Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow Riza Sarasvita, Ph.D., Indonesia, was one of nine senior officials from eight countries who received the U.S. Department of State 2018 Distinguished Humphrey Leadership Award. The award recipients are poised to serve as leaders in advancing the public good in their home countries through positive, near-term impact on policy formulation within their professional areas. They spend almost three weeks in the United States, participating in an executive leadership course at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and then shadow officials in organizations related to their professional responsibilities.
NIDA International Program Director Steve Gust, Ph.D., served as the coordinator for Dr. Sarasvita’s job shadowing activities. In addition to meeting with Dr. Gust, she also spent time with several NIDA officials: Vashundhara Varthakavi, D.V.M, Ph.D., AIDS Research Branch; Carmen Rosa, Center for the Clinical Trials Network; Richard Jenkins, Ph.D., Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research; and Emily Jones, Ph.D., and Brian Marquis, Office of Science Policy and Communications. Officials at other organizations also met with Dr. Sarasvita, including representatives from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), University of Pennsylvania, and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Dr. Sarasvita is Director of the Rehabilitation Center of the National Narcotics Board of Indonesia. She is responsible for strengthening the government-based rehab center through capacity-building, technical assistance, and clinical supervision; advocating with law enforcement agencies to promote treatment and rehabilitation over punishment; and providing national standards of drug rehabilitation and other related regulations. She is also active with the Indonesia Clinical Psychologist Association and is a part-time lecturer in the Faculty of Psychology, Soegijapranata Catholic University. Dr. Sarasvita has extensive binational experience in NIDA-supported research on medication-assisted therapy and behavior changes among people who inject drugs and has presented on that research at the NIDA International Forum. She has represented Indonesia in international collaboration on substance abuse issues at the Colombo Plan, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INL, and World Health Organization.