Board of Directors
Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is governed by our Board of Directors and our Board of Trustees,
a designated body of the Board of Directors. Together, they are responsible for crafting strategy for the organization, overseeing compliance and financial affairs, and overseeing SSDP’s Executive Director.
To view Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s bylaws, click here.
Erica Darragh '14 | University of North Georgia Erica Darragh '14 is an alumni psychology undergraduate pursuing a career as a psychedelic therapist. She became involved with SSDP in 2014 during the founding semester of the University of North Georgia chapter, where they worked on medical amnesty, naloxone access, and cannabis policy reform. UNG was recognized as Outstanding Chapter for these efforts. As a McNair Scholar, Erica completed at study titled "Lexical harm reduction: Language perpetuates stigma related to substance use disorder." Erica currently serves as chapter director of Dancesafe Georgia, board member of Peachtree NORML, social media manager of Psymposia, and regularly volunteers with MAPS and Zendo Project. As a board member, she is focused on addressing discrimination in higher education, building a consent culture throughout our community, and encouraging respectful but critical conversations related to the mainstreaming of psychedelics.
Oriana Mayorga '14 | Columbia University Oriana is a community organizer, artist and healer. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Psymposia. Oriana is dedicated to dismantling structural oppression, promoting racial justice and ending violence against womyn. She is a longtime advocate of ending the war on drugs, accessible psychedelic medicine for all and is a founding member of the People of Color Psychedelic Society. Her most recent contribution to the field was the co-creation of Empyrean; the first POC conference on Psychedelics in the North East. Oriana received her B.S. Fordham University in 2014 and will receive her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University in 2022.
Julia Hilbert '17 | University of Pittsburgh Julia Hilbert ‘17 has been involved with SSDP since the founding of the University of Pittsburgh’s chapter in 2017. She is a student in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, and plans to continue on to get her Master's degree in social work with a specialization in Community Outreach and Social Action. She plans to use this degree to go into work with and on behalf of people who use drugs. She currently serves as the Vice President of her SSDP chapter, the President and founder of her Dancesafe chapter, the Business Manager of Pittsburgh Agents of Cultural Change, an active volunteer and intern with Prevention Point Pittsburgh, an active member of the Pittsburgh Psychedelic Society, and an active member of the National Association of Social Workers. She is passionate about harm reduction in any form, and planning to dedicate her career to ending the War on Drugs.
Alejandro Rodriguez '19 | Golden Gate University School of Law Alejandro Rodriguez is an alumnus of The University of Texas at El Paso where he majored in Political Science, he is currently attending Golden Gate University School of Law and has an expected graduation date to obtain his Juris Doctorate in May 2020. Alejandro is passionate for serving underrepresented communities and it stems from his familiarity with a justice system and immigration system that denied opportunities from his family members because of their ethnicity and not having a legal status in the United States. That familiarity drove him to attend law school to ensure his community has a fair shot at justice. As President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Alejandro has held community events, job fairs, and equity sessions to place individuals— who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs—on a path towards success by clearing criminal records and providing resources to launch their career/ entrepreneurship goals.
Alex Akin '14 | Kent State University Alex Akin '14 joined SSDP as the overdose crisis was building and she was just beginning her fight with organ failure in Ohio, one of the overdose capitals of the US. Seeing people on both sides (pain patients and people with Substance Use Disorders) losing their lives, she became a fierce advocate for all people using opioids. Prescription fentanyl saved her life, allowing her to go from needing around-the-clock care to living independently and giving her the strength to beat an allegedly terminal diagnosis. Now back in school studying neuroscience, she is devoted to helping mitigate human suffering. She is becoming certified to treat people with SUDs and believes in helping create a path to recovery that is marked by self determination and self love, where every person is treated with dignity and respect. Alex strongly believes that no human belongs in a cage and is devoted to continuing to fight for an end to the abuse of incarcerated members of our communities.
Clement Bofa-Oppong '16 | University of Ghana Clement Bofa-Oppong is a passionate youth activist who currently serves as the National Students Coordinator for SSDP Ghana. He had his Bachelor's degree in Geography & Resource Development and History from the University of Ghana (UG) where he founded the SSDP UG Chapter in 2016. Clement has been very pivotal to the successes of SSDP Ghana since its inception, working closely with government institutions, NGOs and other key CSOs to reform drug policy in Ghana. He has received training on Drug Use Prevention by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and he is the co-founder of Happy Smiles Foundation, an NGO that reaches out to destitute children and does charitable works in dynamism. Clement is the project head for a youth led coalition group working to address the issue of Tramadol Abuse by young people and he represented students in Ghana on a stakeholders consultative meeting organized by the Parliament of Ghana to review and orally speak on the country's Narcotics Control Commission Bill 2019 as a means of contributing to reshaping the 30 years bill into a better one that embraces human rights and education for young people. This will be the first of its kind in Africa to consider humane drug laws in the region. Clement has received many awards and recognition as a student leader and youth activist and he aspires to be a diplomat, lawyer and a philanthropist.
Eric Sterling *99 | Criminal Justice Policy Foundation Eric E. Sterling *99 has been a funder and advisor to SSDP since 1999, and been on SSDP’s board of directors since 2004. SSDP’s Lifetime Achievement Award is named after Eric, commemorating his contributions to the organization and drug policy reform. He has been an attorney forty years, has been active in several bar associations, and been part-time faculty at American University and George Washington University. He was a prominent student activist at Haverford College (’73) and Villanova Law School (’76). He was a public defender in the late 1970s. For nine years in the 1980s, he was counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, responsible for drugs, gun control, pornography, money laundering, organized crime, and other issues. He is Executive Director and co-founder of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (1989), and co-founder and advisor of other drug policy and criminal justice reform organizations (MPP, FAMM). He is active in civic and community affairs, such as serving as past president of his local elementary school PTA. He is in his ninth year on the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council of Montgomery County, MD. In 2013, he was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to a four-year term on the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, where he was a leader in developing the regulations to implement medical cannabis production and distribution there. In 2015, he was presented with the NORML Lifetime Achievement Award. He is Vice-Chair of Marijuana Majority and a LEAP speaker. He led wilderness canoe trips in the mid 1970s, was active in trail and bicycle politics in Pennsylvania in the late 1970s and climbed the Matterhorn in 1979. He loves biking, hiking, reading, cooking, parenting and dancing, and lives with his wife of 20 years in Maryland. His daughter is in the class of ‘20 at her college.
