TREAT California will provide an innovative state funding mechanism to research psychedelic medicines and deliver them in a safe, responsible, and ethical manner to the millions who struggle with mental health and addiction.
Meet The Team
Jeannie Fontana, MD PhD
Founder & CEO
Jeannie’s passion for advancing medical research and improving patient outcomes has led her to explore new frontiers in healthcare. As a result of her mother's ALS diagnosis, Jeannie became an advocate for those with ALS. She was instrumental in the formation of the world-class scientific team focused on ALS drug discovery at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Research Medical Discovery Institute, the establishment of the Cedars-Sinai ALS Center of Excellence, driving policy change, and increasing federal funding for ALS research, which shows her commitment to making a difference for patients. As a founding Board of Trustees member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Jeannie played a critical role in shaping the direction of the agency, contributing to its world-class reputation and success. With an $8.5B budget, it is the largest stem cell granting agency in the world. Today, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has become a leading force in the development of cutting-edge stem cell therapies to improve patient outcomes. The agency's continued success has led to the approval of two FDA therapeutics, nine FDA fast track therapies, and multiple large-scale clinical trials aimed at alleviating and curing disease (2022). Her passion for stem cell research and advocacy has led to numerous groundbreaking initiatives that have transformed the field of regenerative medicine. With her knowledge and expertise, she is well positioned to lead the way in building the infrastructure needed to support the development of these promising therapies, including the emerging field of psychedelic medicine. She has gained a serious understanding of and appreciation for the potential of psychedelic medicine to transform mental health treatment and improve patient outcomes. Jeannie's background as a competitive athlete has taught her the importance of teamwork, determination, discipline, and fun. Her extensive education, including a board-certified MD in Internal Medicine, a Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology and Health, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, has given her a unique perspective on the intersection of medicine and science. Jeannie's tireless efforts to improve patients' health and wellbeing, and her work as an advocate for medical research, make her a true changemaker in the field of healthcare.
Lt. Gen. Martin Steele, USMC (Ret.)
Chief Veteran Affairs Officer
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lieutenant General Martin R. Steele enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1965. He rose from private to three-star general, culminating his military career as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, US Marine Corps, in Washington, DC in August of 1999. A decorated combat veteran with 34-1/2 years of service, he is a recognized expert in the integration of all elements of national power (diplomatic, economic, informational, and military) with strategic military war plans and has served as an executive strategic planner/policy director in multiple theaters across Asia. His extraordinary career was chronicled as one of three principles in the award-winning military biography Boys of ’67 by Charles Jones. Upon his retirement from active duty in 1999, he served as President & CEO of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. Under his leadership, they adopted the mission statement of “Honor our heroes, educate the public, and inspire our youth about the price of freedom”. This creative branding strategy resonated with all audiences and was the early catalyst for the transformation of the Intrepid from just another New York City destination location to the near icon status it enjoys today among educators, historians, international visitors, and military veterans. Shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001, General Steele invited the FBI to use the Intrepid to conduct their investigations. Within 48 hours, Intrepid was once again in service as the temporary headquarters for over 750 FBI agents. General Steele also served as the Associate Vice President for Veterans Partnerships, the Executive Director of Military Partnerships, and Co-Chair of the Veterans Reintegration Steering Committee at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Additionally, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Steele Partners, Inc., a strategic advisory and leadership consulting company. He has led a philanthropic transition program assisting exiting Marines into private sector jobs throughout the country, at no cost to the Marine participants, the Marine Corps or to the companies that provide employment opportunities. In 2014, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Florida is for Veterans, Inc., which is a not for profit, state legislated organization designed to assist both Veterans and businesses throughout Florida in not only hiring Veterans but also developing entrepreneurship programs designed for veterans. His term of office ended in July 2022. In 2015, General Steele was appointed to the Congressionally mandated Commission on Care to undertake a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of access of veterans to health care from the Department of Veteran Affairs and strategically examine how best to organize the Veterans Health Administration, locate health care resources, and deliver healthcare to veterans during the next 20 years. The Commission was made up of 15 voting members selected by Congress and the President. Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founding Board member of Reason for Hope, a non-profit policy and advocacy organization focused on developing the necessary regulatory system for the safe, responsible, and ethical deployment of psychedelic medicine and therapy for mental health care. General Steele also co-founded the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition and proudly serves proudly on several other boards across the country to include: Fisher House Foundation, the Advisory Committee for the Call of Duty Endowment, Advisory Board for Veterans Advantage, and the University of Arkansas Veterans Resource and Information Center Board. He is also a Chairman Emeritus of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and a member of their Board of Advisors.
Debra Hubers, MBA
COO & LGBTQIA+ Affairs Director
Deb is a thought leader and visionary in healthcare innovation. She was the Co-Founder of La Vita Pharmacy and EpigeneticsRx, a leading provider of precise, personalized, prevention which positively impacts genetic expression. Her background includes both public and private sectors, including having started her career as a psychiatric hospital administrator and serving as the Chair of Bastyr University. As an innovator, she founded one of the country’s first employer healthcare purchasing cooperatives and she has led the digital healthcare divisions at two major financial institutions. Her mission-driven career has been dedicated to tracking, measuring, and improving healthcare access and outcomes.
Sabaea Carrington Wynter, MBA
Chief DEI Officer
Sabaea Wynter, who is multiracial, grew up in a multicultural family that molded her to understand and appreciate cultural differences. As a former professional tennis player, she was heavily involved on and off the court in increasing diversity among all facets of the game. At the height of the pandemic, Sabaea co-founded 'Bear the Truth,' a non-profit which focuses on social justice education and youth activism, and was able to successfully garner significant attention to the project on an international level through media exposure while also maintaining local involvement through her ties within the community and larger influential circles. She holds an MBA with a specialty in Business Leadership.
David Blinder, PhD
Chief Development Strategist
David Blinder is a founding partner of Triadic Consulting, where he specializes in fundraising and leadership coaching. With a career spanning over four decades, David has an extensive background in higher education, having taught philosophy at several leading universities. His expertise also led him to senior staff positions at UC Berkeley, Wellesley College, Princeton and The Scripps Research Institute. As Senior Vice President at Scripps, David oversaw philanthropy and communications for campuses in La Jolla, California, and Jupiter, Florida. Prior to this, he spent six years as Associate Vice Chancellor for University Resources at UC Berkeley and served as Vice President of the UC Berkeley Foundation. In this role, he played a crucial part in managing the successful $3 billion Campaign for Berkeley, which concluded in 2014. Before his tenure at Berkeley, David spent 12 years as Vice President for Resources and Public Affairs at Wellesley College, where he planned and executed a record-breaking fundraising campaign for liberal arts colleges. His development career began at his alma mater, Princeton University, where he served as Director of Development and contributed to the planning of the university's first $1 billion campaign. David holds a doctorate in philosophy from UC Berkeley and has taught courses on the history of modern philosophy, existentialism, and phenomenology at UC Irvine, Yale, and Princeton. Since his initial experience with psychedelics in the late 1960s, David has been deeply engaged with the evolution of psychedelics as medicine. This passion has been fueled by his association with the late Sasha and Ann Shulgin, as well as his involvement with Peruvian shamanic teachings
Campaign Manager and Labor Strategist
With a diverse range of experiences in both national and international political campaigns, Ramón Becerra brings invaluable expertise in Latino outreach and community mobilization to the TREAT California team. Ramón's unique background includes bridging the labor movement with electoral politics, strategic planning, and on-the-ground execution. Ramón has three decades of experience in galvanizing labor movements at the national, state, and local levels in support of their political priorities. Before his work as a political strategist, he served with distinction in the US Army for 14 years on a global scale. As Senior Strategic Advisor to Richard L. Trumka, the president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO), Ramón played a key role in shaping the organization's direction. In his capacity as the Mobilization Director at the National AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., Ramón oversaw political programs, field mobilization, governance and training, national issue campaigns, and civil, human, and women's rights initiatives, as well as state and local policy. Among his notable accomplishments are the successful mobilization efforts for the 2020 Georgia special Senate elections, the 2018 campaign to defeat Missouri's "Right to Work" legislation, and the coordination of over 300 skilled union volunteers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria in 2017. Ramón also directed floor operations at the 2022 AFL-CIO Convention, which elected Liz Shuler as the first woman president of the organization. His work included coordinating the AFL-CIO's response to the COVID-19 crisis, culminating in the national mobilization that led to the passage of President Biden's American Rescue Plan. Having witnessed the transformative potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy firsthand, particularly within the veteran and Latino communities, Ramón is deeply committed to expanding access to mental health treatment through this innovative approach. As a member of the TREAT California team, Ramón will use his extensive experience and passion for change to help build a brighter future for mental health care in the state.
Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, MD
Chief Service Officer
Loree Sutton is a lifelong public servant, military physician, and community advocate. As the Army’s highest-ranking psychiatrist and founding commissioner of NYC’s Department of Veterans’ Services, Dr. Sutton has devoted over 40 years of service and leadership on behalf of military service members, veterans, survivors, caregivers and families. Her decorated military career includes earning a Bronze Star for her actions in combat while deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm (ODS). Selected as a White House Fellow and honored by the National War College as a distinguished graduate, she also commanded the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas during the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) hostilities. Appointed as a faculty member at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences (Department of Psychiatry) and founding director, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Dr. Sutton has led, designed, and pioneered integrative approaches for building resilience, enhancing recovery and fostering community reintegration. Working in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Sutton created the Core4 Whole Health model, introduced nationally in 2016 by SAMHSA & the White House; and was appointed by the VA Secretary to serve as an inaugural member of the Veterans’ Family, Caregiver, and Survivor Advisory Committee (2017-19). In January 2024, Dr. Sutton will assume duties as the Vice-Chair, Veteran Community Oversight and Engagement Board, Federal Advisory Committee, focused upon determining how best to use the West Los Angeles VA in a Veteran-centric manner so that Veterans living on or visiting the campus will be able to experience superior care, support, convenience and customer experience. Sutton currently serves as a strategic advisor for several organizations, including the Network Contagion Research Institute, Research & Recognition Project, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 126 Foundation Board (Manhattan), and New Democratic Dimensions. Her current focus is on accelerating relevant research and clinical dissemination of breakthrough approaches to treating PTSD, including psychedelics. Loree lives in Peekskill, New York with her wife Laurie and their feisty dachshund Moxie.
Vy V. Le, MBA,
University and AAPI Outreach Director
University and AAPI Outreach Director, Vy V. Le, MBA, is committed to opening doorways to empowering one's mental health. Her experience includes management consulting and biotech business development across continents. Vy has spent the last dozen years cultivating wisdom practices internationally, including several months in silent meditation retreats. Her enthusiasm lies in the intersection of psychedelic research and its integration with mindfulness practices.
Amy Daly, RN
Amy played a crucial role in the passage of Proposition 71 in 2004, California's citizen-driven ballot initiative to fund stem cell research. Her tireless efforts helped build a coalition of over 70 national and statewide patient and medical organizations, and in the agency created by the initiative (CIRM), she served as Director of Patient and Medical Organization Relations and ICOC Board Liaison. Amy's commitment to promoting stem cell research continued in her role as Executive Director of Americans for Stem Cell Research and Cures, a nonprofit dedicated to education and advocacy for stem cell research. Prior to her policy work, Amy held nursing positions at several healthcare institutions, including the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, gaining invaluable experience in patient care and advocacy.
James Harrison, JD
Legal & Regulatory Strategic Advisor
James C. Harrison is a founding partner of Olson Remcho. Mr. Harrison is widely recognized as one of the state’s leading experts on the drafting and defense of complex ballot measures at both the state and local level. He also has expertise in complex conflict of interest matters, election law, and campaign finance issues, and the laws governing public agencies and non-profits. Mr. Harrison’s litigation experience includes representing clients in state and federal trials and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and various California courts of appeal.
Sarah Abedi, MD
Deputy Campaign Manager
Sarah completed her bachelors in science at the University of California, Los Angeles and received her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine. She finished her emergency medicine residency at UCLA’s county hospital, Harbor UCLA. She has completed training at the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is certified as a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) MDMA-Assisted Therapist. Sarah is currently a psychedelic facilitator at Pacific Brain Health’s Treatment & Research In Psychedelics Program (TRIP). She is a founder at the integrative mental health center, Onea Health. Sarah continues to be involved in psychedelic policy and advocacy at the state and federal level.
Deputy Veterans Affairs Officer
Isaac’s diverse background includes Department of Defense work, International Relations, finance, and consumer manufacturing sales and distribution. He was a United States Navy SEAL serving as a Medic, Sniper, and Intelligence Head during multiple combat deployments across the globe. Following his Naval career, Isaac worked at a Chicago-based Hedge Fund and as Chief Business Development Officer of Montalvo Tequila. He served as Co-Founder/COO of Spear Operations Group (SOG), a contracting company based in Washington, D.C. that focused on Counter Terror, Logistics, and Asset Security Operations in conflicted countries, with an emphasis on the War in Yemen. Issac’s efforts to educate the world about PAT involve building valuable coalitions within the psychedelic community, including working with non-profit organizations such as Concordia Summit, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and many more.
