Maya D. Hennessey is an independent consultant and behavioral health expert who has dedicated her career to policy and intervention work, serving women with substance use disorders and other complex behavioral needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health, business and management, and theology from Northeastern Illinois University and began consulting in 1975. Between 1992 and 2004, Ms. Hennessey was a women’s addiction treatment specialist for the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse Services, where she focused on working with pregnant and parenting women who used drugs.
Inter-agency outreach and collaboration were a significant component of her role with the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse Services, and she piloted a program in conjunction with the federal government and state departments of child welfare and criminal justice called Project Safe. Ms. Hennessey has been a part of numerous policy advisory and advocacy groups throughout her career, including two of Hillary Clinton’s subcommittees on restoring healthy families and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s Caregivers Advisory Council, work that she considers to be a career highlight. Furthermore, she is the author of “If Only I’d Had This Caregiving Book” and numerous articles on women and addiction, and the co-author of a research article on female DUI offenders and a training manual for addictions professionals.
In recognition of her work in the community and the addiction recovery field, Ms. Hennessey has been presented with numerous awards and honors, including the 2010 National SAMSHA Women’s Conference Award for Progressive Advancement of Women’s Issues and a 1991 Keith Keisey Award. She is the former chair of the IADDA Women’s Issues Committee and has been featured as an expert in a PBS series on addiction. She credits her success in the field to her dedication to helping others and her interest in group dynamics, and she considers her work leading Project Safe to be the highlight of her long career. Ms. Hennessey continues to work with clients as an independent consultant and looks forward to providing critical services and advocacy for years to come.