Terms of Reference

Dr Greg Bunt Co-Chair

Regional Council Co-Chair

Dr. Bunt graduated medical school in 1983 from NYU School of Medicine, and completed his residency in Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1987.

He was among the first to complete the Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine (1989), and has since been on the NYU Medical School Faculty in the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, currently as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.  He is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Special Added Qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry.

Dr. Bunt is the Immediate Past President of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine and currently the President of the International Society of Addiction Medicine. He has been the Medical Director for Daytop Village and Daytop International for 25 years.  He has authored over a dozen publications and speaks nationally and internationally about addiction medicine and therapeutic communities.



Dr. Hamed Ehktiari, Co-Chair

Dr. Hamed Ekhtiari Co-Chair

Hamed Ekhtiari, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA.

Dr. Ekhtiari’s research at Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, University of Minnesota is focused to reshape the future of addiction medicine using brain imaging in combination with brain stimulation technologies and cognitive rehabilitation. Dr. Ekhtiari is director of the international network of tES/TMS trials for addiction medicine (INTAM). INTAM with over 50 lab members promotes international collaborations to increase research quality and implementation of non-invasive brain stimulation technologies in addiction medicine. Dr Ekhtiari was born and raised in Iran and received his MD and then PhD in neuroimaging from Tehran University and his post-doctoral fellowship in computational psychiatry from Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.


Dr. Sophia Achab

Regional Representative - Europe

Dre Achab Sophia is psychiatrist with medical doctorate achieved in 2009 and a PhD in Life sciences completed in 2014, both in France. She has a practice in addiction medicine since 2007 and completed the recently created Swiss degree in Psychiatry and psychotherapy in addiction medicine in 2017.

She is senior lecturer at Faculty of Medicine of Geneva University, teaches in several European countries, and supports early career professionals in addiction medicine worldwide.

She is medical Director of the Swiss pioneering clinic specialized in addictive behaviors (Gambling, gaming, shopping, work..) at University Hospitals of Geneva in Switzerland.

She developed a unique fit between clinical practice, research, teaching and public health mandates in this emergent medical field, advocating for a balance between opportunities and health risks of tech.

She has been part since 2013 of several technical advisory groups (TAGs) for

international and Swiss policy making and public health entities in the field of addiction medicine. She is co-Head of Geneva WHO Collaborating Centre for training and research in Mental Health and holds a certificate in Improving Global Health : Focusing on Quality and Safety delivered by Harvard Global Health Institute in 2020.

She is co-chair of the executive committee of ISAM-NeXT and advisory board member elect of International Society for the Study of Addictive Behaviors (ISSBA), with a specific focus on gender and international cooperation as core factors shaping the future of addiction medicine



Dr. Atul Ambekar

Regional Representative - Indian Subcontinent & South East Asia

Dr. Atul Ambekar (MD) is a Professor, at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) and Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India. He is the founding Secretary General of the Addiction Psychiatry Society of India (APSI). He has been a member of many international and national expert bodies in the field of drug addiction including the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence (WHO, Geneva), Strategic Advisory Group on IDU and HIV (United Nations), and the National Consultative Committee on Drug Demand Reduction and Rehabilitation (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India). He has published several research papers, practice guidelines and training manuals in the field of addiction psychiatry.

Currently he is a professor at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with main activities in teaching, training, patient care, research and public health programming.



Dr. Shalini Arunogiri

Regional Representative - Oceania

Dr Shalini Arunogiri MBBS(Hons) PhD FRANZCP (Cert. Addiction Psychiatry) MSc (Addiction Studies) MPsychiatry


Shalini is a consultant addiction psychiatrist and clinician researcher. She is Deputy Clinical Director at Turning Point, an Australian national addiction treatment and research centre; and Deputy Head and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry at Central Clinical School, Monash University. Shalini is Chair of the RANZCP Binational Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry, the peak body for psychiatrists across Australia and New Zealand.


Her clinical and research interests include methamphetamine use and mental health problems, and women’s health and addictive disorders. She is an investigator on multiple Australian clinical trials of medication treatments for addiction, including DEBUT, N-ICE and LiMA.

Dr Nady el-Guebaly

Regional Director – Canada


Dr. el-Guebaly’s introduction to mental health and addiction medicine dates back to 1969 during initial psychiatric training in the United Kingdom, followed by training in Canada and the United States

Addiction related work includes being the current Professor and Head of Division of Addiction, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary, and the founding past Medical Director of the Calgary Health Region Addiction Centre and Program. Dr. el-Guebaly was the Founding Past President of the International Society of Addiction Medicine, its Executive Medical Director for another 6 years, and currently Chief Examiner of the International Certification Examination and Senior Editor of the recent Textbook of Addiction Treatment: International Perspectives (Springer 2015).

Dr. el-Guebaly completed three 3-year terms as Board Chair of the Alberta Gaming Research Institute, and is now the Alberta Gambling Research Institute’s current Research Director as well as Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Addiction for the last 4 years. These interests have resulted in 260 peer-reviewed papers, 80 chapters, 568 presentations, and 60 past and current grants totaling $7 million.

He is a member, of Alberta’s Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee, the Royal College Addiction Medicine Specialty Committee, the Provincial Addiction Curricula and Experiential Skills Training for Alberta Health Services, and the CSAM Conference committee.



Dr Marc Galanter

Regional Representative – USA

Marc Galanter, M.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry at NYU. He has served as a Clinical Associate at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health; as President of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine; and as Chief Editor of the International Society of Addiction Medicine.

