The U.S. Senate has confirmed, on a vote of 92-0, Michael Botticelli as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Botticelli, who is openly gay, is the first ONDCP director who is in long-term substance abuse recovery, recently having marked his 26th year in recovery.
Botticelli said: “I am honored by the confidence placed in me by the president and Congress to direct this nation’s drug policy. There are millions of Americans — including myself — who are in successful long-term recovery. Our stories can fundamentally change the way our nation views people with a substance use disorder, which is a disease needing medical treatment like any other disease. As director, I will continue to advance a science-based drug policy to reduce drug use and its consequences through a balanced approach to public health and public safety.”
Botticelli had served as deputy director of National Drug Control Policy since November 2012, but has had more that 20 years experience working with people struggling with substance abuse. He previously worked as director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and he has served in a variety of leadership roles for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.
He was also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and has also co-authored numerous articles on substance abuse.
Botticelli was the first recipient of the annual Ramstad/Kennedy National Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Addiction Recovery. In 2012, he was received the Service Award from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College and a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence University.
Botticelli and his husband have been a couple since 1995 and have been married since 2009.