Deborah Finnell has specialized in mental health and addictions for the majority of her career. From her grounding as a registered nurse working in inpatient psychiatry, she expanded her role to that of a clinical nurse specialist and then a nurse practitioner. She brings her passion for the neurobiological bases of mental health and addictions to her clinical practice, teaching, research, and policy / advocacy. Her professional leadership roles range from Chair of the New York State Peer Assistance Committee to President-Elect and President of the International Nurses Society on Addictions (2008-2012). She served as Chair of the Addictions Nursing Certification Board and currently serves on the Committee on Nursing Standards for the American Nurses Association. She is Associate Editor for the Substance Abuse journal and on the editorial board of the Journal of Addictions Nursing. With a long-term appointment with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Hospital Administration, she has conducted funded research focusing on improving the health of Veterans with mental disorders and substance use disorders.