Arlene González-Sánchez

2020 Commissioner Bio Pic

Commissioner, NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), MS, LMSW

Arlene González-Sánchez was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS) by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Jan. 3, 2011.

Commissioner González-Sánchez has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of behavioral health services administration, health policy development, and medical research. Under the Commissioner’s leadership, OASAS works to realize her vision for transforming the current system of care for individuals with substance use disorders into a comprehensive, patient-centered and family-focused system. Commissioner González-Sánchez serves on the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Behavioral Health Subcommittee. She is co-chair of the State’s Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council, and a co-chair of the Responsible Play Partnership which addresses problem gambling in New York State. Governor Cuomo also appointed Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez to serve as Member of the Council for SUNY Empire State College for a term, which expires in June 2024.

To help ensure that culturally competent services are available to address the specific needs of various populations, Commissioner González-Sánchez has been instrumental in the establishment of numerous helpful programs for these communities. This includes first-of-its-kind adolescent substance use disorder clubhouses and recovery centers in various counties across the state, such as The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York City, and The Pillars Recovery Center in Harlem. She also provided funding and support for multiple youth clubhouses and one recovery center serving the Native American Community. Additionally, she expanded specialized outreach by launching the educational program “Nueva Esperanza, Nueva Vida con OASAS” which aired in Spanish on Telemundo and Univision. This programming was the preface for the “New Hope, New Life with OASAS” television broadcast which was developed for a broader audience to inform and educate New Yorkers about addiction prevention and recovery services, substance use disorder, and the reduction of the associated shame and stigma.

Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez​​ was named to City & State’s 2020 Health Power List (15th) which includes 100 of the most powerful people in the health care community. She was also named to their 2019 Nonprofit Power 100 List (34th) which honors the 100 most influential people working in non-profit organizations focusing on civil rights, criminal justice, health care, education, immigration and legal services.

On a national level, Commissioner González-Sánchez serves as the First Vice President of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) Board.

Commissioner González-Sánchez holds a Master of Social Work degree in Administration and Community Organization from the Hunter College School of Social Work; a Master’s of Science degree in Cell Biology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology; both from Fordham University. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker.