Keynote Speakers


Tuesday, October 12, 2010 (Day 1)

Susan Kennedy

(9:15 am - 9:45 am)


Susan P. Kennedy was appointed Chief of Staff to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on January 1, 2006. Ms. Kennedy has played a key role in the development and implementation of Governor Schwarzenegger’s visionary bipartisan brand of politics. She worked with the legislature to pass a landmark $37 billion infrastructure package that aimed to renovate the state’s transportation, education and levee systems as well as increasing affordable housing. She fought hard to pass the groundbreaking California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), which propelled California into the cutting edge of environmental policy by addressing the threat of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. From 2003 until her appointment as Chief of Staff, she served on the California Public Utilities Commission. As CPUC Commissioner, Ms. Kennedy served as a leading voice for regulatory consistency, infrastructure investment and the promotion of economic development. She was a strong advocate for competition and regulatory restraint and a leader in the area of energy efficiency. She received the “2004 Champion of Energy Efficiency Award” from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Prior to joining the CPUC, Ms. Kennedy served as Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff in the administration of Governor Gray Davis. As Cabinet Secretary, she served as the Governor’s principal liaison to his cabinet and over 100 state agencies, departments, boards and commissions. Prior to joining the Davis Administration, Kennedy served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Kennedy has been Executive Director of the California Democratic Party and Executive Director of the California Abortion Rights Action League. Kennedy has also served on the California Bay-Delta Authority. A resident of Marin County, California, Ms. Kennedy graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California. Thomas McLellan
(9:45 am – 10:30 am)


On August 10, 2009, A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. was sworn in as the Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. As Deputy Director, Dr. McLellan serves as the primary advisor to the director on a broad range of drug control issues and assists in the formulation and implementation of the President's National Drug Control Strategy. Dr. McLellan brings 35 years of addiction treatment research to the position, most recently at the Treatment Research Institute, a non-profit organization that he co-founded in 1992 to transform the way science is used to understand substance abuse. Dr. McLellan's contributions to the advancement of substance abuse research and the application of these findings to treatment systems and public policy have changed the landscape of addiction science and improved the lives of countless Americans and their families. In his career he has published over 400 articles and chapters on addiction research. From 2000-2009 he was Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and he has also served on several other editorial boards of scientific journals. Dr. McLellan is the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Life Achievement Awards of the American and British Societies of Addiction Medicine (2001 & 2003); the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovator Award (2005); and awards for Distinguished Contribution to Addiction Medicine from the Swedish (2002) and Italian (2002) Medical Associations. Dr. McLellan holds a B.A. from Colgate University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. He received postgraduate training in psychology at Oxford University in England. K. Mineta
(1:30 pm – 2:00 pm)


David Mineta was confirmed unani­mously by the United States Senate on June 22, 2010 to be the deputy director of Demand Reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). In this position, Mr. Mineta oversees ONDCP Office of Demand Reduction which focuses on pro­moting drug prevention and drug treatment programs, as well as the agency’s newly created focus on programs for individuals in recovery from addiction. Mr. Mineta’s focus of drug prevention and treatment services has been longstanding. Since 1996, Mr. Mineta has worked with Asian American Recovery Services (AARS) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He started as a manager of a youth prevention program, but rose quickly to associate director and, since 2007, deputy director. As deputy director, he oversaw all agency grant writing and institutional technology depart­ments, and assisted in strategic planning, community consor­tiums, and other necessary functions. Before joining AARS, Mr. Mineta was a counselor in the San Jose Unified School District and later in Santa Clara’s Alcohol and Drug Department. From November of 2000 through July 2010, Mr. Mineta served as a trustee with the Jefferson Union High School District in Daly City. In May 2009, he was appointed to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention National Advisory Council. Mr. Mineta is a member of the American Public Health Association and Community Anti–Drug Coalitions of America. Mr. Mineta studied Political Science at the University of Cali­fornia, Berkeley and earned his Master’s degree in social work from California State University, San Jose in 1990.



October 13, 2010 (Day 2)

Michael Flaherty, PhDConstance M. Weisner
(8:40 am – 9:20 am)


Connie Weisner, DrPH, MS W, is a professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco and the associate director for Health Services Research at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. Dr. Weisner has a Doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in social work from the University of Minnesota. She directs a research program addressing access, treatment outcome, and cost-effectiveness of alcohol and drug treatment in public and private settings, including managed care. Dr. Weisner was a recent member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Advisory Council of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. She currently is a member of the International Expert Advisory Group on Alcohol and Drug Dependence of the World Health Organization, and MacArthur Network on Mental Health and the Law. Dr. Weisner has participated on several Institute of Medicine committees, including the recent “Adapting ‘Crossing the Quality Chasm’ to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders.” Dr. Weisner’s published work includes health services studies of outcomes and cost-effectiveness of treatment services and the interaction among alcohol, drug, mental health and medical problems. She is the principal investigator of NIAAA, NIDA , and RWJF research grants that study the cost and effectiveness of alcohol and drug treatment interventions. Her ongoing work focuses on the changing systems for receiving health, substance use and mental health services for adolescents and adults, with a particular focus on primary care.



Dennis D. Embry
(9:20 am – 10:00 am)


Dennis D. Embry, Ph.D., is the CEO / President of PAXIS Institute in Tucson, Arizona; Co-Investigator at the National Center on Early Adolescence in Oregon, and Co-Investigator at the Center on Prevention and Early Intervention at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Embry is the author of more than 40 books and training materials for science-based prevention of children’s injuries, parenting and family difficulties, violence, substance abuse and mental health and on positive youth and child development. He is the scientist and creator behind PeaceBuilders®, the PAX Good Behavior Game™ and other “best practices.” Dr. Embry holds a number of honors, including being a National Research Advisory Council Senior Fellow for the New Zealand Government and the British Commonwealth as well as being a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health. He is a developmental and child psychologist, with his degree awarded from the University of Kansas. He is also a licensed psychologist. In 2006, Dr. Embry was recognized by the Society for Prevention Research as being a national leader for bringing science into practice.



October 14, 2010 (Day 3)

Judge Rogelio R. FloresJudge Rogelio R. Flores
(8:10 am – 8:45 am)


Superior Court Judge Rogelio Flores began his judicial duties in January, 1987 as the first Court Commissioner for the North Santa Barbara County Municipal Court. In 1997, he was appointed to the municipal court bench and in 1998, he was elevated to the superior court. He received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1979. Judge Flores is currently assigned to various specialty courts in Santa Maria including the Substance Abuse Treatment Court-SATC (Drug Court), and drug treatment mandated by passage of Proposition 36, and calendars specializing in co-occurring disorders. He has previously been assigned to the Mental Health Treatment Court. He is a past president of the Latino Judges of California, and he is a member of the National and California Association of Drug Court Professionals. Judge Flores is Honorary Chairperson of the National Association of Latino Drug Court Professionals, Mejorar.