Thomas McLellan PhD

Treatment Research Institute
Co-founder

University of Pennsylvania
Director on Substance Abuse


From 2009 to 2010, Dr. Thomas McLellan was Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a Congressionally confirmed Presidential appointment to help shape the nation’s public policy approach to illicit drug use. At ONDCP, Dr. McLellan worked on a broad range of drug issues, including formulation and implementation of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy (including the much-heralded end of the War on Drugs) and promotion of drug treatment through the broader revamping of the national health care system. Dr. McLellan has more than 35 years of experience in addiction treatment research. In 1992 he co-founded and led (until his ONDCP appointment) the Treatment Research Institute to transform the way research is employed in the treatment of and policy making around substance use and abuse. Dr. McLellan’s contributions to the advancement of substance abuse research and the application of these findings to treatment systems and public policy have changed the landscape of addiction science and improved the lives of countless Americans and their families. In his career he has published over 400 articles and chapters on addiction research. From 2000-2009 he was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and he has also served on several other editorial boards of scientific journals. Dr. McLellan is the recipient of several distinguished awards including the Life Achievement Awards of the American and British Societies of Addiction Medicine (2001 & 2003); the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovator Award (2005); and awards for Distinguished Contribution to Addiction Medicine from the Swedish (2002) and Italian (2002) Medical Associations. Dr. McLellan holds a BA from Colgate University and his MS and PhD from Bryn Mawr College. He received postgraduate training in psychology at Oxford University in England.