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A Conversation with Dr. Rahul Gupta, U.S. Director of National Drug Control Policy at The White House

September 28, 2022 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join SAIS Dean James B. Steinberg for a conversation with Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), about the national opioid and overdose epidemic, its impact on U.S. national security and economic prosperity, and the Executive Branch’s strategic approach in implementing a process to commercially disrupt the international business of drug trafficking.

Dr. Gupta, MD, MPH, MBA, FACP, is the first medical doctor to ever lead ONDCP. He most recently served as the Chief Medical and Health Officer, Interim Chief Science Officer and Senior Vice President at March of Dimes. In his role, Dr. Gupta provided strategic oversight for March of Dimes’ domestic and global medical and public health efforts. He recently served as clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine as well as adjunct professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership in the School of Public Health at West Virginia University and visiting faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

A practicing primary care physician of 25 years, Dr. Gupta began his career in private practice in an underserved community of fewer than 2,000 residents. He has since served under two Governors as the Health Commissioner of West Virginia. As the state’s Chief Health Officer, he led the opioid crisis response efforts and launched several pioneering public health initiatives, including the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Birthscore program to identify high-risk infants. Dr. Gupta also led the development of the state’s Zika action plan and its preparedness efforts during the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak.

A national and global thought leader and a driver of innovative public policies on health issues, Dr. Gupta serves as an advisor to several organizations and task forces on local, national, and international public health policy. The son of an Indian diplomat, Rahul was born in India and grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. At age 21, he completed medical school at the University of Delhi. He earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a global Master of Business Administration degree from the London School of Business and Finance. He is married to Dr. Seema Gupta, a physician in the Veterans Administration for over a decade. They are the proud parents of identical twin sons, Arka and Drew.

Location: Kenney Herter Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC