As you may know, the Board of Directors has spent the past few months searching for a new Executive Director to replace Aaron Houston. I’m happy to announce that following a thorough process with a very strong candidate pool, the board has selected Betty Aldworth as SSDP’s newest Executive Director.
I think I speak for the whole board when I say I’m ecstatic about Betty joining the SSDP team, and I’m confident she’ll bring our organization to an unprecedented level of effectiveness. She has done fantastic work in her current role as Deputy Director at the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), and you may also recognize her as Advocacy Director for the historic Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that marijuana would not be legal in Colorado if not for her!
Betty will be joining us full-time this coming March in order to have time to complete her work at NCIA, which speaks volumes about the level of commitment she will bring to SSDP. Until then, Stacia Cosner will be continuing as Interim Executive Director and working with Betty to ensure she hits the ground running in March.
Please find a message from Betty below:
Dear members of SSDP,
More than a decade ago, I was introduced to harm reduction. The concept struck me as so basically humane, so commonsense, that I could no longer understand taking any other approach to social work or drug policy. At the time, I was leading volunteers for educational institutions, and did not conceptualize how I would someday work in harm reduction — but I knew, with great certainty, that I would. Four years ago, I began my work in medical cannabis and marijuana policy, and became familiar with SSDP. And in 2012, I had my first real opportunity to work with SSDP students and chapters while we worked together to pass Colorado’s Amendment 64.
I am honored to be given the opportunity to partner with SSDP’s 200-plus chapters, staff, supporters, and alumni to continue our work ending the drug war. I do not take our charge to change the world lightly. We, the present and future leaders of the drug policy reform movement, have a serious responsibility to fix broken systems, and it cannot be done without the efforts of students and youth. I count myself as astonishingly fortunate to be able to guide SSDP through these next transformational years.
In March, I will be joining the staff of SSDP in the DC office. Between now and then, Stacia Cosner will continue on as interim executive director, a job at which she has already excelled. And in the meantime, I look forward to meeting many of you at the Congress a week from tomorrow.
I sincerely look forward to working with Betty, the staff, the board, and our amazing chapter network to end this disastrous War on Drugs. And today, I’m more optimistic than ever that its end is coming soon.
Hope to see you in Denver,
Chairman of the Board