Shalini Wickramatilake headshot

Shalini Wickramatilake, M.H.S.

Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary

Shalini Wickramatilake serves as Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary. In this role, she provides leadership to SAMHSA’s women’s mental health and substance use, maternal mental health, eating disorders, and homelessness portfolios.

Shalini came to SAMHSA having spent two years at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), where she served as Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, she coordinated with state, local, and Tribal governments on drug policy issues. She also led external engagement with substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery organizations.

Before her time at ONDCP, Shalini served as Policy Director for the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (formerly 2020 Mom). Prior to that, she was the Associate Director of Federal Affairs for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), where she held several previous research and policy positions and focused on issues related to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery. Shalini initially started at NASADAD as a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Fellow in 2013.

Shalini is pursuing her Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) degree at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, currently working on her dissertation, which is focused on what states are doing to address eating disorders. She has her Master of Health Science degree from Johns Hopkins University, and Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University.

Shalini grew up in Reston, Virginia, and currently lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and son, and just minutes away from her parents and sister.

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