Sheila P Vakharia, PhD
Deputy Director, Research and Academic Engagement
Sheila P Vakharia is Deputy Director of the Department of Research and Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance. In that role, she helps DPA staff and others understand a range of drug policy issues while also responding to new studies with critiques and analysis. She plans conferences and convenings on cutting edge issues in the area of drugs, drug research, and harm reduction. Additionally, she is responsible for cultivating relationships with researchers from a wide range of disciplines aligned with DPA’s policy interests and working to mobilize academics in service of DPA policy campaigns.
Prior to joining DPA, Dr. Vakharia was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Long Island University, and had also worked as a clinical social worker in both abstinence-only and harm reduction settings. Her research interests include harm reduction therapy, drug policy reform, drug user stigma, overdose prevention, and social work education. She is currently on the Board of Directors of HAMS Harm Reduction Network and Filter magazine. She has written op-eds for the Philadelphia Inquirer on the overdose crisis and NY Daily News on drug-induced homicide laws and stimulants.
Dr. Vakharia earned her doctorate at Florida International University’s School of Social Work. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Binghamton University and a Post-Master’s Certificate in the Addictions from New York University.