3rd December 2021
A message from our outgoing CEO James Nicholls
On my final day at Transform, I just wanted to say what a privilege it has been to lead this organisation over the last three years. I have been fortunate not only to be working in a vital area of policy reform, but to lead a wonderful staff team with the support of a dedicated and committed board.
Transform also has the support of a fantastic community of supporters and activists, as well as loyal and generous funders. We are proud of our independence and remain committed to not receiving money from businesses with a vested interest in drug markets; therefore, we could not do our work without the financial support of the trusts, foundations and individuals who recognise the value of what we do.
Transform has, for years, led the way in making the case for drug policy reform – often working at the boundaries of what can be imagined and leading the wider reform community forward. This is brave and difficult work, and I hope that my tenure as CEO has made a positive contribution. I am proud to have worked alongside the incredible families in our Anyone’s Child campaign; to have helped lead our work marking the 50th anniversary of the Misuse of Drugs Act; collaborated with our allies in Blaksox establishing a project to help amplify Black voices in drug policy; and contributed to Transform's continuing body of work both setting out the failure of the war on drugs and presenting possible alternatives.
I am looking forward to taking up a new role at the University of Stirling, which has a fantastic community of drug, alcohol and tobacco researchers whose work is directed precisely towards reducing drug harms and improving the policy landscape. There remains a huge amount to be done if we are to properly tackle the challenges of creating effective drug policies (by which I mean currently illegal drugs, as well as alcohol and tobacco), and I very much hope to continue to play a role in achieving those outcomes.
I hope and expect to remain in close contact with Transform, and the wider community of drug policy advocates with whom Transform works, for many years to come. I am delighted that Alex Feis-Bryce will be taking over as CEO, working with a staff team that brings a brilliant range of skills and experience, and am excited to see how the organisation develops and grows as it enters this new phase.
Thank you to everyone for their dedication, support and compassionate belief that we can make our world a better place. I wish you, and Transform, the very best.