Ethan Nadelmann is the American founder and until 2017 the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the War on Drugs. Described by Rolling Stone as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts, Nadelmann takes a public health and human rights—rather than criminal justice—approach, advocating for the application of harm reduction principles. His commentary on drug policy has appeared in numerous media outlets and publications including Science, Foreign Affairs, and National Review.
Nadelmann received his bachelor's degree, J.D., and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and his master's in international relations from the London School of Economics. He taught at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, and formed the Princeton Working Group on the Future of Drug Use and Alternatives to Drug Prohibition.
In 1994, Nadelmann founded the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy institute that expanded in 2000 to form the Drug Policy Alliance, which promotes drug policies "grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights."
Nadelmann is the author of two books, “Cops Across Borders,” the first scholarly study of the internationalization of U.S. criminal law enforcement, and “Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations.” In 2014, he delivered a TedTalk “Why we need to End the War on Drugs” which has been viewed over 1.5 million times.
Nadelmann continues to act as a drug policy adviser to elected officials and civil society leaders throughout the world. His current writings can still be found on the DPA website as well as his Twitter and Facebook pages.