Michael Botticelli (politician)

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Michael Botticelli
Michael Botticelli.jpg
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Assumed office
March 7, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Gil Kerlikowske
Personal details
Born (1958-01-02) January 2, 1958 (age 56)
Troy, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Siena College
St. Lawrence University

Michael P. Botticelli (born January 2, 1958) is an American public official. He serves as the Acting Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Prior to joining ONDCP, he worked in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Early life and education[edit]

Botticelli was raised in upstate New York to a family with a history of alcoholism.[1][2] He received a Bachelor's Degree in psychology from Siena College and a Masters in Education from St. Lawrence University.[3]

Botticelli began drinking alcohol regularly in his junior year of high school. By his 20s, he was an alcoholic. He was arrested for driving under the influence following a traffic collision on the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1988.[1] A judge gave him the option of going into treatment or being sentenced to prison, and he chose to enter treatment.[2]


After achieving sobriety, Botticelli joined the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in 1994. He worked as a coordinator for alcoholism programs from 1994 through 1995, as contract manager for HIV-related policies and services from 1995 through 1996, as an assistant director for policy and planning from 1996 through 2000, as the chief of staff to the public health commissioner from 2000 through 2003, and as director of substance abuse services from 2003 to 2012.[4] In the latter role, he oversaw the pilot program for Quincy, Massachusetts, police to begin carrying naloxone to treat opioid overdose, and the expansion of substance abuse treatment services in community health centers.[1][4]

Gil Kerlikowske, serving as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) under President Barack Obama, met Botticelli on a visit to Massachusetts, and asked him to serve as deputy director. In March 2014, following Kerlikowske's confirmation as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Botticelli became acting director. He is the first director of the ONDCP to be in recovery for substance use.[1]

Based on testimony given in congressional hearings, Boticelli refuses to acknowledge any difference in the dangers of heroin vs. marijuana.


Botticelli is a member of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. He is a former advisory committee member of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.[5]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Ramstad/Kennedy National Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Addiction Recovery (2008)[5]
  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Service Award (2012)[5]


Botticelli is openly gay and married.[1] He and his partner have dated since 1995, and were married in 2009.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "US drug czar has roots in Boston, alcoholism - Metro". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Acting 'Drug Czar' Walks the Talk". NationalJournal.com. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | The White House". Whitehouse.gov. January 27, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Join Together Staff (February 1, 2012). "Obama Announces Intent to Nominate New Deputy Director for ONDCP | The Partnership at". Drugfree.org. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Michael Botticelli - Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy". WhiteHouse.gov. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  6. ^ WUSA 7:12 a.m. EDT April 30, 2014 (April 30, 2014). "New face of recovery: White House drug czar". Wusa9.com. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gil Kerlikowske
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy