Ethan Nadelmann – The Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform

This award is given to the individuals who most epitomize loyal opposition to drug war extremism.

Ethan Nadelmann

Ethan was born in New York City and received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard, and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. He then taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, where his speaking and writings on drug policy attracted international attention. He has authored two books on the internationalization of criminal law enforcement – Cops Across Borders and (with Peter Andreas) Policing The Globe – and his writings have appeared in most major media outlets in the U.S. as well as top academic journals (e.g., Science, International Organization), policy journals (Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Washington Quarterly, Public Interest) and political publications from the right (National Review) to the left (The Nation). He is interviewed frequently by media, including The Colbert Report, The O’Reilly Factor, Real Time with Bill Maher, and news programs on all the major U.S. networks as well as dozens of networks elsewhere. His TED Talk, delivered at TEDGlobal in Rio de Janeiro in October 2014, has more than 1.5 million views, with translations into 28 languages.

In 1994, Ethan founded The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros. A year later, he co-founded the Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development program. In 2000, the Lindesmith Center merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to form the Drug Policy Alliance. Ethan and his colleagues played pivotal roles in most of the major drug policy reform ballot initiative campaigns in the U.S. on issues ranging from medical marijuana and marijuana legalization to prison reform, drug treatment, and reform of bail and asset forfeiture laws. They also have reformed state and federal laws involving drug sentencing, drug treatment, access to sterile syringes to reduce HIV/AIDS, prevention of overdose fatalities, and all aspects of marijuana policy.

Ethan currently serves on the advisory board of the Open Society Foundation’s Global Drug Policy Project (GDPP) and as an advisor to the Global Commission on Drug Policy. He has played a key role as drug policy advisor to George Soros and other prominent philanthropists as well as elected officials ranging from mayors, governors and state and federal legislators in the U.S. to presidents and cabinet ministers outside the U.S.