Joseph Anthony Califano, Jr. (born May 15, 1931) is the Founding Chair and President of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Califano graduated from College of the Holy Cross in 1952 and Harvard Law School in 1955. After holding various legal positions in the United States Department of Defense, he eventually becoming the general counsel of the United States Army, and was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.
In 1964, Califano became a special assistant to the United States Secretary of Defense, and deputy secretary. He was appointed to several committees by President of the United States Lyndon Johnson. In July 1965, he became a special assistant to the president, and served as President Johnson's senior domestic policy aide for the remainder of Johnson's term.
In January 1977, Califano was appointed Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare by newly elected president Jimmy Carter. His major initiatives included prevention programs to support childhood immunizations and against smoking. The department began efforts to collect defaulted student loans. From 1983 until 1992, Califano was senior partner and head of the Washington office of the law firm of Dewey Ballantine. Since 1992, he has been the chairman of the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), and has written several books.