Emory Basso (’12)

Operations and Administrative Associate


Emory (’15) joined SSDP as Operations and Administrative Associate in 2016. Em is very passionate about SSDP’s mission and hopes to use their systems engineering background to ensure the efficient daily operation of SSDP.

Emory got involed with drug policy reform when they joined the Virginia Tech chapter of SSDP in 2012. Em then served as president of the chapter from 2013-2015, growing the group from 5 members to 25 members and becoming the first chapter from Virginia Tech to attend an SSDP conference. Em is also very active in the LGBTQ+ community and serves as a mentor to transgender and gender nonbinary youth.

Em has an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Virginia Tech and specializes in planning, logistics, and optimization. During their time at Virignia Tech, Em tutored theoretical statistics and probabilistic operations research. Upon graduation, they were accepted into a PhD program at UC Berkeley with the prestigious Chancellor’s Fellowship for Graduate Study. By getting their PhD, Em hoped to apply operations research to drug policy reform by quantifying the horrendous problems with current drug policy and modeling more effective ways to regulate drugs. However, after attending the program for a semester, Em realized that the culture and academics of the department did not align with their goals and left to work on policy change first hand. Before joining SSDP, Em developed and documented efficient processes for the collection, retention, cleaning, and analysis of data for the Indiana Youth Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to serving youth workers around Indiana.

Before college, Emory was heavily involved in theatre, ballet, singing, and movement and still practices those hobbies regularly. Em is obsessed with cats and oddly good at finding 4-leaf clovers.