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SAMHSA National Advisory Council Charter

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Committee’s Official Designation

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Advisory Council


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Advisory Council (NAC or Council) is required by 42 U.S.C. 290aa-1, section 502 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The SAMHSA NAC is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C., App., which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

Objectives and Scope of Activities

The SAMHSA NAC will advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use (Assistant Secretary), SAMHSA, to improve the provision of treatment and related services to individuals with respect to substance use and mental illness and to improve prevention services, promote mental health and protect legal rights of individuals with mental disorders and individuals with substance use disorders.

Description of Duties

The SAMHSA NAC may, on the basis of material provided, advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary, with respect to activities conducted by SAMHSA; and may review any grant or cooperative agreement proposed to be made or entered into by the organization. The SAMHSA NAC may collect, by correspondence or by personal investigation, information as to studies and services that are being carried on in the United States or any other country as to diseases, disorders or other aspects of human health with respect to the mission of SAMHSA, and, with the approval of the Assistant Secretary, make such information available through appropriate publications for the benefit of public and private health entities and health professions personnel and for the information of the general public. The SAMHSA NAC may appoint subcommittees and convene workshops and conferences with the approval of the Assistant Secretary.

Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports

The SAMHSA NAC shall advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary, HHS and the Assistant Secretary, concerning activities carried out by and through SAMHSA and the policies with respect to such activities.


Management and support services shall be provided by the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Lab (NMHSUPL), SAMHSA.

Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years

The estimated annual operating costs for the SAMHSA NAC, to include travel, meetings, federal staff support, and contracting support, is approximately $202,052.00 and 0.75 fulltime equivalents.

Designated Federal Officer

The Assistant Secretary shall designate a SAMHSA staff member to serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) of the SAMHSA NAC. The DFO will prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all council and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the official to whom the advisory council reports.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

The SAMHSA NAC, with the approval of the DFO, shall meet at the call of the chairperson or upon the request of the Assistant Secretary, but in no event less than 2 times during each fiscal year. The location of the meetings of the Council shall be subject to the approval of the Assistant Secretary.

SAMHSA NAC meetings shall be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the Secretary of HHS (or the designee), in accordance with the Government in Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Notice of all meetings shall be given to the public. In the event a portion of a meeting is closed to the public, a report will be prepared which shall contain, at a minimum, a list of members and their business addresses, the SAMHSA NAC’s functions, dates and places of meetings, and a summary of Council activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year.




Unless renewed by appropriate action prior to its expiration, the charter for the SAMHSA NAC will expire two years from the date the charter is filed.

Membership and Designation

The SAMHSA NAC shall consist of the following nonvoting ex officio members: the Secretary of HHS; the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, SAMHSA; the Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (or the designates of such officers); the Chief Medical Officer of the Administration; the Directors of the National Institutes of Mental Health; the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and such additional officers or employees of the United States as the Secretary determines necessary for the SAMHSA NAC to effectively carry out its functions; and not more than twelve (12) members to be appointed by the Secretary. Of the twelve (12) appointed members, nine (9) members shall be from among the leading representatives of the health disciplines (including public health and behavioral and social sciences) relevant to the activities of SAMHSA; and three (3) members shall be from the general public and shall include leaders in the fields of public policy, public relations, law, health policy economics, or management. All non-federal members shall serve as Special Government Employees (SGE).

A quorum for the conduct of business by the full Council will consist of a majority (one more than one half) of currently appointed voting members.

The Secretary, HHS, may select an individual from among the appointed members, or may select the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, SAMHSA, to serve as chair of the SAMHSA NAC. The term of office of the chair shall be two years.

The term of office of an appointed member of the SAMHSA NAC shall be four years, except a member may serve after the expiration of the member’s term until a successor has been appointed and taken office. If a vacancy occurs in the advisory council among the members, the Secretary shall make an appointment to fill such vacancy within ninety (90) days from the date the vacancy occurs. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term shall serve for the remainder of such term. Initial appointments shall be made in such a manner as to ensure that the terms of the members do not all expire in the same year. A member who has been appointed for a term of four (4) years may not be reappointed to an advisory council before two (2) years from the date of expiration of such term of office.

The Assistant Secretary shall also provide orientation and training for new members of the SAMHSA NAC and shall provide them with such information and training as may be appropriate for their effective participation in the functions of the Council.


Subcommittees may be established by the parent committee with the approval of the Assistant Secretary. The advice/recommendations of a subcommittee must be deliberated by the parent committee. A subcommittee may not provide advice or work products directly to the agency. The Department Committee Management Officer will be notified upon establishment of each subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


Meetings of the SAMHSA NAC and its subcommittees will be conducted according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, other applicable laws and Departmental policies. Committee and subcommittee records will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 6.2 of the Federal Advisory Committee Records or other approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

Filing Date

June 15, 2022


Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

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