Speaker Bio: Kathryn Power, M.Ed.

A. Kathryn Power is the Director of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA). CMHS provides national leadership in improving mental health services for all Americans. As Director, Ms. Power leads the SAMHSA/CMHS staff in addressing the 21st century challenges and opportunities presented to the Nation’s system of quality mental health care and is responsible for facilitating the transformation change called for in the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Report Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America.

Prior to her appointment as CMHS Director, A. Kathryn Power served for over 10 years as the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals and had previously directed the Rhode Island Office of Substance Abuse, the Governor’s Drug Program and the Rhode Island Anti-Drug Coalition.

From l985 to l990, Ms. Power served as Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Centers. Earlier experience includes teaching at both elementary and secondary levels, counseling, leadership and advocacy in rape crisis and domestic violence agencies, and computer systems analysis for the Department of Defense.

She has served as President of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and has received many distinguished service awards for her work in mental health, substance abuse and civic leadership. Ms. Power has been recognized locally and nationally for her advocacy work on behalf of people with disabilities. In addition, she has served on the boards of directors of over l00 non-profit agencies, commissions and task forces in both the public and private sectors.

Ms. Power received her bachelor’s degree in education from St. Joseph’s College in Maryland, and her master’s degree in education and counseling from Western Maryland College. She is a graduate of the Toll Fellowship program of the Council of State Governments, which promotes the development of tomorrow’s State leaders through intensive sessions in policy, management, and other issues. She completed the programs in executive administration and the Women and Power courses at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She has extensive training and teaching experience in leadership, ethics and the public sector, policy development and program implementation.

Ms. Power is currently a Captain serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve.