Paolo del Vecchio Names CMHS Director

NYAPRS Note: Some wonderful news! Paolo del Vecchio, a long time dedicated peer leader and Center for Mental Health Services Acting Director, has been named as the new CMHS Director. You can meet and hear Paolo’s keynote address at our upcoming NYAPRS Annual Conference; see details at Congratulations to Paolo and to us all!

Dear Colleagues,


I am delighted to announce that Paolo del Vecchio has been selected to serve as the next Director of the Center for Mental Health Services.  After a full and open search, Paolo proved himself to possess the vision, the energy, and the leadership capacity necessary to steer CMHS into the years ahead.


Paolo has had a long and successful career here at SAMHSA.  Over the course of his 17 years in CMHS, he served as the Acting Director, the CMHS Associate Director for Consumer Affairs, the Acting Director for the Office of External Liaison, and was the first Consumer Affairs Specialist hired by SAMHSA.  Throughout his work, Paolo has been a leader, pushing the envelope on a wide range of consumer issues, including consumer participation and education, issues of discrimination and prejudice, wellness, recovery, trauma, and access to treatment.  Paolo is also a strong and capable leader and manager, serving as a critical part of the SAMHSA leadership and management teams.


Prior to joining SAMHSA, Paolo worked for the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health in the areas of policy formulation and the planning of a comprehensive system of community-based mental health services addressing homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and many other issues.  He graduated summa cum laude with a master's degree in social work from Temple University.


Paolo has been involved in behavioral health for over 40 years.  As a consumer, a family member, a provider, and a policy maker, he has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for those with mental health conditions and/or addictions, and their families and a valuable asset to SAMHSA.  Please join me in congratulating Paolo and wishing him the very best in his new position.





Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Department of Health and Human Services