Patrick O’Hare started working in the drug field in the mid-1980s when he became Director of the Mersey Drug Training and Information Centre in Liverpool. In 1989 he founded the International Journal of Drug Policy and was Editor from 1990 – 2000. In response to the interest and intrigue created by the innovative Mersey Harm Reduction Model, Pat initiated the 1st International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm in 1990. As well as being the founder of IHRA, Pat also served as the Executive Director from 1996 until he stepped down in 2004. He is currently the Honorary President of IHRA and, in 2000, was awarded with IHRA’s International Rolleston Award.
Patrick J. Aeberhard
Patrick J. Aeberhard currently lives in Paris. For over 25 years, he has worked to promote and defend democratic institutions, human rights and humanitarian action for the victims of catastrophes. Patrick has previously worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross and co-founded Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde (MDM), of which he was President until 1989 and is currently an Honorary President. He has been an advisor to the French Government and a member of various French Governmental Committees. As well as being a founder member of IHRA, Patrick directed the 8th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm (Paris, 1997).
Patrick is a consultant in Cardiology and currently runs the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center in the Centre Cardiologique du Nord, Saint-Denis, Paris (a post he has held since 1980). He is also special adviser to Bernard Kouchner, the former French Minister of Humanitarian Affairs. In 1969, Patrick received the Silver Cross of the French Red Cross and has also been awarded Le Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1993.
Ernst Buning has been working in the area of public health and substance use since 1977 and was instrumental in the development of harm reduction policies in the Netherlands in the early 1980s. Ernst was re-elected onto the IHRA Executive Committee in 2002 where he currently serves as the Chair. He is currently the Director of Quest for Quality (Q4Q) and Co-ordinates Euro-Methwork, the Latin American Travelling Seminar and the International Conference on Alcohol and Harm Reduction.
Dave Burrows has worked on the topics of HIV/AIDS and substance use since 1987. Based in Sydney, Australia, Dave wrote and edited groundbreaking publications and materials about drug use and HIV/AIDS for a variety of audiences (such as medical professionals, substance use practitioners and the general public). In 1991 he joined a leading community-based agency and worked on educational HIV prevention campaigns directed at injecting drug users in Sydney. Dave later became general manager of the agency and went on to join the AIDS Projects Management Group in 1994, progressing to Deputy Director and then Director.
Since 1996, Dave has worked as a consultant on HIV/AIDS and drug use in over 30 countries. He has assisted global organisations (such as the UN), governmental aid agencies and NGOs at all levels. In recent years, Dave has been working on the broader issues related to HIV/AIDS and has designed programmes targeting the general community as well as specific groups such as medical professionals, young people, men who have sex with men and commercial sex workers.
From 1970 – 1990, Ernie Drucker was the founding Director of a 1000-patient drug treatment program in the Bronx, New York. He has been a leading researcher on HIV/AIDS and drug addiction for over 15 years and has written over 100 scientific articles and book chapters. He is currently the Editor in Chief for the internationally respected “Addiction Research and Theory” journal as well as the Internet-based “Harm Reduction Journal”. As well as being a founder member of IHRA, Ernie was also Chairman of Doctors of the World / USA (1993- 1997) and a senior Soros Justice Fellow (2004-2005).
Ernest Drucker is currently Professor of Epidemiology and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at the Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. His research examines AIDS, drug use, and drug policy in the USA and in other countries. He is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in New York and active in drug law reform and human rights.
Fabio Mesquita is a physician from Brazil. He has a PhD in Public Health and previously ran the STD/AIDS Program of the City of Sao Paulo Health Department (the third most senior Governmental position on AIDS in Brazil). Fabio was instrumental in introducing harm reduction to Brazil and Latin America and first tried to introduce a needle exchanges in Sao Paulo in 1989 (in order to control what was, at that time, the biggest epidemic of HIV among injecting drug users in Brazil). As well as IHRA, Fabio is also the founder of the Institute for AIDS Studies and Research (IEPAS), the Latin American Harm Reduction Network (RELARD) and the Brazilian Harm Reduction Network (REDUC). His work has been recognised with various awards including IHRA’s International Rolleston Award.
Fabio is currently the Harm Reduction Advisor for the Indonesian HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project, an AusAID project in Indonesia, South East Asia.
Diane Riley has a PhD in Psychophysiology from the University of Toronto and her post-doctoral research was at the Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto. For more than 20 years, Diane has been a leading researcher in the socio- and bio-behavioural effects of drug use and has worked in Australia, Canada, England, Papua-New Guinea, Sweden, the USA and Central Asia. Her publications are in the areas of drug policy and treatment, HIV/AIDS, harm reduction, learning theory, psychophysiology and drug education. Diane has worked with community groups to set up the first bleach kit programs and syringe exchanges in Toronto and, from 1990 to 1996, was Senior Policy Analyst at the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. As well as IHRA, Diane was also a founding member of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy. From 1999 – 2003, she also represented North American NGOs on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.
Diane is currently a policy analyst for the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy and her work involves reviewing drug policies and programmes around the world. She is a member of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and teaches courses on harm reduction at York University in Toronto.
From 1977 to 1995, Marsha Rosenbaum was the principal investigator for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of California and her work includes studies of heroin addiction, methadone maintenance treatment, MDMA (Ecstasy), cocaine and drug use during pregnancy. Marsha has written several successful books and numerous academic articles about drug use, addiction, women, drug treatment and drug policy.
Marsha is currently Director of the Safety First Project and the Drug Policy Alliance (San Francisco Office). She regularly speaks to parent groups, schools, drug treatment and prevention professionals and the media about teenage drug use and drug policy issues.
As well as being a founder of IHRA, Bill Stronach has been ever-present on the Executive Committee during the organisation’s 10-year history and is currently serving as Treasurer. Through the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF), Bill has also organised the 3rd, 7th and 15th International Conferences on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm.
Bill is the Chief Executive of the ADF, which operates an extensive range of programmes and services across Australia such as providing information, research, community development, education and advocacy for issues around drugs and drug policy. ADF’s particular focus is on alcohol use among young people and they pioneered one of the first alcohol harm reduction programs in Australia in the early 1990s. Bill has an interest in drug law reform and harm reduction initiatives for injecting drug users. He is also the Vice-President of the Association for Prevention and Harm Reduction Programs in Melbourne.
Alex Wodak trained as a physician and, since 1982, has been Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia. Dr Wodak and his colleagues helped to establish the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the Australian Society of HIV Medicine, Australia’s first (pre-legal) needle exchange programme and Australia’s first (pre-legal) medically supervised injecting centre. Dr. Wodak is currently the President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and is a member of several state and national committees. He often works in developing countries to assist efforts to control HIV infection among injecting drug users.