In August 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Sylvia Burwell, announced Kana Enomoto as the Acting Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA is the agency within HHS that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. As Acting Administrator, Ms. Enomoto oversees an agency with four centers and four offices, over 600 employees, and a budget of $3.6 billion. Through data, policy, public education, and grants, Ms. Enomoto and the SAMHSA team advance the agency’s mission to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
Previously, Ms. Enomoto served as SAMHSA’s Principal Deputy Administrator. In this capacity, she was the principal advisor to the Administrator on operations, policies, and programmatic activities for the agency. Prior to that, Ms. Enomoto served as the Director of the Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation, where she developed, coordinated, and communicated SAMHSA policies across the full spectrum of mental health and substance abuse issues. Ms. Enomoto previously served as the Principal Senior Advisor to three SAMHSA Administrators between 2005 and 2009, and as the Acting Deputy Administrator between 2008 and 2009. She began her tenure at SAMHSA in 1998 as a Presidential Management Fellow. She began her career in research and clinical services with a focus on minority mental health and trauma.
Ms. Enomoto has received awards in recognition of her work, including the Arthur S. Flemming Award, the American College of Mental Health Administration King Davis Award, and the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service.
Ms. Enomoto earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Senior Managers in Government Program.