National Leadership Conference

On June 24th, Addiction Policy Forum held the 2019 National Leadership Conference at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.


The annual National Leadership Conference highlights innovative solutions to addressing addiction. Keynote presentations included Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief of Community Outreach Sean Fearns, and mental health expert Dr. Christian Conte.


The day started off with an unprecedented moment: Keynote Speaker, and current Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Jim Carroll, invited previous Directors of ONDCP General Barry McCaffrey (ret.) and Dr. Robert DuPont to join him onstage for an impromptu panel. For the first time, these three experts shared their insight on the current opioid epidemic and lessons learned heading the nation’s top office on addiction.

Following Director Carroll was a presentation by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief of Community Outreach Sean Fearns, who provided an update on current DEA priorities and ways they are working to address drug trafficking and prevention.

Lisbet Portman, Vice President of Digital Content and Strategy at the Addiction Policy Forum moderated the next panel on innovations in prevention. Speakers included Dr. Robert Dupont, our nation’s first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Ellen Morehouse, a national leader on Student Assistance Services, and Lauren Phelps, a teacher at Breed Middle School in Lynn Massachusetts who is transforming the way we care for children who have experienced trauma in their home lives.

The final panel of the National Leadership Conference was led by Jay Ruais, Executive Vice Presidentof Field Advancement at Addiction Policy Forum. The panel focused on innovations in criminal justice and included Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley, and Tara Kunkel, Senior Drug Policy Advisor at the Department of Justice.



Anger management expert Dr. Christian Conte spoke to attendees about mindfulness and awareness and ways we can use both to better address addiction.

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