Duane France serves as Co-Director of SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance (SMVF TA) Center at Policy Research Associates (PRA). In this role, Mr. France is responsible for the overall coordination and oversight for all technical assistance planning and delivery, including virtual and in-person events such as webinars, learning communities, site visits, Policy Academies, and conferences. Mr. France works directly with state and local interagency teams to support strategic planning and implementation that strengthens the behavioral health systems that serve the SMVF populations in states and communities across the nation. In his role, he responsible for coordinating with federal partners, developing relationships with national experts, monitoring of emerging trends, planning for technical assistance events, and supervision of systems for tracking TA trends and outcomes.
Mr. France is a retired Army Noncommissioned Officer, combat Veteran, and clinical mental health counselor. After retiring from a twenty-two-year military career, in which he served Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Africa, and various U.S. Based assignments, Mr. France served as a clinical mental health counselor for a large outpatient behavioral health practice that specialized in the mental health and wellness needs of service members, Veterans, and their families. He also served as the Executive Director of a Veteran mental health nonprofit that was professionally affiliated with the outpatient practice. His role also included community and government relations for the organization, in which he helped to establish a suicide prevention coalition in his community. He was a member of the inaugural class of the George W. Bush Institute Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, a leadership development program that supports rising leaders from a wide range of sectors who are working to improve outcomes for Veterans and military families through professional and/or community engagement. He served for two terms as the Co-Chair of the Public Policy and Legislation Committee for the American Counseling Association and is active in advocacy and awareness of the mental health needs for the military-affiliated population. Mr. France currently holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a Public Administration Concentration, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.