Statement from and Distilled Spirits Council President and CEO Chris Swonger today announcing the appointment of Benjamin Nordstrom, M.D., Ph.D. as Executive Director of, a national not-for-profit funded by leading distillers to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices.

Dr. Nordstrom joins from Phoenix House, a national drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization, where he served as President and CEO.  He is an expert in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and criminology.

“As a board-certified addiction psychiatrist, Dr. Nordstrom has had a long and distinguished career fighting substance abuse. He understands the critical importance of prevention and education,” said Swonger.

“Dr. Nordstrom is well-positioned to build on the positive impact of  Since its inception in 1991, drunk driving fatalities have decreased 31 percent, while underage drinking has decreased 46 percent and underage binge drinking has decreased 57 percent. I am confident Dr. Nordstrom is the right choice to take to the next level,” Swonger added.


Dr. Nordstrom served on the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s expert consensus panel on the use of medications in the treatment of opioid use disorders.  He also served on the steering committees for drug courts and mental health courts and is the past President of the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Professionals Health Program. Dr. Nordstrom serves as a psychiatrist with the United States Army Reserve where he provides clinical care to our service members at home and abroad.

He received his M.D. from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and also holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Nordstrom completed his training in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Dr. Nordstrom succeeds former President and CEO, Ralph Blackman, who has retired after 22 years of service.