Dr. Gary Blau
Executive Director, The Hackett Center for Mental Health, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Dr. Blau is a licensed clinical psychologist who joined MMHPI as Executive Director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health in September of 2019. Prior to that he was Chief of the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) where he provided national leadership for child, adolescent and young adult mental health, and created “systems of care” across the United States.

Dr. Blau also served as the Bureau Chief for Quality Management and Director of Mental Health at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Director of Clinical Services for the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern, Connecticut. He has been acknowledged as the “father” of Youth MOVE (Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience), which now has over 60 chapters nationwide, and as the “founder” of the “National Building Bridges Initiative (BBI),” which is focused on improving outcomes for youth who receive residential interventions.

Dr. Blau is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Connecticut Governor’s Service Award, the Phoebe Bennet Award for outstanding contribution to children’s mental health in Connecticut, and the Making a Difference Award presented by Connecticut’s Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. He was also proud that upon the occasion of his leaving Connecticut, the Governor proclaimed December 12, 2003, as ‘Dr. Gary Blau Day.”

For his national, Dr. Blau received the HHS Secretary’s Award for Meritorious Service for his national leadership in children’s mental health, and he was the first recipient of the Rock Star Award, presented by Youth M.O.V.E., National for “being a true champion for the youth movement and advocate for youth voice.” This award has now been named the “Dr. Gary Blau Award” and is given yearly to a mental health professional who has distinguished themselves as a voice for youth.

Dr. Blau has over 70 professional publications and is the editor of nine books. He received his B.A. degree in psychology from the University of South Florida and his doctorate from Auburn University.