Jennie M. Simpson, Ph.D.

Jennie M. Simpson, Ph.D. is the Senior Staff Lead for Criminal Justice at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In this role, she manages and coordinates the agency’s criminal justice policy initiatives and activities. Over her career, Dr. Simpson has focused on the intersections of behavioral health and criminal justice, with an emphasis on early diversion programs for individuals with mental and substance use disorders. Prior to joining SAMHSA, Dr. Simpson worked at the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Pathways to Housing, a nationally recognized Housing First organization. In both positions, she supported law enforcement agencies and behavioral health providers in reducing the justice-involvement of individuals with mental and substance use disorders through effective, cross-agency collaboration. She has also consulted to law enforcement leadership on behavioral health, early diversion, and homelessness. Dr. Simpson previously conducted research on behavioral health and law enforcement collaborations and has published and presented on her research in both national and international forums. She received a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from American University.

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