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Speaker Biographies


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david Best, PhD

Dr. Best is Professor of Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University and Honorary Professor of Regulation and Global Governance at Australian National University. Trained as a psychologist and criminologist, he has worked in practice, research and policy in the areas of addiction recovery and rehabilitation of offenders. He has authored or co-edited five books on addiction recovery, and has written more than 180 peer-reviewed journal publications and around 70 book chapters and technical reports.

Dr. Best has previously worked at the Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College London), Strathclyde University, Birmingham University, the National Treatment Agency and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. His current research activities are around recovery pathways (Scotland, England, Belgium, Netherlands), recovery capital and its measurement (US, UK), social identity theory and its implications for recovery (Australia, UK), recovery and desistance (UK), addiction treatment effectiveness particularly in prison settings (UK), prison and community connections (UK), family experiences of addiction and recovery (US, UK).


Chuck Doucette

Chuck is currently the President of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada and a member of the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy. In the past he was on the board of the Pacifica Treatment Center in Vancouver for six years, and the board for the South Delta Little House Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Society for ten years. He is one of the founding members of the Addictive Drug Information Council of BC, the D.A.R.E. BC Society, and Recovery Day, Vancouver.

Chuck retired in 2007 after serving over 35 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Over 30 of those years were spent in various aspects of Drug Enforcement (including undercover operations) in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. His last twelve years in the RCMP were spent in charge of the Drug Awareness Service for BC and the Yukon, responsible for coordinating community-based drug prevention/education initiatives, including the D.A.R.E. Program. His experience includes development of prevention initiatives at various levels; giving presentations at public meetings and conferences; and, training police officers in both Demand Reduction initiatives and Supply Reduction techniques. He represented the RCMP on many committees at the local, provincial and national levels and was part of the Canadian delegation to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Meeting in Vienna in 2009.


Robert l. dupont, MD

For 50 years, Dr. DuPont has been a leader in drug abuse prevention and treatment. He was the first Director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (1973-1978) and the second White House Drug Chief (1973-1977). From 1968-1970 he was Director of Community Services for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. From 1970-1973, he served as Administrator of the District of Columbia Narcotics Treatment Administration. In 1978 he became the founding President of the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., a non-profit research and policy organization that identifies and promotes powerful new ideas to reduce drug use and addiction.

A graduate of Emory University, Dr. DuPont received an MD degree in 1963 from the Harvard Medical School. He completed his psychiatric training at Harvard and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. DuPont maintains an active practice of psychiatry specializing in addiction and the anxiety disorders and has been Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine since 1980. 

He is the author of Chemical Slavery: Understanding Addiction and Stopping the Drug Epidemic published in 2018.  

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merilee fowler

Ms. Fowler has been the Executive Director of MATFORCE, a nationally award winning substance abuse coalition, for almost 12 years. As an appointed member of the Governor’s Arizona Substance Abuse Prevention committee and member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Advisory Board, she is a passionate, action-oriented preventionist with local, state and national influence.

Ms. Fowler is a proactive community leader with over 30 years of administrative experience working in community collaboration. She is a nationally sought after speaker as well as an award winning servant leader and community organizer. Ms. Fowler is credentialed as a level 4 prevention specialist in Arizona.

Under Ms. Fowler’s leadership, MATFORCE has been awarded seven national awards including CADCA’s 2013 Coalition of the Year for the nation. In 2018, Ms. Fowler was honored as an Outstanding Director of the Year for the State of Arizona by the Organization of Nonprofit Executives (ONE) and received an Excellence in Prevention award from the Arizona Department of Liquor Control. She was selected as the 2015 Kris Bell Recipient from Arizonans for Prevention for her work in prevention in the State of Arizona.


thomas gorman

In 1968 Director Gorman graduated from San Jose State University and joined the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.  He served 10 years as an undercover agent. He made 1,000 undercover purchases and received two Purple Hearts from being shot and later stabbed. He was promoted in 1990 to deputy chief in charge of statewide drug enforcement operations.

In 1997 he retired to become the Director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RM HIDTA). Director Gorman is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is past president of the California Narcotic Officers Association and the National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement Agencies. He was President of the National HIDTA Directors Association from 2005 to 2017. 

He authored The Myths of Drug Legalization and Marijuana Legalization:  The Issues. He also authored a recently published book titled To Believe or not Believe, That is the Question - An Undercover Agent’s Quest for the Truth.



