January 26, 2021


Washington, DC — O’Neill congratulates Regina LaBelle, distinguished scholar and program director of the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative, on her appointment as the acting director of Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) by President Joe Biden.

“Regina LaBelle is an exceptional scholar and policymaker, and the O’Neill family is thrilled with her appointment,” said Lawrence Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute. “We face an epidemic of overdoses within the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am pleased to see the new administration taking on both of these critical issues.”

Since joining the O’Neill Institute in 2018, LaBelle has focused on the overdose epidemic, substance use disorders, and the role of law and policy to promote access to treatment and recovery. As program director, she has advocated for public health approaches and law and policies that promote evidence-based treatment and recovery.

“Regina is a wonderful leader and has made a profound impact during her first two years at O’Neill,” said Katie Gottschalk, executive director of the O’Neill Institute. “I cannot think of a better person to tackle the overdose epidemic in the Biden administration, and I look forward to watching her success in this new role.”

LaBelle previously served as the chief of staff and senior policy advisor in the ONDCP during the Obama administration, where she oversaw efforts to address the opioid epidemic and other drug policy issues, including the implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy. Prior to that, she served as legal counsel to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and was an adjunct professor of policy and ethics at the Seattle University Institute for Policy Studies. Regina also received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

LaBelle will take a leave up absence from her O’Neill post while she serves in the Biden administration. Shelly Weizman will serve as the acting director of the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative in her absence.


For questions or to schedule an interview, please contact Lauren Dueck at Lauren.Dueck@georgetown.edu.