Former Obama Drug Czar to Head BMC’s Addiction Medicine Center

Michael Botticelli is the Grayken Center's first executive director.


Photo by Alex Lau

Michael Botticelli, the former White House drug czar, will lead Boston Medical Center’s newly established Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine.

Botticelli directed national drug control policy under President Obama. Before his time in Washington, Botticelli was the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, and held a variety of other drug-related titles. Twenty-eight years ago, he began his own journey toward substance abuse recovery.

“Michael was instrumental in getting the fight against addiction to the top of the national agenda,” BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh says in a statement. “But he also led the way on shaping our country’s understanding of addiction as a disease, not a moral failing or character flaw, and that patients with substance use disorder deserve treatment not punishment. He is a true leader in addiction medicine.”

BMC announced earlier this month that billionaire John Grayken and his wife, Eilene, donated $25 million to go toward addiction medicine. The Grayken Center will advance substance abuse prevention, treatment, and research, and work closely with government agencies and lawmakers.

“I am excited and a bit in awe of the opportunity to work with this team to build the Grayken Center on the already strong foundation of great work in addiction medicine at BMC,” Botticelli says in the statement.  “BMC’s international leadership in research, teaching, and clinical programming on substance use disorders and their consequences is well known. And the Graykens’ extraordinary gift makes it possible to spark innovation on new models of treatment and care that will have real impact.”