Mr. Hörnberg, is the President of the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD), a global multilateral community of more than 200 non-governmental organizations and individuals. Since 2003 he has served as the Executive Director of IOGT International, the premier global network for evidence-based policy measures and community-based interventions to prevent and reduce harm caused by alcohol and other drugs. He recently served as the Chairperson of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs and Chair of the Civil Society Task Force on Drugs, set up as the key entity to secure Civil Societies engagement and coordination in order to effectively include Civil Society Organisations voices in the UNGASS on Drugs 2016.

From 1994 to September 2018, Mr. Hörnberg was Secretary General/Senior Advisor of International Institute of the IOGT-NTO-movement, a foundation working with development in Africa, South- and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. From 1991 to 1996, he was Secretary of a civil society group working with WHO and UNODC on the project “Global Initiative”, specifically targeting affected and vulnerable Communities and Street Children.

Before working with international and development issues, Mr. Hörnberg served for 17 years as a civil servant in the sectors of education, social welfare and community administration.


Per Johansson

Mr. Johansson has worked as a Secretary General for the National Association for a Drug-free Society (RNS) since the early 1990s. He came across the problem of drug abuse while working a year at a mental hospital in between high school and college, where he came in contact with RNS and met its founder Professor Nils Bejerot, and subsequently became an enthusiastic volunteer working for the association.

Mr. Johansson took part in organizing the First World Forum Against Drugs in Stockholm in September 2008. Based on that experience, four of the Swedish NGOs that organized that forum founded the World Federation Against Drugs, WFAD, in 2009. Since then five more Forums have been arranged – in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

His expertise when it comes to drug prevention is mainly around drug policy in relation to public opinion. This has been a very lively process in Sweden for over 50 years where the debate has been going back and forth from harm reduction orientation to recovery orientation


Rogers Kasirye, MA

Mr. Kasirye is a global leader advocating for the protection of youth and children. In addition to his role as Executive Director of UYDEL in Uganda, he is the local expert advisor to UNODC in Eastern Africa and is actively involved in capacity building of NGOs and communities in drug demand reduction activities. Mr. Kasirye has worked extensively to research, implement programs, and inform policy on pervasive health risks that face youth populations in Uganda and East Africa.

Mr. Kasirye has acted as lead NGO expert for UNODC on drug abuse and trafficking in sub-Saharan Africa; as a national trainer for a UNFPA project on reproductive health, drug abuse, and at-risk youth; and as a contributor to WHO’s publication on alcohol use among genders in Uganda.

In his role as consultant, he was involved in the planning, implementation, advocacy, and evaluation of programs related to HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug abuse, and child trafficking among street and slum children in Uganda and East Africa.

Furthermore, Mr. Kasirye is a Scientific Advisor to the Mentor Foundation, an organization that facilitates the use of evidence-based programming among NGOs working on substance abuse prevention.


Bertha K. Madras, PhD

Bertha K. Madras, PhD is a professor of Psychobiology at Harvard Medical School, based at McLean Hospital and cross-appointed at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research focuses on neurobiology, imaging, and medications development (19 US and 27 international patents) for neuropsychiatric disorders. In public policy, she was Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a presidential appointment confirmed unanimously by the US Senate.

Dr. Madras recently served as a panelist at the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences and in 2017, was appointed as one of six members of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. In service to the public, she developed a museum exhibit, a CD (licensed by Disney) with the Museum of Science, Boston. She is recipient of an NIH MERIT award, a NIDA Public Service Award, and others.


David Martin, PhD

Dr. Martin is a pioneer in the drug testing and treatment industry. Over the past 40 years built several drug testing laboratories including one of the first laboratories certified to test Federal employees in the United States and then modified to specifically monitor impaired professionals.

He is the President and Chief Science Officer of JMJ Technologies, former Chairman of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), Drug Testing Administrator for the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Member of the IOC Medical Commission, Professor at University of Florida Department of Psychiatry and Science Team Director on the US State Department Afghanistan National Drug Survey.

Dr. Martin is currently the Science Team Director of the Colombo Plan Global Study on Toxic Adulterants in Street Drugs and author over 100 articles, abstracts and presentations on drug testing.

