Willard will provide strategies and tools to educate policymakers on measures to address both responsible and problem gambling in state and federal laws.
The NCPG aims to serve as the national advocate for programs and services to assist those affected by problem gambling.
“America is experiencing an unprecedented expansion of gambling that must be complemented by the adoption of robust responsible gambling programs and treatment for problem gambling at the state and federal level,” said NCPG executive director Keith Whyte.
“Patrick Willard, who has a wealth of experience in politics and healthcare, will be spearheading those important efforts for the National Council on Problem Gambling. We are excited he is joining our team.”
Willard will also work with NCPG members and affiliates to better advocate for resources to treat gambling addiction.
Willard commented: “The rapidly expanding landscape of sports betting and other gambling activities across the nation increases the need for strong responsible gambling measures being put into place and for the critical support to address the millions of families dealing with problem gambling.
“I am also looking forward to working with counselors, health care professionals, and other affected parties to make sure the tools are in place to deal with what has, for too long, been an often-ignored mental health issue.”
Willard previously worked as senior director for state and national strategic partnerships at Families USA, overseeing the organization’s work with state and national advocacy partners, as well as directing its annual Health Action conference for consumer health advocates.