PRESIDENT and CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext. 112
Gary Tennis serves as NAMSDL’s President and Chief Executive Officer. In 1992-1993 he served as Executive Director of NAMSDL’s predecessor entity, the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws, in 1992-1993. Gary specializes in drafting and developing treatment, intervention, and prevention model laws, policies, guidelines and strategies.
With the exception of his two years’ service with the President’s Commission, Gary was a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office from 1980 till 2006, the last 20 years of which he served as the Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. In 1987, as Chairman of the Hiring Committee for the District Attorney’s Office, Gary created the Minority Hiring Recruitment Committee in 1987.
Gary was appointed as Pennsylvania’s first Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs from 2012 till 2017, during which time he served as an Officer on the NASADAD Board. He still serves on the Board for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Gary was awarded the NASADAD Award for Exceptional Leadership and Support of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in 2014 and the National Ramstad-Kennedy award in 2015. Gary is also a co-founder of NAMSDL.
Chief Operating Officer
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext. 120
Cheryl Dondero serves as NAMSDL’s Chief Operating Officer and assists the President and CEO with the daily management of all financial, administrative and personnel operations. Additionally, she is the primary point of contact for NAMSDL’s initiatives involving Warm Hand-off of Overdose Survivors to Treatment, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) research and initiatives and Pathways to Pardons.
Prior to joining NAMSDL, Cheryl was the Director of Pennsylvania’s Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services where she was responsible for developing a comprehensive, community-based drug and alcohol service provider network for all treatment, prevention, intervention and recovery support services. Prior to her county positon, she was the Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), under Secretary of DDAP at the time, Gary Tennis, where she retired with 35 years of service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Cheryl received her Master of Human Services (MHS) degree from Lincoln University in 2002. She proudly identifies herself as a woman in long-term recovery and knows first-hand the devastating effects of addiction on her own life, the lives of her family and friends and on our nation’s families and communities. She is passionate about helping others to achieve a life of recovery free from drug and alcohol addiction. She is excited to again be working with our President and CEO Gary Tennis and the rest of the exceptional NAMSDL staff and board members.
Director of Law Enforcement
and Veterans Affairs
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext 118
Kevin Smith serves as NAMSDL’s Director of Law Enforcement and Veterans Affairs. He is the primary point of contact for NAMSDL’s initiatives involving law enforcement, criminal justice, military, veteran’s and information management issues.
Kevin has served with NAMSDL for more than 15 years in various roles. Prior to joining NAMSDL, Kevin has more than 30 years of experience in operations and drug and alcohol work with law enforcement agencies, multijurisdictional task forces, state and local policymakers, federal agencies and communities. He has had the opportunity to assist stakeholders in many aspects of the drug and alcohol arena, including policy development, diversion control, prevention and treatment.
Director of Research
and Legislative Affairs
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext. 119
Chad serves as Director of Research and Legislative Affairs providing grant and project management services for NAMSDL, and focuses on research and analysis of prescription drug monitoring (PDMP) and prescribing practice laws and policies. He also provides technical assistance and drafts model legislation. Previously, Chad served as the Managing Director of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board where he coordinated the development, operation and enhancement of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
SENIOR LEGISLATIVE ATTORNEY
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext. 100
Jonathan performs research and comparative analysis of states' drug and alcohol laws, regulations and policies. Among his areas of specialty are criminal justice and health care issues involving alcohol.
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext. 117
Jennifer manages NAMSDL’s information retrieval, storage and dissemination systems to maintain and promote the organization as a drug and alcohol legislative and policy resource center. She is responsible for NAMSDL’s website, extranet, databases and assists with the Technical Assistance process.
PH: 703.836.6100, Ext. 102
Bethany is the Executive Assistant and supports the NAMSDL staff and offices administratively, while also contributing to NAMSDL program initiatives where she can lend her experience and technical assistance. Beth’s most recent experience as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol Education at the PA Liquor Control Board, coupled with more than 30 years of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania experience in corrections, research, program planning and management (juvenile justice and victim services), grants and accounting provides a strong foundation for numerous NAMSDL model law initiatives.
In addition to her commonwealth experience, Beth has administrative and leadership experience with non-profit organizations, working in the areas of training, education and recovery. Beth returned to college as an adult and received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Albright College in 2002 and her Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership from Shippensburg University in 2004.