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alice p. mead, JD

Ms. Mead received her Juris Doctor degree from University of Santa Clara School of Law and her Master of Law degree from Yale. She served for 12 years as an in-house counsel to the California Medical Association (CMA), one of the largest state medical associations in the country. Prior to that time, Ms. Mead was a litigation associate at a global law firm and an Assistant Professor of Law at Arizona State University College of Law, where she taught courses in constitutional law. Since 1999 she has served as Vice President, US Public Policy and Public Affairs, for GW Pharmaceuticals (and its US subsidiary, Greenwich Biosciences), one of the first companies in the world to develop cannabis-derived medications as prescription products in adherence to modern scientific and regulatory standards for pharmaceutical products. She focuses on domestic and international drug control laws and policy issues.


J. Paul molloy

Mr. Molloy is the CEO and Co-Founder of Oxford House, Inc. (OHI), the non-profit, tax-exempt organization that charters Oxford Houses – self-run, self-supported recovery houses for individuals recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.  Charters are available to groups of at least six recovering individuals of the same gender who agree to comply with three basic conditions: be a democratically self-run group following the Oxford House Manual©; be financially self-supporting and pay its bills on time; and take action to immediately expel any resident who returns to drinking alcohol or using drugs.  Oxford House now supports an international group of more than 2,500 Oxford Houses located in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, England, Canada and Australia.  More than 450,000 individuals have lived in Oxford Houses since inception and most have achieved long-term recovery. 

Mr. Molloy currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers; Bladensburg and Baltimore MD.  Previously he served on the boards of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and VISION, a model program in Silver Spring, MD providing intervention and training for homeless individuals.  In 1981, he was a co-founder of Lawyers Helping Lawyers – a D. C. Bar Association professional assistance program dealing with addiction among professionals in the legal field.  In 2003, Mr. Molloy was the winner of the Harry V. McNeill Award from the American Psychological Association for innovation in community psychology.  

Prior to his full-time involvement with Oxford House Inc., Mr. Molloy was a member of the Washington office of Isham, Lincoln and Beale, a Chicago law firm. 

Mr. Molloy has an extensive legislative background.  He served as the Associate Minority Counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 – 1981 where he played a major role in the developing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 [RCRA], establishing a national program for disposing of garbage and waste; and the Staggers Railroad Deregulation Act of 1980 – substantially changing the organization, operation and regulation of freight railroads in the United States.  Earlier he was Minority Counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee from 1967-1972 where he was involved in the development and enactment of the National Rail Passenger Act of 1970 (AMTRAK) and the enactment of the Federal Election Law Reform Act of 1971.  Mr. Molloy’s career started in 1965 as a legislative assistant to the late U.S. Senator Winston Prouty (R-VT) where he worked expanding coverage of the Social Security Act and conducted a major study of the war on poverty in the District of Columbia (1967) and an evaluation of the Office of Economic Opportunity that led to the first legislative authority to the Government Accountability Office to evaluate program effectiveness.

Mr. Molloy earned a JD from Catholic University Law School, Washington DC; and BA from the University of Vermont. He has been a member of the DC Bar since 1965.

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George Ochieng Odalo

George Ochieng Odalo is the Executive Director and founder of Slum Child Foundation, based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive experience in social work and working with and protecting slum children and youth. Growing up as a slum/street child in Nairobi, he is dedicated to helping children in similar situations and sees their potential and he represents the voice of vulnerable children in the global drug policy debate.

In 2018 he was the recipient of the Drug Free America Foundation Moxie Award. He is the first African to be honored with this award for his brave commitment in working to protect young people from the harm of substance use.  

Mr. Ochieng was one of the invited speakers at the civil society hearing in the preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session for the World Drug Problem in 2016. He has been invited as a speaker at various forums around the world, most recently in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has participated in the annual Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) for several years, including the 2019 ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the Commission.


luke niforatos

Mr. Niforatos is the Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), presiding over strategic federal, state, and educational initiatives. Prior to SAM, he spent his career working in nonprofit community healthcare. He worked with behavioral health-integrated Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the state of Colorado, improving efficiency and implementing new regulations as well as IT infrastructure. Luke also founded two digital health companies.

Having lived in Colorado during legalization, he has seen firsthand the disastrous effects of lax marijuana policies. This experience inspired Mr. Niforatos to work and speak across the country for a smart marijuana policy free of commercialization and normalization. He graduated from the University of Denver and now resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.


linda nilsson

Ms. Nilsson has been the Secretary General of World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) since 2014, and has been active in the drug policy debate nationally in Sweden and internationally since 2009. She has represented the global voice of prevention serving on the Civil Society Task Force on Drugs for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem and the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2019. The Task Force serves as the official liaison between the United Nations and civil society.

