Brett Harris

Brett Harris is a senior research scientist in the Public Health Department at NORC. Harris brings 14 years of experience in behavioral health with a focus on substance use and suicide prevention, early intervention, and treatment and expertise in training, technical assistance, research, and evaluation. At NORC, she leads a suicide prevention portfolio funded by SAMHSA, CDC, and private foundations and organizations and is involved in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for substance misuse and co-morbid depression, anxiety, and suicide risk.

Prior to her role at NORC, Harris was director of public health initiatives for the Suicide Prevention Center of New York, a public health affiliate of the New York State Office of Mental Health, where she oversaw initiatives related to communities, schools, colleges and universities, implementation of Zero Suicide, and the relationship between substance use and suicide; wrote, obtained, and directed federal and private foundation grants; and built and supervised a staff of seven. Prior to her role in suicide prevention, Harris developed, implemented, and evaluated SBIRT projects for various populations and service settings with the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports.

Harris is President of the New York Public Health Association (NYSPHA), the New York State Affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA); she was originally elected to the Board of Directors in 2018. In her tenure as President, Harris is spearheading a New Directions Initiative to make the association more membership-driven and started a new committee to engage members in public health practice, taking on critical public health issues including suicide prevention, the opioid crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and reproductive rights. In addition, Harris maintains a part-time position as Clinical Associate Professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health where she developed and teaches a course on suicide prevention and provides internships for graduate-level public health students.

Harris has authored or co-authored 20 peer-reviewed publications. Her work has appeared in Preventive Medicine, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Journal of School Health, Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, and Substance Abuse, among others. In addition, Harris was selected for the de Beaumont Foundation's inaugural list of 40 Under 40 in Public Health in 2019, and awarded best program abstract for “Optimizing the impact of alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention among a high-risk population receiving services in New York City sexually transmitted disease clinics: A process and outcome evaluation of Project Renew” at the 2017 Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA) conference.