Brian Altman returns to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) after serving as the Deputy Director at the Administration on Community Living’s Administration on Aging within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and prior to that as the Director of Federal and Political Affairs at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
From 2011-2019, Altman served at various times as both SAMHSA’s Director of the Division of Policy Innovation and Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. In these roles, Altman worked closely with HHS, other federal agencies, the White House, Congress and external stakeholders. Altman also helped lead SAMHSA’s policy efforts on behalf of LGBTQ+ and aging populations. For his work as part of a team that expanded treatment options for individuals with opioid use disorder, he received an HHS Distinguished Service award. During his tenure at SAMHSA, Altman also completed a detail at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Before joining SAMHSA in 2011, Altman worked on behalf of a broad range of health care entities, including professional associations, hospitals, community-based providers, public health advocacy organizations, medical device corporations and social science research entities at a law and government relations firm.
Altman’s long history of working on behavioral health issues includes having served as the Director of Public Policy and Program Development at the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA). At SPAN USA, he directed public policy initiatives, initiated, and maintained relationships with other national organizations, coalitions and federal elected and appointed officials, and provided advocacy training. He also was the Acting Chief Operating Officer, providing strategic guidance and operational management during the organization’s transition from an independent nonprofit to a division of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Prior to joining SPAN USA, Altman advocated on behalf of licensed professional counselors for the American Counseling Association.
Altman graduated from Duke University, cum laude, with a B.A. in public policy studies and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.