Our current Board of Directors was established in 2020, bringing together a team of dedicated individuals who provide invaluable guidance and strategic oversight to our organization. Our Board of Directors plays a crucial role in shaping the direction of Youth RISE.
Quarterly meetings are held, where the Board members collaborate with our Executive Director and Management Team to discuss key initiatives, review progress, and make informed decisions. Additionally, an International Working Group (IWG) representative joins these meetings, ensuring seamless communication and alignment between the IWGs and the organization as a whole.
We take pride in our commitment to inclusivity and diversity, which is reflected in our board composition. Every two years, new board members are carefully selected, bringing fresh perspectives, expertise, and a shared passion for our mission. Together, the Youth RISE Board of Directors drives our vision forward, ensuring that our programs and advocacy efforts continue to empower young people worldwide.
Zara is the Chair of Youth RISE’s Board of Directors and the director of Instituto RIA, a Mexican civil society organization that undertakes research and advocacy within a social justice, development, and peace-building framework. For the past decade, she has engaged deeply in the legislative and judicial drug policy reform processes in Mexico, as well as participating in regional and international advocacy at the Organization of American States and the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. From 2014-2017, she led the Latin American strategy for the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Zara has a master’s in public policy from Harvard University where she was a Public Service Fellow and a political science degree from the University of Colorado where she received the Truman Scholarship, as well as other awards. Zara writes articles and book chapters on innovations in drug policy, including legal regulation, social justice, and equity. She is the author of the book, Dictionary of Drugs, member of the Latin American Network of People who Use Drugs (LANPUD) and has been a board member of YouthRISE since 2020.
Oluwafisayo Alao-Amiola is currently the Gender Program Advisor at YouthRISE Nigeria. Her passion for the health and rights of young people, particularly women and young girls who use drugs, has inspired her to work on many developmental projects around HIV/AIDS, Harm Reduction, SRHR and economic empowerment. She is currently overseeing the gender-responsive harm reduction program and coordinating YouthRISE Nigeria Drop-In-Centres, which caters for women who use drugs in Nigeria. Oluwafisayo engages with young people by providing clinical care and support, counselling, and generation of evidence through research to inform policy and practices.
Mohawk Greene (they/them) is an intersectional harm reduction educator & advocate for people who use drugs (PWUD) that provides in-person services and online education and resources. They are the former President of New York DanceSafe, Inc., Digital Communications and Technical Program Manager at NEXT Distro and a consultant with DanceSafe. They have been a Youth Rise board member for 2 years, registering the organization with an e-residency that allows for ease of remote, global operations.
Maudy is a young spirit activist, who has a great interest in Harm Reduction, HIV, Gender, SRH, Youth Inclusivity and Women who Use Drugs issues. Maudy is enthusiastic about bringing their experiences to achieve YouthRise goals and objectives.
Caitlin is the co-founder of Youth RISE, having more than twelve years of experience in global policy development for harm reduction, public health, peer and community-based HIV/AIDS, and human rights programs. She has worked in Cambodia and Southeast Asia in the fields of HIV/AIDS advocacy and education, drug policy, and human rights initiatives, and regularly speaks, facilitates, and moderates sessions and panels at high-level meetings within United Nations agencies, international organizations, and conferences. In addition, she has worked on a variety of documentaries and video-based awareness campaigns and owns a thriving holistic health coaching practice working with women who struggle with problematic alcohol use. Caitlin holds a diploma in Child and Youth Care Counseling from Douglas College, a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Psychology from New College of California, and Health Coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has also studied film and video production at Langara College, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and the Gulf Islands Film and Television School.
Natalie joined MAPS in 2014. She founded the Policy & Advocacy department, and served as its director for 5 years. She also initiated and co-developed MAPS’ Health Equity program. As Global Impact Officer, Natalie works for the responsible integration of psychedelics into mainstream culture, to help “set the setting” for an ethical global movement. Before joining MAPS, Natalie worked as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical cannabis in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York’s race-based marijuana arrests. Natalie currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. She received her B.A. in history from Yale College, and her master’s of social work (M.S.W.) from Columbia University. She is also a co-founder of the Jewish Psychedelic Summit.