Executive Office

Secretary, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)

Gary Tennis of Philadelphia was appointed to serve as the first secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs in January 2012.

Tennis is retired from his previous position as chief of the legislation unit in the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office, where he represented the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association working with the General Assembly. In addition to more than 25 years of legislative experience, Tennis served as executive director of the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws in 1993.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1975 and was a Rhodes Scholarship nominee. He is also a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Law School. Tennis’s first order of business will be to analyze the provision of drug and alcohol services, which are currently provided through several agencies including the state departments of Health and Public Welfare. The goal is to ensure the highest and most effective care for Pennsylvania citizens struggling with addiction. 



Deputy Secretary, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)




Cheryl Dondero was appointed Deputy Secretary, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) on August 5th, 2013


Dondero has served the Commonwealth of PA for over 33 years and her experience includes progressively responsible management positions in a number of diverse Commonwealth agencies, specializing in the administrative areas of human resources; budget preparation and monitoring; information systems; and training and staff development. Prior to her Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs appointment, she was the Director of Administrative Services for the Department of Banking and Securities and where she successfully managed all administrative aspects of the merger of the former PA Securities Commission with the former Department of Banking to create the newly combined agency. During her tenure at the PA Board of Probation and Parole, one of her proudest accomplishments was developing a training course so that state and county parole agents could better understand the 12-step recovery model that most offenders must participate in as a condition of their parole. 


Cheryl knows personally what impact addiction has had on her own life, and the lives of her family and friends. She is passionate and dedicated to the importance of substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery for all Pennsylvanians.