Biographic Summary of Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D.
Working on drug policy issues for more than eighteen years, Kevin Abraham Sabet, Ph.D., is an internationally-acclaimed expert on substance abuse. From 2009-2011, he served in the Obama Administration as the Senior Advisor to Director Kerlikowske at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). In this position, Dr. Sabet advised Director Kerlikowske on all matters affecting priorities, policies, and programs of the National Drug Control Strategy. He was one of three main writers of President Obama’s first National Drug Control Strategy, and his portfolio included leading the office’s efforts on marijuana policy, legalization issues, international demand reduction, drugged driving, and synthetic drug (e.g. “Spice” and “Bath Salts”) policy. Dr. Sabet represented ONDCP in numerous meetings and conferences, and led the Administration’s international drug legislative and diplomatic efforts at the United Nations. Representing his non-partisan commitment to drug policy, he previously worked on research, policy and speech writing at ONDCP in 2000 and from 2003-2004 in the Clinton and Bush Administrations, respectively. He remains the only staff member at ONDCP to hold a political appointment in both the Bush and Obama Administrations.
Through www.kevinsabet.com, he is a founding member of the Policy Solutions Group, Inc., and directs the Policy Solutions Lab, a drug policy consulting company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Sabet is currently is a consultant to numerous domestic and international organizations and his past and present clients include the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, the National Institutes of Health, and over a dozen other governmental and non-governmental agencies. He also serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Sabet has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and books on the topics of drug policy, cocaine sentencing, legalization, marijuana decriminalization, medical marijuana, addiction treatment, drug prevention, crime, law enforcement, and other issues. He is a contributor to editorial pages and the television news media, including the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, CNBC, and more than a dozen other media outlets. Dr. Sabet first offered testimony on drug policy to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 1996.
He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Social Policy at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife.
|Doctorate of Philosophy, Social Policy||2004-2007|
|University of Oxford(Recipient of George C. Marshall Scholarship)Thesis title: “Toward reducing total harm: Analyzing drug policies in Baltimore and New York”|
|Master of Science, Comparative Social Policy||2001-2002|
|University of Oxford(Recipient of George C. Marshall Scholarship)Thesis title: “Defining American drug policy: Is all policy local?”|
|Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (minor Public Policy)||1997-2001|
|University of California, Berkeley
Graduated with High Honors
Full-time work experience
|Consultant, Private Practice, www.kevinsabet.com & Twitter: @KevinSabet||Present|
|(Founding Member of the Public Policy Solutions Group, www.policysolutionsgroup.org)
Consultant to various governments and non-governmental organizations on drug policy issues, including a Senior Policy Advisor post with the United Nations (full list of clients issued upon request). Over five-dozen completed projects with various community-based organizations.
|Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Substance Abuse Solutions||Present|
|Fellow and researcher at unique, multi-disciplinary center focused on helping policymakers make informed decisions on drug addiction issues.|
|The White House, Executive Office of the President||2009-2011|
|(Political Appointment in the Administration of Barack H. Obama; Top-Secret Security Clearance)
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Senior Policy Advisor to the Director
Senior Advisor to the Director of ONDCP, Gil Kerlikowske. One of three principal writers of the President’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy. Involved in all major policy decisions, liaised regularly with the Domestic Policy Council and Office of the Vice-President. Often represented the office to the media and in official meetings. Specific lead on marijuana, “medical” marijuana, legalization, synthetic drugs, drugged driving, and international and United Nations issues.
|The White House, Executive Office of the President||2003-2004|
|(Political Appointment in the Administration of George W. Bush)
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Served as strategist, writer and editor for public pronouncements, including memos, speeches, press conferences, position papers, and other material.
|The White House, Executive Office of the President||2000|
|(Schedule B Appointment in the Administration of William J. Clinton)
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Writer/Analyst, Office of Strategic Planning
Focused on specific research and writing projects, including a revision of the Clinton Administration’s position on drug legalization.
Selected peer-reviewed publications
Sabet, K.A. and Kerlikowske, R. G. (2011). Commentary on Voas et al.: Drug-Free Roadways – Can We Get There From Here? Addiction.
Sabet, K.A. and Caulkins, J. (2011). Drug Abuse Warning Network. In Mark Kleiman and James Hawden (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Drug Policy. Sage Publications. [Total of eight entries in this publication.]
Sabet, K.A. and Johnson, B.J. (2008). Marijuana treatment admissions did not decrease after aggressive arrest policies were implemented in New York City. Justice Research and Policy.
Sabet, K.A. (2007). The local matters: A brief history of the tension between federal drug laws and state and local policy. Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice, 4, 1.
Sabet, K.A. (2006). The (often unheard) case against marijuana leniency. In Mitch Earleywine(Ed.), Pot Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sabet, K.A. (2006). Harm Reduction and Heroin Maintenance in Vancouver. In AT ISSUE: HEROIN, Michigan: Thomas Gale, p. 7.
Sabet, K.A. (2005). Making it happen: The case for compromise in the federal cocaine law debate. Journal of Social Policy and Administration, 39, 2, pp. 181-191.
Sabet, K.A. (1999). Cannabis sativa as a medicinal application: The need to distinguish between isolated cannabinoids and smoked marijuana. Addictions, Vol. 1999, p 10.
Selected media appearances
Author of newspaper opinion-editorials appearing in scores of newspapers since 2000: e.g. AP-New York Times Syndicate, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Vancouver Sun, San Jose Mercury News, International Herald Tribune, Seattle Times.
Featured in news articles: San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Oakland Tribune, Orange County Register, Teen People, Rolling Stone.
Appeared as guest/consulted for news content in major media outlets in the US and UK including: BBC, CNN, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, WebMD.com, HBO, CNN Headline News International, BBC-4, BBC-Oxford, and scores of ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS affiliate television and radio stations.
Selected leadership and academic activities
Over 50 guest lectures delivered at major universities
Invited testimony to the United States Congress:
- December 1996: Entry on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee record on the topic of “medical marijuana”
- June 1999: Entry on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources record on topic of the “drug legalization”
- July 1999: Entry on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources record on the topic of “harm reduction”
George C. Marshall Scholarship (2001)
- One of forty national winners of prestigious three-year scholarship offered by the British government to US scholars. Initial pool of over 100,000 applicants.
Warr-Goodman Scholarship (2005 and 2006)
- Single award winner of Oxford college scholarship given to most promising doctoral student (won twice).
National Institutes of Health Behavioral Sciences Training Pre-doctoral and Post-Doctoral Fellowships (2006-2008)
- Appointed as a pre-doctoral (2006-2007) and post-doctoral (2007-2008) scholar at the National Development and Research Institute (NDRI) to research drug policy under Bruce Johnson, Ph.D.