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From academic to advisor


Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, is embarking on a new role this week - that of Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, DC.

Humphreys, who has been part of the Stanford faculty since 1996, has long augmented his research into interventions for substance abuse and psychiatric disorders with an interest in public policy. In 2001, he took a short sabbatical at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, where he worked with congressional staffers and federal agencies to promote what he called "useful policies in and around addiction and mental illness." He has also spent the last five years traveling to the Middle East regularly, training psychiatrists and helping to rebuild Iraq's mental health care system.

In his new position, Humphreys will provide scientific input to the Obama administration and work to keep addiction treatment at the forefront of the healthcare reform debate.

"It was very flattering that they asked me to join the team and valued my scientific work," Humphreys said.

Though he has been traveling back and forth between California and Washington for a month, Humphreys began full-time at his new appointment July 6. He is taking a temporary leave of absence from Stanford for the duration of the job, and will soon be joined in Washington by his wife and twin two-year-old sons, "who can both say Obama," Humphreys said.

And though the family will be adjusting to East Coast conventions and climate, at least one thing will remind them of home.

"You get the same kind of crackle of energy around here," Humphreys said. "You get people at the top of their game, who really have a lot of excitement and optimism, so it's very much like Stanford."

Photo by Stanford University News Service

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