He founded the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at NYU and the journal “Substance Abuse;” is co-editor of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment,” and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, addressing pharmacologic and psychosocial treatment for addiction, and the psychology of Twelve-Step recovery.

He has received the Gold Achievement Award for innovation in treatment and the Seymour Vestermark Award for psychiatric education from the American Psychiatric Association; the Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award from ASAM; and New York State’s Award for Psychiatric Research.



Dr. Tarek Gawad

Regional Representative - Eastern Mediterranean (incl Middle East and North Africa)

Prof. Gawad is currently holding positions as Director of Treatment and Rehabilitation at the National rehabilitation centre of Abu Dhabi UAE.  He is Professor of Psychiatry, Cairo University, Cairo Egypt.

He was graduated in 1981 from Faculty of Medicine Cairo University where he received his M.B. BCh ; Master degree in Psychological Medicine and Neurology (1985) ; MD Psychiatry (1991) and  Diploma in Addiction Behaviour – Institute of Psychiatry, London University (1987) .

Since his graduation he was appointed as staff member at the department of Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine Cairo university where he is still holding his position as professor since 2001.

He served as the Past President of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM), the past Chair of the World Psychiatric Association Section of Addiction Psychiatry (WPA).

He participated and published numerous research covering most of psychiatric subjects notably in addiction. His primarily interested in comorbidy studies and developing addiction psychiatric services. He is the Co-PI of the Fogarty grant od Addiction Research between Cairo university and UCLA since 2012.

His goal is to achieve well-established scientifically-based centres in Drug Addiction with a suitable network both nationally and internationally.


Dr Dario Gigena Parker


Master in Drug Dependency
Secretary of Prevention and Assistance of Addictions. Ministry of Health of
Córdoba, Argentina.
President of ArSam (Argentinian Society of Addiction Medicine).
Founding Member of ISAM (International Society of Addiction Medicine)

Dr. Ayana Gibbs

Regional Representative - Caribbean and Central America

Dr Ayana Gibbs MBChB, MRCPsych, PhD

Ayana is a consultant forensic psychiatrist, clinician researcher and digital nomad. She was born in Guyana, raised in Barbados and trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in London, UK where she also received her PhD in Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (King’s College London). She is currently a clinician and Research Lead with Psychiatry-UK, a UK national online psychiatry service, where she is also leading the development of the Psychiatry-Caribbean expansion. Her goal is to improve access to mental health and substance use services and professionals across the Caribbean through tele-medicine.

Her clinical and research interests include adult ADHD, addictive disorders, prison mental health, women’s health and digital health.


Regional Representative - East Asia Pacific

Dr. Solomon Rataemane

Regional Representative - Sub-Saharan Africa

Prof. Solomon Tshimong Rataemane

(President: African Association of Psychiatrists and Allied Professions 2014 – 2017)

Prof Rataemane is the past president of the African Association of Psychiatrists. He was HOD of Psychiatry at the UFS (1998-2003) and Medunsa (2003-2019). He has specific interest in addiction psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry. He was the deputy chairperson of the Central Drug Authority of SA 1995 – 2000 and then chairperson 2000 – 2005. He represented SA at AU activities relating to substance abuse. This included meetings of the INCB (International Narcotics Control Board in Vienna). He has participated in various activities on substance abuse planned by DSD and he continues to teach and provide support in this area. He is a past member of the Health Committee of the HPCSA that provides support to health practitioners affected by use of substances such as alcohol and drugs (and other issues that may lead to impairment). He holds numerous portfolios including the following

  • Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health in South Africa 2015- 2020
  • International Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
  • Past Chair of International Relations Division of South African Association of Psychiatrists
  • Secretary General of World Association for Psycho-social Rehabilitation from 2015 to 2021
  • Past Deputy chair of MRC of South Africa 2007 – 2010
  • WPA (world psychiatric association) Zone 14 Representative and Board Member (2008 – 2014)
  • Chair of Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution Section of WPA (2011 – 2017)
  • Chairperson: Medical and Dental Board (MDB) of HPCSA 2020 – 2025


Dr. Marc Potenza

Regional Representative - South America

I have extensive experience and expertise in studying the neurobiology of addictions. Over the past 20 years, I have investigated addictive behaviors and disorders from translational and interdisciplinary perspectives. I have investigated how a neurobiological understanding of addictive processes may be used to advance treatments for drug addictions. I was amongst the first to describe adolescence as a neurodevelopmental period of addiction vulnerability and have published extensively on adolescent risk behaviors including substance misuse. I have studied motivational and emotional processing in addictions. I have served as PI on multiple NIH (NIDA, NIAAA) R01 grants (continuous support for more than a decade) and have been PI on multiple center grants. I have established ongoing research collaborations in multiple countries including China, South Korea, Hungary, Spain, Italy and elsewhere. My international research includes multiple methodologies including brain imaging, genetics, clinical trials and epidemiological surveys. I consult on a regular basis to the World Health Organization on matters of addiction and am thus familiar with cultural and jurisdictional considerations in studying and understanding addictions. I have mentored over 100 individuals in the area of addiction research. I am currently a PI on a NIDA K12 grant that supports training of junior faculty to develop into the next generation of clinical researchers developing new and more effective treatments for people with addictions. I have also recently been designated a High Level Foreign Talent for collaborative work in China. I am currently a mentor to five individuals with K01 support.


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