Larke Huang headshot

Larke Nahme Huang, Ph.D.

Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE)

Larke Nahme Huang, Ph.D., is a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE). She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked at the interface of policy, research and practice in behavioral health for nearly 35 years.  As the Director of OBHE, Dr. Huang provides leadership to advance equity and eliminate disparities in behavioral health for underserved, minoritized communities and to ensure an equity agenda in SAMHSA programs and policies. She implements innovative efforts to advance health equity based on metrics of access, quality and outcomes of care for underserved, diverse populations, elevating a focus on strengthening community-level efforts and the consideration of social determinants of health.

During her previous fourteen years at SAMHSA, she led a broad portfolio of work.  She provided national leadership and guidance on mental health and substance use policy and program issues for children and families; developed grant programs at state and local levels to advance prevention, treatment and resiliency in communities; identified strategic opportunities and developed interagency collaborations to advance behavioral health in program and funding plans within other federal departments, including the Departments of Justice, Labor, and Education; developed and advanced trauma-informed approaches to treatment and recovery; and coordinated SAMHSA’s programs geared to reducing the justice system involvement of people with behavioral health disorders.

Prior to coming to SAMHSA, she was on faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Georgetown University, a managing director at the American Institutes for Research, and a clinical practitioner in community mental health. She has served on Presidential Commissions and non-profit boards and has published widely.

Dr. Huang has received numerous awards, including: 2022 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice - Blanche Ittleson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Mental Health; 2019 Dr. Howard K. Koh Award for Excellence in Leadership at HHS; 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, Asian American Psychological Association; 2009 American Psychological Association’s Nicholas Hobbs Award for Policy and Advocacy in Children’s Mental Health; 2011, 2004 APA Presidential Citations; 2007 APA Distinguished Contributions in the Public Interest Award; 2007 Dr. James L. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award, APA Minority Fellowship Program; 2007 Outstanding Leadership and Service Award, American Academy of Pediatrics; 2005 Outstanding Psychologist Award, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

She received her doctorate from Yale University.

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