Dr. Friend is an Advanced Certified Prevention Specialist (ACPS), an Adjunct Professor at Brown University’s Department of Public Health, a member of the Training Faculty at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, and a Senior Evaluator at Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. She obtained a Postdoctoral Fellowship in addictions research from Brown University, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, and B.A. in honors psychology from Yale University. Before working at Brown and PIRE, she worked as a clinical neuropsychologist for roughly 10 years with individuals with persistent mental illness living in state facilities and with medical problems in cardiac and rehabilitation hospitals.
At PIRE and at Brown University, Dr. Friend has worked for over two decades in behavioral health research, training and technical assistance (TTA), evaluation and policy. She provides oversight for numerous TTA and evaluation projects for federal agencies, states and communities. She currently serves as the lead evaluator for 3 North Dakota SAMSHA-funded projects, including Emergency Covid, State Opioid Response, and Disaster Response Grants, as well as for ND’s DOT-funded Parents Lead initiative. She operates as the lead evaluator for multiple behavioral health community evaluations, including New Bedford MA and Gloucester MA Overdose to Action, Gloucester’s BSAS grant to increase access to health food and physical activities among low-income seniors; and Lynn MA’s MassCall3.
In addition, she has decades of experience conducting research on tobacco, alcohol, drug, obesity, and health care quality to help inform federal, state and local efforts to prevent and reduce associated harms. She was appointed to the Rhode Island Governor’s Council on Behavioral Health and Alzheimer’s Executive Board. Finally, she serves as a lecturer and mentor for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.