Welcome to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs


Michael Cunningham has had a long and varied career in health and human service policy, administration and program development. Currently serving as acting director for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, he leads the department’s efforts to prevent and reduce problems and addiction to alcohol, other drugs and problem gambling by developing, administering and supporting programs in prevention, treatment and recovery.

Michael has more than 30 years experience managing, directing and consulting with agencies in the field of alcohol and other drug prevention and treatment. He began his career directing community-based residential treatment and youth prevention programs. While overseeing the operations of a national public health consulting firm, he directed the delivery of training and technical assistance for the federal government and numerous states and local communities on alcohol and other drug policy, program development and delivery.

Among his many achievements are the establishment of a national framework for developing community prevention services; facilitating the development of the California Outcome Measurement System; the establishment of both the California Access to Recovery youth treatment program and the California Screening and Brief Intervention program; and directing the initiative to re-engineer California’s statewide system of services.

Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University at Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in Government from Claremont Graduate University.