As Acting Director of OFR, Ms. Avula is responsible for formulating SAMHSA's more than $3 billion dollar budget, including funding for block and discretionary grant programs and program management. These activities include reaching consensus on agency-wide program priorities and cross cutting issues as well as the development and monitoring of budget submissions to the Department, OMB, ONDCP, and Congress. She is also responsible for managing SAMHSA's budget execution process, including approving apportionments, allotments and allowances for each organizational unit, generating and monitoring monthly payroll reports and quarterly and year end status of funds reports, and performing financial control assessments and developing and monitoring corrective action plans. Ms. Avula is also responsible for improving the efficiency with which grants and contracts are awarded and ensure that funding is placed with the applicants most likely to achieve the greatest benefit. Ms. Avula facilitates financial management by all staff to maximize program outcomes and reduce the possibility of fraud, waste, and abuse.
Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Avula worked for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer in the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) where she had primary responsibility for the development of the Agency’s strategic plan and its new approach to performance management including budget and performance integration. Prior to her work at OJP, MS. Avula served in several capacities in SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, including Chief of the Quality Improvement and Workforce Development Branch where she provided leadership on programs related to workforce development in the behavioral health field, the provision of recovery support services, the development of quality measures for behavioral health and health financing.
Ms. Avula holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The George Washington University.