Maria Valenti, PhD, is an epidemiologist and science writer with SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT). She has a background in program evaluation with special expertise in sexual minority issues.

Valenti delivers training and technical assistance (T/TA) to states in the Northeast United States regarding substance use prevention surveillance activities and data-driven decision making, and she assists with the presentation and dissemination of epidemiological findings. She conducts secondary research to support product development, crafts materials in conjunction with instructional designers, and develops and delivers webinars on critical prevention science topics. Valenti also provides scientific oversight in the development of several of EDC’s T/TA products, including program-level implementation guides for preventing underage drinking and non-medical use of prescription drugs.

Previously, Valenti served as the Service to Science lead for the CAPT, where she oversaw the evaluation T/TA provided to participating prevention programs, and she led a team of experts who assisted local program directors, developers, and evaluators in documenting evidence of program effectiveness in the northeastern states.

Valenti earned her PhD in ecological-community psychology from Michigan State University.

Speaking Highlights

Building the Evaluation Capacity of Local Programs Serving LGBTQ Populations: The Service to Science Initiative

Poster co-presentation, Society for Community Research and Action Conference
Lowell, MA
June 2015

Understanding the Connection between Suicide and Substance abuse: What the Research Tells Us

September 11, 2014

New York State’s FASD Prevention Initiative: Project CHOICES

Poster co-presentation, Building FASD State Systems Conference
Arlington, VA
May 2012

Selected Publications

Beasley, C., Jenkins, R., & Valenti, M. (Eds.). (2015). LGBT resilience across cultures. Special Section: American Journal of Community Psychology, 55(1–2).

Quinlan, K. J., Valenti, M., Barovier, L., Rots, G., & Harding, W. (2014). Community-based environmental strategies to prevent the nonmedical use of marijuana: A review of the literature. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3109/09687637.2014.920766

Valenti, M., Schoenborn, N., Campetti, R., & Dash, K. (2014). Building the evaluation capacity of local programs serving LGBTQ populations: The Service to Science Initiative [Issues brief]. Waltham, MA: Education Development Center.

Timm, T., Reed, S., Miller, R. L., Valenti, M., T., & Nnawulezi, N. (2013). Sexual debut of young black women who have sex with women: Implications for STI/HIV risk. Youth & Society, 45(4), 167–183.

Reed, S., Nnawulezi, N., Miller, R., & Valenti, M. (2012). Erecting closets and outing ourselves: Uncomfortable reflexivity and community-based research. Journal of Community Psychology, 40(1), 11–26.

Reed, S., & Valenti, M. T. (2012). “It ain’t all as bad as it may seem”: Young black lesbians’ responses to sexual prejudice. Journal of Homosexuality, 59(5), 703–720.

Selected Resources


This issue brief is designed to help substance abuse prevention practitioners better understand and reduce rates of heroin use and overdose. It includes the following: