John J. Tassoni Jr. named President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island

John J. Tassoni Jr. named President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

of the Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island.


Warwick, RI - Former State Senator John J. Tassoni Jr., has been appointed as the new President/Chief Executive Officer for the Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island, Tassoni takes over on August 20th.

He previously held the position of Vice President of Operations, Community and Government Relations for the Leadership Council.

The Leadership Council is the main advocacy organization in Rhode Island that represents agencies that provide mental health and addiction treatment, substance abuse prevention, primary health, and wellness services to over 20,000 individuals annually.

In this new role, Tassoni will work with national, state, and local leaders in behavioral healthcare to improve the quality of care for this vulnerable population, as well as partner with cutting-edge, public and private agencies to continually improve and enhance community inclusion, and support policy advancement to drive the mission of the Leadership Council.

"We are honored to have John as CEO of our Council. John is a true advocate for substance use and mental health treatment as well as affordable healthcare. His proven leadership and ability to form strong, positive, productive relationships will surely be a key in navigating the ever-changing healthcare environment in Rhode Island," said Lynn Serra, chair of the Leadership Council’s board of directors.

Tassoni is a well-known business leader, former union executive and mediator, and social advocate for issues related to addiction and recovery. He was a member of the Rhode Island State Senate, serving from 2001-2012, and has over 35 years of experience in the private sector and labor community.

In the senate, his advocacy for fair labor practices, affordable healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and assistance for the homelessness, earned him high praise among constituents and citizens alike. Open dialogue and maintaining positive working relationships has been Mr. Tassoni’s mantra, which led him to host Recovery Radio, the first radio program in the state to offer useful information to those suffering from alcohol, drug, and other addictions.  

He is currently the host of Recovery TV, which features on-air interviews with those overcoming substance abuse.

“I am humbled and honored that the Executive Committee and Leadership Board of Directors have placed their confidence in me to lead this organization. It is my goal to further strengthen the core mission of the Leadership Council and accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on partnerships and emerging opportunities in the behavioral field, to create a more dynamic Council that will serve the needs of individuals and families dealing with affliction,” said Tassoni. “We want them to know that they are not alone and there is help and hope.”

For more information, contact the Leadership Council office at 401-521-5759.

About the Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of R.I.: The Council was formed in 2015 through a merger of The Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association (DATA) and the Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Organizations (RICCMHO), two agencies which had been the voices for mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention services in RI for over 30 years. The Leadership Council advocates and supports its member agencies at the R.I. state legislature and works closely with all state and federal agencies on their behalf.