Theshia Naidoo

Managing Director of U.S. Foreign Policy

Theshia Naidoo is Managing Director of U.S. Foreign Policy with the Drug Policy Alliance and an expert and strategist in the area of drug policy reform. Naidoo has pushed for the creation and adoption of innovative drug policy reforms, including playing a key role in advancing policies and practices to reduce the role of criminalization and promote a health approach to drug use.

Naidoo has worked on various reform campaigns, crafted legislation and ballot measures, and was one of the chief architects of Oregon’s Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, the first-ever drug decriminalization initiative enacted in the United States. Drawing from her 15-plus years of experience advocating for domestic-based reforms, Naidoo is working to influence U.S. foreign policy as it relates to drug issues and to reduce the reliance on punitive drug control strategies in international drug diplomacy.

Naidoo presents regularly on drug policy reform issues across the U.S. and internationally, including presenting at an Obama White House convening and at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. She has testified before state legislatures and other government bodies on drug policy and often serves as a guest speaker at law schools, universities, and other institutions.

Naidoo received her B.A. from the University of California Berkeley and she received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. Prior to joining DPA, she worked at a law firm representing clients in civil litigation matters. She left private practice to join the struggle to make drug laws and policies more just, more compassionate, and more effective.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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