Gary Blau, PhD

Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Fellow for Children’s Mental Health

Gary Blau, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who served as Executive Director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health from September 2019 – October 2021. Currently, he is The Hackett Center’s Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Fellow for Children’s Mental Health for the Meadows Institute.

Prior to joining the Institute 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 work, 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 previously held a clinical faculty appointment at the Yale Child Study Center, and more recently he was appointed as an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine, and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Louis A. Faillace Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health.

Dr. Blau received his BA in psychology from the University of South Florida and his doctorate from Auburn University.

Gary Blau Headshot