Nick Brüss, EdD, LMFT
Psychedelic Medicine Advocacy Director
Nick is a leading psychedelic therapist, researcher, advocate, and educator, who is passionate about helping people heal, grow, and live meaningful lives. Having seen the power of psychedelic-assisted therapy, he advocates and educates for science over stigma. He is inspired to provide reliable information to the public and integrative training to clinicians to advance the safe use of psychedelic medicines. Nick is a therapist on the groundbreaking FDA Phase III clinical trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD sponsored by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and a clinical supervisor for MAPS Public Benefit Corp. Certified in both Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, he provides ketamine-assisted IFS therapy in private practice in California, New York and Texas. He is a co-founder and lead clinical trainer at the Psychedelic Coalition for Health, a psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy trainer at TheraPsil, and a volunteer with MAPS’s Zendo Project. Nick is also a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and a certified teacher of both Mindful Self-Compassion, and the Compassion Cultivation Training through the Center for Compassion, Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dietrich A. Stephan, PhD
Chief Medical and Industry Strategist
Dietrich is a visionary in the field of human genetics, driven by his mission to reduce suffering and death caused by various diseases. He is a firm believer in the potential to diagnose and repair the human body, much like other machines, albeit with added complexity. Dietrich's illustrious career spans across the entire translational continuum, from basic research to commercial development of healthcare solutions. As a researcher, Dietrich has held prestigious positions, serving as a professor and chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh and academic affiliations with Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, and Children's National Medical Center. His groundbreaking research has identified the genetic basis of numerous rare and common diseases, conceptualized novel genomics technologies, and fostered large, multi-institutional collaborations with significant funding from the National Institutes of Health. His work has been published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature, Cell, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dietrich's translational efforts include his tenure as Deputy Director for Discovery Research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), where he established the pioneering Neurogenomics Division. During this time, his team identified a major process in the brain that controls learning and memory and is developing therapies based on this understanding that improve cognition, powered the Autism Genome Project that has led to new diagnostic tests and therapy development, led the genomics portion of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Consortium and was the first to commercialize genetic testing for healthy individuals to understand their risks of future disease, and conducted extensive whole-genome analysis of sporadic ALS which identified new mechanisms and new therapies that are in development, among other "big science" projects that are opening up new vistas of hope for patients.Additionally, Dietrich has played pivotal roles in founding and building public-private translational institutes across the country, including the New York Genome Center and a translational institute in the Washington DC region. His efforts have resulted in numerous molecular diagnostics, targeted therapeutics, job creation, and the growth of bio clusters. As a serial entrepreneur, Dietrich has founded, co-founded, advised, and led numerous biotechnology companies, to fulfill his personal mandate to bring diagnostics and therapeutics to millions of patients worldwide.A dedicated mentor, Dietrich's trainees now lead academic programs and companies across the country. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has been featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal. Dietrich holds a B.Sc. from Carnegie Mellon University, a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and completed his fellowship at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Dietrich is helping to bring psychedelic-assisted therapies forward due to the overwhelming need for mental health solutions on the global stage, the absence of truly effective options, and the striking clinical safety and efficacy seen with this class of therapy across multiple indications - dramatic effects he has rarely seen with other therapeutics.
Southern California First Responders Liaison and Advisor
Mr. Cash is a dedicated first responder with 22 years of service in busy metropolitan cities, notably as a firefighter/paramedic in Long Beach, CA. His daily work involves assisting people during their most challenging moments, facing grim realities and personal struggles. He's had a successful career at one of California's busiest firehouses and now serves as a deckhand/firefighter on a Fireboat in the Port of Long Beach. Despite the high-stress nature of his job, Jason has endured on-the-job injuries, divorce, PTSD, and the heartbreaking loss of his second wife to cancer, leaving him as a single father. Coping with negative mechanisms led him deeper into depression, but he eventually found support from a strong group, therapists, and his current wife Hanna. Together, they helped him create the non-profit organization, Halos 4 Heroes. Halos 4 Heroes is dedicated to supporting fellow First Responders and promoting positive coping methods. Jason is committed to improving mental health awareness among first responders, serving as a peer counselor in his department, and holding a position on the Board of Long Beach Firefighters Local 372 as a mental health advocate.
Media Outreach and Strategic Advisor
With more than 35 years at iHeartmedia under his belt, including 21 years in his current post, Doc Wynter is a radio legend! iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month. With its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, the iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. As President of Hip Hop and R&B Programming Strategy, Wynter plays a major role in roughly 80 Hip Hop, R&B, and gospel radio stations nationwide, including WWPR/New York, KRRL/Los Angeles, and WGCI/Chicago. Wynter joined Clear Channel/iHeart in 1988 at KC101 New Haven, where he worked with Iheartmedia Chief Programming Officer / National Programming Group President, Tom Poleman, before he moved to KMJM in St. Louis, where he hosted the #1 rated radio show, "The Quiet Storm on Majic 108! He became the program director of KMJM in 1995 and then moved to the company's Hip Hop and R&B stations in Jacksonville, Florida (WSOL and later added urban WJBT.) Wynter subsequently took both stations to the number 1 position in the ratings and then was later promoted to lead all the company's Hip Hop and R&B stations in late 1999. Doc was born and raised in New York City with Jamaican roots. He attended Trinity College (played Basket Ball) and has a degree in Computer Science coordinated with Economics.
Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD
Scientific Advisor on Wearable Tech and Psychedelic Therapies
Dr. David Rabin, MD, PhD, a board-certified psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is the co-founder & chief innovation officer at Apollo Neuroscience, the first scientifically-validated wearable system to improve heart rate variability, focus, relaxation, and access to meditative states by delivering gentle layered vibrations to the skin. In addition to his clinical psychiatry practice, Dr. Rabin is also the co-founder & executive director of The Board of Medicine, and a psychedelic clinical researcher currently evaluating the mechanism of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in treatment-resistant mental illnesses.
Adam Kostylo is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker with a love for nonfiction storytelling. Growing up in Honolulu’s melting pot, he developed heightened self-awareness and a lasting interest in the world’s diversity. He graduated in 2015 from Chapman University’s Dodge College with a degree in Creative Producing and has since embraced multiple opportunities to learn and grow in the entertainment industry, most notably building the video department of Hollywood Unlocked and traveling the world with Discovery Channel’s ‘Expedition Unknown’. Adam is drawn to all aspects of production and continues to collaborate with great talent as he fine-tunes his unique contribution to the industry.
John is continually striving to advance the ball every day. A never-ending desire to make a difference with his efforts, he rises each morning with a sense of purpose. He has led several companies as the President & CEO in the appearance/health & wellness/lifestyle medicine and investment sectors including as a Co-Founder of a biotech/regenerative medicine enterprise. With over 30 years in this capacity, he fully grasps the need to lead, collaborate and break through barriers to realize what others have said would be unattainable. Whether it’s his business acumen or his strategic insights while serving on many notable boards including the City of Hope National Cancer Institute/Beckman Research Center, his ability to break down large ideas into bite-size pieces while also visualizing the ultimate goal has been a recipe for success. A mantra he imparts to those within his sphere and which he lives by daily is focus, discipline and accountability (FDA). Everyone is imperfect, yet collectively we have so much to offer and achieve. This principle of FDA allows the universal WE to accomplish for the betterment of those in need or less fortunate. In his spare time, John is an avid cyclist, enjoys the outdoors, live theatre, mentoring, and his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers since the age of 5!
Nicole Jarafi, Ed.D
Nicole Jafari, Ed.D, firmly believes that education is a means to improve one's life, one’s community, and the society one lives in. As a masterful storyteller, she speaks on subjects related to children, youths, families, and social challenges in today’s multi-cultural and multi-contextual environment addressing such issues as mass media, globalization, cultural integration, and effective parenting. Currently, she co-hosts several weekly radio/TV and media broadcast programs on parenting and family issues topics. Dr. Jafari is the founder and president of Cross-Cultural Research and Educational Institute (CREI), a 501c3 non-profit organization focusing on conducting global research, assessment, and educational seminars/workshops (www.creiglobal.org). Dr. Jafari is a faculty at the California State University, Long Beach and Fullerton campuses in the department of human development, college of liberal arts. She is also a faculty at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology teaching in the clinical psychology department. She has published many research articles in various scientific and academic journals in the areas of child & adolescent, human development, and social issues. She has also co-authored several academic books with a global, cultural, and multi-disciplinary view on human development. She has a doctorate degree in education with a focus on educational and developmental psychology.
Donca Vianu, MD
Donca Vianu MD is a highly skilled psychotherapist for psychedelic experiences, in which she was a forerunner for many years. She is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with more than 40 years work experience spread over different countries and cultures, of which 30 years in The Netherlands. As a psychotherapist, she is trained in the treatment of complex contextual PTSD and intergenerational transmission of trauma, cognitive behavioural therapy, gender and relationship problems, transcultural aspects of mental problems and acute and chronic stress. To this end she employs various methodologies, from deep listening to hypnotic trance, imaginative techniques, cognitive restructuring, internal family system, positive psychology, meditation, walking the wheel of life, and more. Donca has a rich psychological toolbox with which she helps people with most diverse challenges and complaints to recover and grow. Her life long interest in spirituality led to a study in comparative religions and later in Buddhist psychology with Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master and poet. Her passion for art was reflected in a theatre training (De Kleine Academie, Brussels,) a dance-and somatic movement training (School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam) and a study of the scientific base of creativity (OU, UK.) The many countries she lived in, led to an interest in social-cultural anthropology and an awareness in cultural sensitivity and communication. For last years Donca focuses on education, harm reduction and integration of psychedelic journeys. Donca is fluent in English, Dutch, German, French and Romanian.
