It is my sincere delight to introduce to our MAPS community, Ana LaDou, MAPS’ new Chief Operating Officer (COO). As MAPS and MPBC have collectively grown to over 55 people, all funded by charitable donations, and the interest in psychedelics has expanded in the general public, I’ve become increasingly unable to keep up with both internal and external work and relationships. As a result, we are thrilled to have Ana join the team at MAPS, bringing with her almost two decades of experience in nonprofit leadership. Over the next several years, Ana will help shape the growth of MAPS, and our community.
In addition to our new COO, MAPS has made leadership changes to both the MAPS and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MPBC) Boards of Directors. As of July 2019, we welcome Dr. Victoria Hale, Ph.D. to the MAPS Board of Directors, and Miriam Volat and Amy Emerson to the MPBC Board of Directors. Victoria is a pharmaceutical scientist who formerly worked for FDA and Genentech, and has extraordinary nonprofit drug development experience through her founding of The Institute for OneWorld Health and Medicines 360. Dr. Hale brings unique expertise to the MAPS Board as we move ever closer to the reality of FDA approval for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, and envision other drug development to follow. Miriam is co-director of the Riverstyx Foundation, a major MAPS donor, and she brings experience as a facilitator supporting growing organizations in assessing their policy and community organizing impacts, strategic planning and decision-making processes, critical endeavors as we create legal contexts for the safe and beneficial uses of psychedelics. Miriam is also interested in the use of psychedelics for conflict resolution. Amy Emerson is Executive Director of MPBC and joins its board representing the voice of the staff at the Board level. I’m honored to have these four incredible women as part of the MAPS/MPBC leadership.
Finally, there has been another important change to both the MAPS and MPBC Boards. After serving for many years as the Chair for both Boards, I’m pleased to share that John Gilmore is the new Chair of the MAPS Board and Dawn McCollough the new Chair of the MPBC Board. My dream of becoming a legal psychedelic psychotherapist is on the horizon, after almost 50 years since 1972 when I first read Stan Grof’s Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. I am deeply honored to share the responsibility of leading MAPS into our shared future with these incredible individuals.
Now, I turn the pen over to Ana LaDou to introduce herself, and share what draws her to the mission of MAPS.
From the Desk of Ana LaDou, COO
Dear MAPS community,
It is with gratitude and excitement that I embark on this healing journey with all of you, the MAPS community. As we stand together on the precipice of achieving culture-changing success with our Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, I feel incredibly honored that Rick Doblin and the team at MAPS have chosen me to work with them. I’m thrilled to be in this movement with all of you: researchers, psychonauts, therapists, students, professors, donors, doctors, and trauma survivors alike.
Over the last ten years I have led a thriving non-profit consulting firm focused on guiding organizations through change and growth. I provided interim leadership for a number of international and high profile organizations where my ability to implement structural change, develop processes and refine policies resulted in more efficient teams and greater impact. My greatest joy is mentoring rising leaders and inspiring teams to achieve efficiency and cohesion while experiencing exponential growth and change. In my experience, the very essence of change is held within the most challenging situations, which often catalyze opportunities for growth and expansion in every sense of the word.
When you watch or read the first main-stage TED Talk on psychedelics, presented by Rick Doblin (pages 10–12), and peruse our recent media (page 9) you will see we are in the midst of a renaissance surrounding the use of psychedelics for medicine and personal growth, and the psychedelic healing message is moving into the mainstream. As this mainstream transition continues, I look forward to easing any challenges and supporting the integration of these changes within MAPS and through our work, the entire community. We are also committed to increasing our reach into underserved and diverse communities, and I am dedicated to continue evolving all of our community conversations with openness and heart.
MAPS is dedicated to continuing our traditions of excellence, generosity, and transparency by sharing our breakthroughs and learning with the entire community. We are reimagining the future of mental health and we won’t patent healing. Whether individuals are survivors of sexual assault, trauma survivors, or military or first-responder personnel, our deepest wish is that they receive the healing they deserve. These efforts are not engaged in alone; we are all a part of a larger community of healers joining together, bringing our gifts to the process to ensure its success.
Finally, I am excited about joining MAPS’ magical and unique work environment where we are concerned for the whole being of each staff and welcome everyone to bring their whole self to the work. I promise to give all that I have to ensure the success of our team, organization, and mission to educate and serve as many people as possible. Changing minds, healing souls, and evolving the culture can only be accomplished with your ongoing and generous support. For that we are entirely grateful.
Chief Operating Officer
Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
MAPS Founder and Executive Director