transformation Facilitator for the Georgetown University National TA Center for Systems of Care.  The former Chair for the National Certification for Parent Family Peers Commission, Ms. Wells currently works as a consultant on projects focusing on multiple system of care values and has multiple publications, including Straight Talk: Families Speak to Families about Child and Youth Mental Health.