News

New Director for SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) announced

August 09, 2012

Let’s give a CMHNetwork welcome to the new Director for SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W. Looking forward to meeting him and sharing with him our excitement about the many great things SAMHSA has done for children and youth with serious emotional challenges and their families for the past 20 years. And while, we’re at it, we will be sure to share our vision for how SAMHSA could and should be a critical part of continuing  excellence for children and youth with serious emotional challenges and their families.

Here is the official announcement from SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.


  • I am delighted to announce that Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W., has been selected to serve as the next Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). After a full and open search, Paolo proved himself to possess the vision, energy, and leadership capacity necessary to steer CMHS into the years ahead.

    Paolo has had a long and successful career at SAMHSA. Over the course of his 17 years in CMHS, he served as the Acting Director, the Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, and the Acting Director for the Office of External Liaison, and was the first Consumer Affairs Specialist hired by SAMHSA. Throughout his work, Paolo has been a leader, pushing the envelope on a wide range of consumer issues, including consumer participation and education, issues of discrimination and prejudice, wellness, recovery, trauma, and access to treatment. He also is a strong and capable leader and manager, serving as a critical part of the SAMHSA leadership and management teams.

    Prior to joining SAMHSA, Paolo worked for the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health in the areas of policy formulation and the planning of a comprehensive system of community-based mental health services addressing homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and many other issues. He graduated summa cum laude with a master’s degree in social work from Temple University.

    Paolo has been involved in behavioral health for over 40 years. As a consumer, a family member, a provider, and a policymaker, he has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for those with mental health conditions and/or addictions and their families, and a valuable asset to SAMHSA. Please join us in congratulating Paolo and wishing him the very best in his new position.

    Best,


    Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.
SAMHSA Administrator

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