Drug Policy Alliance Announces Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno as New Executive Director

Koya Leadership Partners congratulates Drug Policy Alliance on the appointment of Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno as Executive Director. The Drug Policy Alliance is the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

McFarland Sánchez-Moreno’s selection was made after a national search overseen by Koya.

McFarland Sánchez-Moreno brings nearly thirteen years of international and domestic drug policy experience from her work at Human Rights Watch, where she currently serves as Co-Director of the US Program. Her commitment to social justice and drug policy reform dates from her childhood, which she spent mostly in Peru. She was strongly influenced by her early work at Human Rights Watch researching Colombia, where drug profits fueled massacres and official corruption.

During her tenure at Human Rights Watch, McFarland Sánchez-Moreno pressed the organization to more directly address the war on drugs as a human rights issue. As a result, in 2013 Human Rights Watch became the first major international human rights organization to call for decriminalization of the personal use and possession of drugs and global drug reform more broadly.

McFarland Sánchez-Moreno is regularly quoted and published in national and international media and is a native speaker of both English and Spanish. She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions and has extensive experience advocating with U.S. Congressional offices, the White House, and the Departments of State, Justice and Defense.

McFarland Sánchez-Moreno recently authored a non-fiction book, There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia, which will be published by Nation Books in February 2018.

McFarland Sánchez-Moreno holds a law degree from New York University School of Law and did most of her undergraduate studies in Lima, Peru, before completing her BA at the University of Texas at Austin.

Read the full press release here.