Professor Gerry Stimson – Director
A public health sociologist with over 40 years’ experience of public health research and advocacy in the field of psychoactive substance use, and with over 220 scientific publications and several books. Gerry Stimson is committed to working to reduce the harms from psychoactive substance use, improving public health through social and health policy and working internationally to reduce harms from drugs, alcohol and tobacco. He was one of the founders of harm reduction and instrumental in the development and evaluation of harm reduction in the UK as a response to HIV/AIDS. He has advised the UK Government, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UNODC, World Bank and numerous working groups on issues relating to drugs, hepatitis, HIV infection and AIDS, alcohol and tobacco.
He is Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London, and the Editor of the International Journal of Drug Policy. From 1990 to 2004, he was Director of the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour. He founded the Department of Social Science and Medicine at Imperial College, delivering postgraduate courses in the UK and internationally, and a programme of social science and public health research. He was Executive Director of the International Harm Reduction Association from 2004 to 2010.
Paddy Costall - Director
Since graduating with a degree in Politics and Government in 1978, Paddy Costall has worked within the social care sector, mainly for NGOs, spent four years working in the probation service and is a qualified social work practice teacher. As Director of Services for Cranstoun Drug Services (1995-2005) he developed and directed community and prison-based substance misuse treatment services. In addition he developed and delivered a programme of national and international conferences and events, and managed international networks supported through funding from the European Commission. He has directed over 40 conferences, ranging from 50 to 1,500 delegates, including in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Thailand and the UK.
Paddy has also worked as an independent consultant and trainer and has produced a number of reports on substance misuse treatment within criminal justice systems in Europe. He was the founder and Managing Director of the Conference Consortium, until May 2011, where he directed five editions of the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, as well as many other national and European events.