About Us

Hamad A. Al-Ghaferi, MBBS, MPH

Candidate for Region IX Director

Biography and Statement


1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

My greatest contributions to our field have very well aligned with ASAM’s in “increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction”. To improve education and professionalize the addiction workforce I serve on the Board of the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) and previously as Chair of the Commissioners of the Global Centre for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professionals (GCCC) of the Colombo Plan. I have published widely clinical and policy focused research, and under my leadership the annual journal “International Addiction Review” (IAR) launched in 2017. I led the development and management of the NRC which now has evidence based treatment programs, a research program, educational program for both staff and a program throughout the community to education on addictions. The NRC is currently serving as a field test location for the World Health Organization (WHO) upcoming ICD-11.

Specific to ASAM, as an ASAM International Region IX Member as well as a Board Member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM), I have been part of the ASAM/ISAM joint educational panels for the national meetings in Orlando, New Delhi, Busan, and Abu Dhabi. ISAM would not exist if it were not for ASAM’s leadership in 1997, and I have worked to bring these organizations again closer together.

2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

My election to the ASAM Board of Directors would benefit ASAM, our international members, and our field by bringing closer together knowledge and skill of members around the world on preventing and treating the disease. I was an observer at ASAM Board meetings and understand the many strengths of our organization. Through my work as Chair of the Technical Advisory Group of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and WHO, Mental Health Advisor to the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the WHO, a Board Member of the International Society of Addiction Medicine, as well as with other major international prevention, treatment, policy and education organizations such as ICUDDR and the Columbo Plan, , I can bring to ASAM an understanding of the resources and colleagues around the world that could benefit ASAM in pursuing its mission. There are many experts, documents and data around the world which are not well-known in the US, even among specialists. My election to ASAM could make that bridge and bring you, my international member colleagues, a stronger connection with ASAM leadership.

ASAM is an organization of members, and it is the role of the Regional IX Director to represent ASAM members around the world. While I have naturally been focused on the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region in which I live, as you can see my work has been truly world-wide in scope. I know many of you in Region IX through our international meetings with WHO, ISAM, ICUDDR, and Columbo Plan. Please do me the honor of receiving your vote and allowing me to represent you in ASAM.

Biographical Sketch

H.E. Dr Hamad Al Ghafri MBBS, MPH, PhD is the Director General and the Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborative Centre for Substance Use Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders at the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), Abu Dhabi, UAE). He received his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology; his Master of Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, Louisiana, USA; and his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom. In addition to his work at the NRC and with multiple international research and policy programs, Dr. Hamad Al Ghafri is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the United Arab Emirates University. He is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology.