Kristen Harper


Kristen Harper has been practicing abstinence-based recovery since March of 2001 and is grateful for her experiences with multiple pathways of recovery during the past 20 years. As the Founding Director for the Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern University’s JPH College of Public Health, Kristen connected deeply with her role of building recovery support services for communities, especially for young people. In 2011, Kristen joined Texas Tech University’s Collegiate Recovery Community team as a Research Associate in the College of Human Sciences, where she focused most of her work on supporting the Collegiate Recovery Community Replication project, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Department of Education. In 2013, Kristen joined the Association of Recovery Schools as the first full-time Executive Director to help amplify the creation of and sustainability of recovery high schools in the U.S. and Canada. During her time with ARS, she and the board of directors launched the recovery high school accreditation program, which has guided the development of new schools over the past 5 years. In 2016, Kristen became Executive Director for the Recovery Communities of North Carolina, a statewide recovery community organization which co-managed the Access to Recovery grant in collaboration with the State of North Carolina’s Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. Additionally, during this time period, Kristen managed Transforming Youth Recovery’s technical assistance and grantee program for 120+ collegiate recovery efforts who received the Seeds of Hope funding. In 2017, Kristen joined C4 Innovations as a Recovery Specialist, where she had the opportunity to work on several teams, including, the Opioid Response Network, statewide collegiate recovery technical assistance and evaluations, and the intersectionality of race equity with recovery support. She has been a member of the National Advisory Council for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment since 2016 and looks forward to becoming involved in other public service opportunities. She has a B.A. in Interpersonal Communications and an M.Ed. in Collaborative Education from Mercer University. She is looking forward to being a part of the fall 2021 Innovation to Impact cohort at Yale University where she hopes to incorporate the importance of lived experience through technology and innovation when impacting drug policy. Her greatest joy in life, however, is being a wife and mother to her 3-year old daughter and 5-month old son!