Bia Labate, PhD
Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, religion, and social justice. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines and serves as Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is also Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and Advisor for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition and the Soltara Healing Center. Dr. Labate is a co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil and editor of its site. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-seven books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles.
In the early 1980’s a series of dining room experiments in fungal genetics turned into a commercial oyster mushroom farm in San Diego. After 3 years of harvesting crops at 4 am I realized that I was more interested in being an Entrepreneur than Le Farmeur and thus began a lifelong sequence of startups in the life science and biotechnology space. Some went well, others just went. 45 years have passed and I am still in love with biology and science and the ingenuity required to blend them together. At night we sit in our little ranch nestled within the trembling arms of the San Andreas Fault and wonder how this all came to be.
Former NFL Player and Strategic Advisor
Kerry’s celebrated career in American football has given him first-hand insight into some of the pitfalls associated with working in the sports industry… An industry where men are expected to hide weakness and refrain from talking about how they’re really feeling. Kerry has boldly talked openly about his own experiences with depression and how ayahuasca - a psychedelic plant medicine - changed his life for the better.
Jospeh McCowan, PsyD
Clinical Psychologist and Strategic Advisor
Joseph is a clinical psychologist, currently working MAPS in their Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD.
Lory Stapsy, MS Healthcare Policy
Lory is a passionate, people and results driven business leader and coach who works with teams to improve business and clinical outcomes resulting in increasing value for customers, clients and patients. She is driven to create improved or new opportunities to reach best levels of health and wellness in communities and throughout society at large. A key focus of her work is going to the front lines of the business, at the intersection of the business’ processes and customer interactions. This includes deep dives into customer and employee experience design. Her personal passion focused on marginalized or disadvantaged communities and populations including working throughout the USA and in South Africa. Lory’s background includes several significant operating roles in the healthcare sector with P&L of $200M+, as well as more recently, 8 years of management consulting with fortune 500 companies, State Government and many well-known health care institutions and health insurance companies using Toyota Product System (Lean) methodologies including companywide transformations. Clients include, early and mid-stage start-ups, innovation centers, and social enterprise ventures along with larger multi-site, multi-state operations. Lory’s career started in direct patient care as an Occupational Therapist (Tufts University) with several years of experience in medical and psychiatric settings. Her Master’s Degree is in Health Policy and Planning from Harvard. In her free time, Lory loves spending time with her business partner and husband Bob, traveling the world for work and pleasure while enjoying and deepening their understanding of the many different cultures and points of view across our globe.
Jennifer K. Hill is a seasoned professional speaker with over 15 years of experience. She made a successful exit from her first company in 2018, which was acquired by a subsidiary of Marcum LLP. She has established herself as a recognized expert in her field, having appeared on major news outlets such as KNX Radio, BBC News, ABC, NBC, FOX, and E! News, and been quoted in reputable publications like The Ladders and Glassdoor. Hill's speaking engagements have included various conferences, law firms, and corporations around the world, where she has served as a speaker, moderator, host, and keynote speaker. Hill was recently accepted as a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a group of thought leaders from different fields who come together to support a shift in consciousness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine, and is a member of the Dean's Leadership Society at UCI. Giving back to her community is a passion for Hill and she dedicates her spare time to volunteer work. She built her first school in Nepal in 2017 in collaboration with BuildOn and her second school in Senegal in 2019 with her father. In 2019, Hill co-founded MetaBizics, a company that provides consulting services and hosts shows with renowned thought leaders such as Bruce Lipton and Deepak Chopra. She is also the author of "Stop Hoping...Start Hunting! A Job Seeker's Guide to Finding a Job" which was published in 2013 and available on Amazon. Recently, Hill co-founded Optimal Match, a wellness company that created a proprietary matching algorithm to match the right practitioners with the right clients.
