John Snook is the senior vice president of National Policy Innovation for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. Prior to joining the Meadows Institute, John led federal government relations for the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH), representing the interests of provider systems that treat children, adolescents and adults with mental health and substance use disorders. Before NABH, John served as Executive Director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, now recognized as one of the United States’ most influential mental health advocacy organizations. Under his leadership, one-third of states made substantial reforms to their mental health treatment laws with the Center’s support. The Center’s original research on issues such as the role of untreated mental illness in fatal encounters with law enforcement has been cited thousands of times and led to the creation of a new federal grant program that has awarded more than $80M to states to prioritize serious mental illness services. In 2017, John was appointed to serve as one of 14 non-federal national experts on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee. His leadership was also essential to the Center’s increasing influence in the mainstream of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) policy nationally.
John is a frequent media contributor on the intersection of MH/SUD and criminal justice issues and has been extensively quoted in outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Atlantic, NPR, and CBS News. He has spoken on MH/SUD issues at the White House and given testimony before all levels of government and before numerous state and federal task forces and commissions.
In his new role, John will help lead the Institute’s work on national policy issues as they affect Texas, with a particular focus on the transformation of crisis response and the intersection of the justice and health systems. He will also work closely with John Petrila and other Institute leaders on the design and implementation of the Institute’s Center for Justice and Health.
John received his law degree from the George Mason School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Jefferson College.