She is a board member of EURAD, a European network for prevention, treatment and recovery. She is also a member of the Core Group of the Drug Policy Futures network and was one of the editors of their Future of Drug Policy report launched in 2015.

Ms. Nilsson has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Peace and Development Work.


sheila polk, JD

Ms. Polk, County Attorney for Yavapai County, is a native Arizonan who received her Law Degree from Arizona State University. After clerking for the Arizona Supreme Court, Ms. Polk served in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for 11 years before moving to Yavapai County in 1994. There, she joined the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office where she specialized in the prosecution of felony crimes, including elder abuse, sexual offenses and repeat felony offenders.

In November 2000, Ms. Polk became the first woman to be elected to the position of Yavapai County Attorney, and is currently serving her fifth term in that position. In addition to overseeing a staff of 100 employees and a budget of $8 million, Ms. Polk has found time to be at the forefront of change. In 2016, Ms. Polk led the statewide effort to defeat the legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona. She assists as faculty of a cooperative initiative to strengthen the legal system in Mexico; she serves on the Governor’s Arizona Human Trafficking Council and, in 2016, she worked on the Governor’s Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force. Ms. Polk is the state chairperson for both the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council (APAAC), and the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC).

Ms. Polk is Co-Chair and founding member of MATFORCE, the Yavapai County substance abuse coalition, nationally awarded the 2013 Outstanding Coalition of the Year. She has been an active member of the Yavapai County Mental Health Coalition since its inception and, in August 2018, was awarded the David’s Hope Mental Health Criminal Justice Collaboration Award. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award from the Arizona State Bar. In 2019, she was recognized as an Outstanding Alumni of the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Ms. Polk is the driving stimulus behind the nationally renowned law enforcement course, What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust. In 2018, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recognized Ms. Polk as an “agent of change” for her accomplishments at a national tribute dinner in Washington, DC.

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amy ronshausen

Mrs. Ronshausen is the Executive Director of both Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.), national nonprofit organizations that work to defeat drug legalization attempts, promote sound drug policies, and prevent drug use, abuse and addiction. She has dedicated most of her adult life to the work of reducing illegal drug use and drug prevention. In her 11 years with Drug Free America Foundation and S.O.S, she has assisted in coordinating successful grassroots advocacy campaigns to defeat marijuana legalization efforts, coordinated statewide prevention summits, analyzed and tracked state and federal drug policy legislation, and trained prevention professionals at local and national conferences.

Mrs. Ronshausen serves on the board of Directors of the World Federation Against Drugs representing North America. She volunteers as the Executive Director for the Florida Coalition Alliance, representing over 30 community anti-drug coalitions. She is a LiveFree! Key Leader Council member, chairs the Marijuana Task Force as part of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, and serves on the Pinellas County Opioid Task Force.

She received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from University of South Florida.


kevin a. sabet, PhD

Described by NBC as the “prodigy” of drug politics and policy, Dr. Sabet is an author, consultant, former advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, assistant professor, and serves as the President and CEO of SAM, which he founded with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy in 2013.

Dr. Sabet has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years. He has worked in the Clinton (2000), Bush (2002-2003) Administrations, and in 2011 he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration. He has appeared since at the Aspen Ideas and New Yorker festivals, on the Organization of American States blue ribbon commission advising hemispheric drug policy, and in hundreds of forums and discussions promoting the ideas outlined in his first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, published by Beaufort. He has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy.


Karen P. Tandy

Ms. Tandy has more than 40 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors with executive board experience serving on for-profit and nonprofit boards. She is the Executive Vice President of NLW Partners LLC, an education, research and addiction recovery consulting firm with comprehensive online treatment of substance use disorders. She was appointed by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate as the first female to head the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where she managed a $2.4 billion budget and approximately 11,000 employees in 86 global offices from 2003-2007. During her tenure, DEA dismantled 80% more significant drug trafficking organizations, contributing to a 23% reduction in teen drug use, and the lowest level of workplace drug use in almost twenty years.

Previously Ms. Tandy led the nationwide Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces, comprised of thousands of federal and state law enforcement agents and prosecutors across the US. She also served as US Associate Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton and Bush Administrations with responsibility for developing national policy and strategies involving drug enforcement, and counter money laundering. In the private sector, she held the position of Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for Motorola Solutions. She is Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, board member of the National Foundation for Collegiate Recovery and serves on a variety of law enforcement related councils. Ms. Tandy is a lawyer admitted to the State Bars of Texas and Virginia and is the founder and principal of KPT Consulting, LLC.