Evan Nison '09 | Nison Co. and CFO, Whoopie & Maya Evan Nison '09 is the youngest ever Executive Director of NORML New Jersey, and has been a member on Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s Board of Directors for several years. He also runs a cannabis specific PR firm, NisonCo and is a co-founder of Whoopi & Maya.. In New York he is the Co-Founder of the NY Cannabis Alliance, which has helped craft numerous pieces of cannabis related legislation in New York. In 2010 he moved to California to run the college outreach effort for Prop 19 in California, which spanned over 40 schools. He was President of Ithaca Students for Sensible Drug Policy for 4 years, which was rated the #1 college drug law reform chapter in the country in 2011, and under his leadership passed one of the first college policies in the country that equalized penalties for cannabis and alcohol on campus. Evan was instrumental in the passage of the New York 911 Good Samaritan Law and served as Drug Policy Advisor to Mayor Svante Myrick of Ithaca, NY, one of the youngest mayors in the country, where he helped spearhead an effort to pass a US Conference of Mayors resolution supporting the legalization of marijuana. Evan has been mentioned in news sources such as the NY Times, Politico, USA Today, NBC New York, Bloomberg TV, Forbes, and has been profiled in the Ithaca Times, Home News Tribune, and the Sun Times. He also received the 2011 NORML Student Activism Award and High Times Freedom Fighter Award for his advocacy.
Julian Hodge '17 | University of California Santa Cruz Julian (Jules) is a fourth-year history major and the president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They joined in 2017 as someone outraged at the blatant dysfunction of the drug war and have since become the social media officer for the Bay Area DanceSafe chapter, served ten months as SSDP Global’s social media intern, and become the Santa Cruz volunteer organizer for Decriminalize California. Before getting into drug policy, most of their advocacy experience came from their work in the LGBT+ community. They have worked to educate their community on queer issues since high school, and spent a summer working at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. during the Summer of Action in 2017. Currently, they are working on their Decriminalize Santa Cruz campaign to decriminalize various psychoactive substances in their town.
Kat Ebert '18 | Michigan State University Kat Ebert '18 is a senior at Michigan State University studying Neuroscience with a Pharmacology/Toxicology minor. Kat hopes to receive her PhD in Neuropsychopharmacology to research and administer effective treatment for various mental health disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction. She is currently involved in a multitude of organizations including a board position for the new 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, a volunteer for DanceSafe, The Army of Survivors, empowHER, and was also selected as an Honors College Dean Ambassador at MSU. Kat is also the founder and chapter president of the Michigan State University chapter of SSDP, one of the largest SSDP chapters in the world. She currently researches ketamine-induced cystitis on campus and hopes to one day operate her own psychedelic research lab that focuses on the healing properties of psychedelic medicine.
Kat Murti '09 | Feminists for Liberty Kat Murti '09 is a libertarian, feminist, and activist, working to make the world a better, freer place, one day at a time. Kat has been actively involved with SSDP since January 2009, and currently serves on the Board of Directors and co-chairs the SSDP-DARE and Fundraising committee. Kat was named an Alumni All Star in December of 2010, a Spotlighted Alum in January of 2012, and the 2016 A. Kathryn Parker Outstanding Alumnus in Service to SSDP. Kat first became involved with drug policy in 2007 when she joined the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of NORML. She served as Bay Area Regional Director of the Proposition 19 campaign to legalize adult recreational cannabis, and has worked at the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. Kat is a graduate of Oaksterdam University. She lives and works in Washington, D.C., and occasionally plays on the One Hitters softball team. Kat earned her B.A. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, where she served as president of CalSSDP. While in college, she interned at SSDP’s San Francisco office and served as co-coordinator of the AMPLIFY Project.
Maya Tatum '13 | Arizona State University, Tempe Campus Maya Tatum '13 was born and raised in Chicago and have always been involved in some form of activism. In 2013 I joined SSDP at Arizona State University and it changed my life. SSDP Completely transformed the way I viewed drugs, people who use drugs and how society views (and punishes) people who use drugs. After joining, I changed my major to Justice Studies and African & African American Studies. This has allowed me to draw parallels between the histories of colonialism and present day systemic & institutional oppression, emphasizing how the ‘Political-Economic’ dynamic duo forms oppressive policies. I have served as the Direct of Advocacy for my chapter at ASU, advocating for campus policies to redefine the way we approach drug use and drug culture on campus. After I graduate in May, I plan to use what I have learned in my studies and SSDP to continue my lobbying work, and help reshape the way to address drugs and people that use drugs, globally!
Betty Aldworth | Students for Sensible Drug Policy Betty Aldworth joined the SSDP team in February 2014 as Executive Director. In 2012, Betty was the spokesperson and advocacy director for Colorado’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the first to make marijuana legal for adult use. She served as deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association in 2013, where she was responsible for developing NCIA’s then-nascent educational programming and framing the national conversation about the marijuana industry. In 2014, she became executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the international network of more than 3,000 students dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. Prior to her work in cannabis and drug policy, Betty spent a decade motivating and engaging volunteers as a nonprofit leadership professional in Denver, CO.