Bernard Ashby, MD
Diversity, Policy and Clinical Trials Advisor
Dr. Ashby was born and raised in South Florida. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, vascular medicine, vascular interpretation, and nuclear cardiology. He was appointed clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University and served as the director of vascular cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center prior to opening Comprehensive Vascular Care. Currently, Dr. Ashby is an Associate Professor at Florida International University and makes frequent media appearances on local, national, and international media outlets as a medical expert and health policy analyst. College: Florida State University Medical School: Cornell University Medical College Health Policy: Princeton University Residency: Columbia University Medical Center Cardiology: George Washington University Hospital (Chief Fellow) Vascular Medicine: Johns Hopkins University Dr. Ashby attended medical school at Cornell University in New York and studied health policy at Princeton University in New Jersey. He completed his internship and residency at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He completed his cardiology training at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he was named chief fellow. Dr. Ashby also completed a postdoctoral clinical and research fellowship in vascular medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He started his career as an academic vascular cardiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center and professor of Medicine at Columbia University. Dr. Ashby now owns AshbyMDSolutions an independent consulting company that also owns and operates medical facilities and physician practices. He also serves as co-owner and medical director of Qualis Diagnostics a vascular imaging company.
Margaret Bredehoft, DRPH
Strategic Advisor, Margaret Bredehoft, DRPH, previous Chief of Public Health - Orange County Health Care Agency is an innovator in the integrated health systems and health and wellness field. She is passionate about reducing disparity and driving equity efforts through building innovative digital technology and data utilization. Prior to joining OCHCA, Margaret led strategy and operations for ambulatory, retail, and virtual health services for a large integrated health system. Her passion and creativity for innovation stems from 16 years of being an entrepreneur in health and wellness where she was an instrumental leader in bringing integrated medical and lifestyle programs directly to where people live, work and play.
Melissa King, MBA
Melissa is a business and global policy executive with a record of achieving success in high-stakes initiatives. As an expert at the intersection of tech, policy, and business, she has worked in the nonprofit, government and industry sectors focused on technology, media, and healthcare. Her leadership roles on two successful statewide multi-billion ($8.5B) dollar ballot initiatives in California to fund stem cell medical research and ensure access and affordability to future treatments, as well as leading the charge to build a state agency from scratch, has prepared her well to strategize and execute to win on missions that address our biggest societal issues. There is no fiercer advocate for those unable to help themselves- just go on a walk with her! As a competitive athlete, Melissa currently focuses on open water swimming, regularly swimming in the San Fransisco bay without a wetsuit. She's a proud Wellesley and Stanford alum
Delara Chizari, MA
Delara seeks to cultivate a world that systematically prioritizes individual and collective wellbeing. Ever driven by curiosity, exploration, and a commitment to integrity, she used her scientific advocacy to bring back psychedelic research to Harvard Medical School after decades of stigma and silence around the topic. Her production of the Harvard and Broad Institute event “Psychedelic Medicine: From Tradition to Science” shifted attitudes and catalyzed the formation of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Neuroscience of Psychedelics. Delara studied Molecular and Cell Biology and Neurobiology at UC Berkeley and holds a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from Harvard University.
Senior Psychedelic Strategist
Jamis has had an interest in the power of psychedelics since the 1960s. After decaders running his restaurant Buck's of Woodside he now devotes himself full time to furthering the remarkable benefits of psychedelics for mental health and personal growth. He has cofounded enterprises which sponsor US military Special Forces veterans and their wives to innovative treatments at clinics in Mexico. He has helped secure funding for a study at Stanford which has documented the benefits of these modalities. Jamis is Executive Producing a documentary with Participant Media about the path from despair to wellness as seen through the eyes of a number of Navy SEALs and their families. Jamis has strong ties to the venture capital and philanthropic communities as well many decades of experience in the psychedelic world.
Timothy Asher, M.B.A
For the past decade, Tim has been the principal investor of a real estate investment firm in Maryland. After experiencing first-hand the transformational power of psychedelic medicine he has decided to devote more of his time and energy to raising awareness of, and accessibility to, psychedelic medicine. He spends his free time traveling to Costa Rica, teaching meditation in prisons, and studying mystical religions of the world. He holds an MBA.
