J. Kate Burkhart was named executive director of the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Alaska Mental Health Board, effective Dec. 3, 2007.
Burkhart has served as an assistant ombudsman with the Alaska State Ombudsman and as a public interest attorney with Alaska Legal Services Corporation. Her legal practice focused on poverty law, domestic violence, Native and tribal law, and included work on behalf of mental health consumers and those experiencing substance abuse problems. She often represented clients who were low-income, elderly, or children, and served as a guardian ad litem for children taken into state custody.
Burkhart holds a law degree from Tulane Law School.
The Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (ABADA) and the Alaska Mental Health Board (AMHB) are the state agencies charged with planning and providing community education on behavioral health services in Alaska. The joint mission of AMHB and ABADA is to advocate for programs and services that promote healthy, independent, productive Alaskans.