Donald MacPherson, Executive Director
Donald MacPherson is one of Canada’s leading figures in drug policy. He advocates for drug policies based on principles of public health, scientific evidence, human rights, and social inclusion. He is involved in drug policy work at local, national, and international levels, and is a founding member of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Formerly, MacPherson was North America’s first Drug Policy Coordinator at the City of Vancouver where he worked for 22 years. He is the author of Vancouver’s ground-breaking Four Pillars Drug Strategy, which called for new approaches to drug problems based on public health principles and the appropriate regulation of all psychoactive substances.
MacPherson is also co-author of Raise Shit! Social Action Saving Lives (2009) and More Harm than Good: Drug Policy in Canada (2016). In 2007, he received the Kaiser Foundation National Award of Excellence in Public Policy in Canada. In 2009, he was awarded the Richard Dennis Drug Peace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform by the Drug Policy Alliance in the United States, and the City of Vancouver was awarded the Canadian Urban Institutes Secure City Award for the Four Pillars Drug Strategy.
MacPherson also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for his work in drug policy reform. In 2017, MacPherson was presented with the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy at Simon Fraser University. And in 2019, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BC Centre on Substance Use.
Scott Bernstein, Director of Policy
Scott Bernstein is Director of Policy with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, where he leads the organization’s work on legal regulation of drugs, decriminalization, and international drug policy. Through his own legal practice and with Vancouver-based non-profit Pivot Legal Society, Scott has participated in strategic litigation focused on advancing human rights of people who use drugs, including challenging municipal anti-harm reduction bylaws, advocating for access to prescription heroin treatment, and defending Insite, North America’s first sanctioned injection site in the Supreme Court of Canada and lower courts.
Prior to joining CDPC, Scott was a program officer with the Global Drug Policy Program of Open Society Foundations in New York. There, he supported collaboration within a global reform movement targeted at the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session through grant-making, policy expertise and strategic planning, as well as supporting a nascent drug policy reform movement in Africa. Scott has a MSc in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from the University of British Columbia.
Peter Kim, Strategic Communications Manager
Peter Kim is the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition’s digital and communications strategist, with a passion for high-impact storytelling and extensive experience in the media field. For over a decade he was a digital, broadcast, and data journalist in Vancouver and Toronto, where we worked for Global News, Citytv, and CKNW. As a reporter, he has covered a wide range of topics, from politics to health, technology, and social justice. His experience covering the founding and growth of the Canadian Black Lives Matter movement in Toronto was the impetus for his transition into communications within the social change sphere. In 2007, Peter was awarded an RTNDA Dan McArthur Award for In-Depth Investigation, and as a student, founded his school’s chapter of Journalist for Human Rights.
In 2016, Peter was recognized as one of 10 Journalists to Follow by Tableau, the world’s leading enterprise data visualization and analytics company. He is the founder of the Vancouver chapter of Data for Good, where he has led and managed the growth of a team of over 300 data scientists, engineers, and programmers committed to positive social change. Their first datathon was in support of the Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society and their life-saving work in the Downtown Eastside.
Prior to joining the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Peter was the Communications and Digital Engagement Manager at Pivot Legal Society, where he helped transform and expand the organization’s digital presence and advocacy strategies in service of marginalized communities, including people who use drugs, sex workers, people affected by homelessness, and those impacted by police violence. He is also a part-time college instructor, teaching digital and data visualization.
Kei Baritugo, Head of Public Engagement
Kei Baritugo is a passionate and driven firestarter with over 15 years of local, national, and international experience in social justice, film, technology, music and events. Her expertise include dialogue, community building, event planning, public relations and marketing communications.
As the founder and agency director of BoldLove Communications, a remote-first public relations agency, she has extensive experience representing clients at high profile events such as the Cannes Film Festival, SXSW, Sundance, TriBeCa, TIFF, the JUNOS, and Web Summit, to name a few. In 2018, she served as the Vancouver International Film Festival‘s Director of Public Relations, managing the festival’s 167 accredited media, liaising with VIP guests and overseeing red carpet galas. Over the past three years, she also served as Science World’s Marketing and Communications Chair, helping raise over $700,000 for the charity’s Class Field Trip Bursary Program.
Kei now serves as the CDPC’s Head of Public Engagement, overseeing the strategic planning and execution of the organization’s Canadian and BC dialogue program.