WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 — Hudson Institute congratulates John P. Walters, its chief operating officer, on his appointment to the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In this role, Walters will examine current U.S. foreign policy practices intended to combat illicit drug flows and narcotics-related insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Over a 16-month period, the Commission will produce a report focused on improving international counternarcotic policies in the Western Hemisphere. It will evaluate the effectiveness of practices including drug interdiction, crop eradication, police and justice-sector training, demand reduction, and crime targeting, and examine policies designed to prevent the financing of foreign terrorist organizations through drug trafficking. The Commission was first established in 2016 through legislation introduced by Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) and co-sponsor Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Commission will consist of ten members appointed by the President, and the Majority and Minority leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
John Walters served as the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2001 to 2009. In that role, Walters guided all aspects of federal drug policy and programs, and supported efforts that drove down teen drug use 25 percent, increased substance abuse treatment and screening in the healthcare system, and reduced the availability of cocaine and methamphetamine in the U.S. He also helped build programs to counter narcoterrorism in Colombia, Mexico, and Afghanistan. In 1989, Walters served as chief of staff to the ONDCP director, and later worked as Deputy Director of Supply Reduction. At Hudson Institute’s Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research, Walters has analyzed policies related to narcoterrorism in Latin America, the opioid epidemic in the United States, and state adoption of legalized marijuana.
To arrange an interview with John Walters, please contact Carolyn Stewart at [email protected].