Prior to accepting the position of SAMHSA Regional Administrator, Charles Smith, Ph.D. served as the Director of the Division of Behavioral Health, Colorado Department of Human Services and Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse for the State of Colorado. In this capacity, Dr. Smith was responsible for a combined annual budget of $110 million and oversight of contract management, program licensure and credentialing, quality assurance and agency monitoring, program evaluation and performance measurement, public policy, and leadership of the public behavioral health system, specifically substance use and mental health prevention, treatment and recovery services for the State of Colorado. Dr. Smith has provided executive leadership in integrating the state’s substance use and mental health systems, coordinating efforts to address behavioral health workforce shortages, and strengthening prevention activities and developing a state plan for a recovery-oriented system of care. Dr. Smith was a key member of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Transformation Council, Governor’s Justice Assistance Grant Board, Chair of the statewide Interagency Advisory Council on Adult and Juvenile Correctional Treatment, and Vice-Chair of the Attorney General’s Statewide Methamphetamine Task Force. Previously, Dr. Smith served as the Deputy Director for the Division of Behavioral Health and coordinated several key initiatives: enhancing community-based behavioral health services for offenders, creating a public-private partnership for the statewide implementation of mental health first aid, conducting a statewide assessment of the prevalence and unmet treatment needs of individuals with mental health, substance use and co-occurring disorders, and developing legislation to suspend, rather than terminate, Medicaid benefits for adults who are incarcerated or admitted to state psychiatric hospitals.
Dr. Smith is a licensed Psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience in fields of forensic/correctional psychology, emergency/crisis intervention, rehabilitation counseling, methadone maintenance, consultation, and supervision. Dr. Smith directed the Office of Community Mental Health Services for the Colorado Department of Corrections, Division of Parole, Community Corrections, and Youth Offender Services, as well as managed mental health, substance abuse, and sex offender treatment services for three State prison facilities including designing and opening the state’s inpatient psychiatric unit for female offenders. Dr. Smith received his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Allegheny College, his Masters of Arts degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with a concentration in substance abuse from New York University, his Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver. Dr. Smith is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado at Denver and he is recognized national speaker and recipient of several honors and recognitions.