Cindy Stein PhD, CNM, MPH
Cindy is a highly accomplished healthcare professional with an extensive educational background and a passion for women's health and mental wellness. With a strong interest in psychedelic therapies, Cindy has completed training at the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and is a certified MDMA-Assisted Therapist through the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Drawing on her expertise in women's health and mental wellness, she founded Sahela Wellness, which offers integrative women's healthcare services and perinatal wellness support. Cindy is also a dedicated educator, serving as a lecturer at California State University at Monterey Bay. Committed to making a global impact, she is actively involved in various health projects and initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Besides her clinical and teaching roles, Cindy remains engaged in the field of psychedelic research, particularly within the context of women's health. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon and pursued her Bachelor's and Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Midwifery at Columbia University. Her dedication to public health led her to complete a second Master of Science in Public Health, focusing on complex humanitarian disasters, also from Columbia University. Cindy went on to receive her PhD in Nursing from the University of Hawai'i
Adam is a passionate mental health advocate with a desire to help foster and protect the growing Psychedelic Assisted Therapy ecosystem. He is determined to play a role in helping to bring healing to millions of people presently suffering as a result of mental illness. As the mental health epidemic ballooned in 2020, a direct result of the COVID pandemic, Adam saw an opportunity to combine his passion with his skill set as an insurance broker. He has fostered relationships throughout the psychedelic medicine and PAT space. Adam has been instrumental in helping individuals and companies within the space address risk management. Moreover, he continues to strategically connect people and entities with the goal building a community that is as strong, successful, and safe as possible. Adam graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and earned a Masters degree at the University of Southern California in 2006. He lives on Long Island, New York and maintains a love for, and has deep roots in, California having lived in Los Angeles for ten years with his beautiful wife, Dana, a fourth-generation Californian. Adam, Dana and their three sons bleed Dodger Blue.
Policy & Demographic Strategist
As a recent graduate of New York University and an incoming student at Columbia Law School, Sydni has a profound interest in the intersection between law, society, media, and activism. Following her experiences working with state and national elections, interning for presidential candidates, law firms, and conducting research on the effects of social media on public opinion and activism, and as the co-host of popular podcast, Crying in Public, she hopes to expand upon these skills and fulfilling her desire to increase awareness and involvement in local politics within not only her generation, but underrepresented demographics as a whole.
Martha B. Koo, M.D, FAPA, FCTMSS
Martha is a passionate advocate for the use of novel treatment interventions for mental health. A board-certified psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist, Martha was an early adopter of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, adding it to her private practice in 2009. She is a trained psychoanalyst, certified psychedelic assisted therapist and adherence rater for MAPS psychedelic research. Martha is the founding CEO of Neuro Wellness Spa, an in-network psychiatry practice with seven outpatient clinics across the greater LA area that offer medication management, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Magnetic e-resonance Therapy and Spravato. Additionally, Dr. Koo is Medical Director at Clear Behavioral Health which provides detox, residential and intensive outpatient care for individuals struggling with mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders, and Medical Director at Psychedelica Collective for Research and Discovery, an outpatient ketamine assisted psychotherapy clinic. She is the VP-President Elect of the Clinical TMS Society and on the Board of Directors of the Beach Cities Health District. With a strong background in human psychodynamics, psychological theory, psychiatric medicine, and neuroscience, Martha has dedicated her career to community, academic and professional advocacy for the advancement of psychiatric treatment in order to increase access and awareness to the most effective, personalized mental health interventions, especially for underserved populations and marginalized communities.
Pete Vanderveen, PhD, RPh
Pete is a leader whose career in academic innovation, program building, and pushing the boundaries of excellence has spanned over forty years. He is currently Dean and Professor emeritus at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy as well as an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy at Purdue University, where he also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council. He is most proud of having co-founded the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics with the USC Price School of Policy and of establishing the Center for Regulatory Science (now the DK Kim International Center for Regulatory Sciences), which developed the only doctoral program in regulatory science in the world. Pete’s interest in PAT was sparked when he worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the lab of a pharmacognosist (who analyzes plants to discover new medicines). This interest only grew throughout his career, especially during his clinical pharmacy practice in psychiatry at the Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital. In his off-hours, Pete enjoys staying fit and competing in a variety of sports, including a racket of some kind of basketball. He also enjoys his five grandchildren.
After protecting insurance companies from up to billion-dollar liabilities in her early career, Jodi Green now serves as a lawyer, insurance consultant, and strategic business advisor at Feldman Legal Advisors and Skip Intro Advisors, helping forward-thinking organizations ethically and sustainably grow, mitigate risks, and navigate complex regulatory environments. Jodi is also the Executive Director of the Women in Psychedelics Network and a co-founder of Department of Consciousness, which hosts intimate and experiential events to create community and foster intellectual debate. Jodi is a prolific and sought-after writer and speaker for organizations such as MAPS, Psychedelics Today, YPO, KNX News, Law360, Bloomberg, and the American Bar Association, and was invited to testify before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on insurance issues impacting emerging industries. Recognized as a California Super Lawyer, Jodi completed certificate programs on negotiation and ESG at Harvard Law School and UC Berkeley School of Law and earned her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, magna cum laude.