Georgetown University Law Center

O’Neill Institute Spring Conversation Series with Brian Altman and Elliot Kennedy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Federal Approaches to Advancing LGBT Health and Well-Being

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Georgetown University Law Center McDonough Hall, Room 588 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001

Brian Altman Director, Division of Policy Innovation; LGBT Policy Lead

Brian Altman is the Director of the Division of Policy Innovation within the Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He was previously SAMHSA’s Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, in which capacity he served as SAMHSA’s chief liaison with Congress, oversaw the development of agency regulations and guidelines and worked closely with constituency organizations to advance the nation’s behavioral health services. Altman also serves as SAMHSA’s LGBT Policy Lead. Prior to joining SAMHSA, Altman had a long history of work in health and behavioral health policy, and served as a senior government relations manager in Drinker Biddle & Reath’s Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group; the Director of Public Policy at the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA), a division of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP); and as legislative representative for the American Counseling Association (ACA). Altman also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Claire V. Eagan, Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, and as political action committee manager for the American Forest and Paper 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.

Elliot Kennedy Special Expert, LGBT Affairs; Staff, HHS LGBT Issues Coordinating Committee

Elliot Kennedy is the Special Expert for LGBT Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). His work focuses on planning and coordinating LGBT policy and programmatic initiatives at SAMHSA, as well as integrating LGBT cultural competency throughout the agency. He also serves as the key executive level official and liaison officer under the direction of the SAMHSA Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs with the White House, HHS Operating and Staff Divisions, and key stakeholders on issues of LGBT policy, program, and regulatory significance. He was previously Government Affairs Counsel at The Trevor Project, where he advocated for laws and regulations that support LGBTQ youth and young adult mental health. Among other areas, his work focused on access to mental health services, safe and supportive educational environments, and ending youth homelessness. Kennedy is also involved in local DC transgender outreach and education, where he is a founding member of Trans Legal Advocates of Washington, an organization that aims to serve the legal needs of transgender people in the DC Metro Area. Kennedy graduated from American University Washington College of Law, cum laude, after attending the University of Vermont. He is originally from Warren, Vermont.

This event is open to all students, faculty, staff, and interested members of the public.


Health Equity Human Rights LGBTQ+ US Health Care Policy

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