In 2011, Dr. Jean Bennett was selected as the SAMHSA Regional Director responsible for the federal Region III territory which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. In this new SAMHSA leadership role, Dr. Bennett works closely with federal, regional and national behavioral health leaders and stakeholders. Prior to joining SAMHSA, Dr. Bennett served in the HHS Office of the Secretary as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, who had responsibility for providing Department-wide support services for all of HHS. As Senior Advisor, Dr. Bennett collaborated on designing solutions to shared administrative and management challenges so as to better serve internal and external stakeholders of HHS.
After September 11th, Dr. Bennett served in several preparedness and response roles: for HHS in Region VI, the seven health care systems in the VA network in San Francisco, and for the Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital, Boston - in which she advocated for vulnerable populations in grant and disaster-related activities. As the Region VI Public Health Advisor for the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Dr. Bennett was responsible for leading Public Health and Medical planning and response for LA, TX, OK, NM, and AR for a five year period which commenced with the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Dr. Bennett's academic experience and research has included work with inner city pregnant women with substance use disorders, developmentally delayed newborns, and survey studies to evaluate organizational climate, hospital emergency preparedness, and e-mail communications. During her military career from which she retired as a Navy Nurse Corps Captain, Dr. Bennett's assignments included clinical roles in mental health, pediatrics, and medical-surgical nursing and leadership assignments overseeing national recruiting programs, tri-service incentive policy development, and a Department of Defense-wide transition assistance program. Originally from Boston, Dr. Bennett graduated with a B.S.N. from the University of Rhode Island, earned a MS in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, and a MS in management from Troy State. Jean's Ph.D. in Organization and Management is from the Capella University School of Business and Technology.