Samantha J. Harris

Curriculum Vitae

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Administration

Samantha J. Harris

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Administration and Policy

Samantha J. Harris (MPA, ABD) is a PhD candidate in Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia in the School of Public and International Affairs, Department of Public Administration and Policy. Samantha earned her Masters of Public Administration from the Martin School at the University of Kentucky in 2016. She currently works as a graduate research assistant at the University of Georgia.

Samantha’s specialization is in Health Policy. Her work focuses on the accessibility and quality of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services, including examining the adoption, diffusion, and implementation of evidence-based practices for SUD treatment and assessing local, state, and federal policies that impact SUD treatment services.

Specifically, her work focuses on SUD treatment accessibility and quality for the privately and publicly insured populations and the organization of SUD treatment across Medicaid Managed Care Organizations. Samantha’s current work examines the accessibility of Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder within and outside of the specialty treatment system, the latter of which analyzes the impact of federal policies (the Drug Addiction Treatment Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act) on the accessibility of opioid use disorder treatment medication (buprenorphine) in the midst of the opioid epidemic. Other federal policy work includes the examination of the impact Health and Human Services Exclusions on opioid overdose deaths. Samantha also conducts research in harm reduction policy including syringe access programs, which aim to alleviate the burdens of injection drug use (mortality, HIV, HCV, etc.) and serve as a critical pathway to SUD treatment.

Samantha served as the UGA Project Coordinator on a SAMHSA SBIRT Interprofessional Training grant and is the research assistant on a NIDA research grant examining the effect of medical cannabis laws on health care use in insured populations with pain.


Master of Public Administration, University of Kentucky, 2016

B.A. Arts Administration, Minors in English and Art History, University of Kentucky, 2014

Research Interests

Substance use disorder policy; substance use disorder treatment services; harm reduction policy; vulnerable population health; social determinants of health; public insurance programs; scope of practice laws