News story

New members appointed to the ACMD

The Home Secretary has appointed nine new members to the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Experts in healthcare, social science, criminal law, chemistry, education and drug prevention have been recruited to help deliver the ACMD’s ongoing work.

The ACMD is an independent body which makes recommendations to government on the control of dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs, including classification and scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and its regulations.

Its remit includes work on the misuse of medicines, recovery from alcohol and substance abuse and new psychoactive substances, or so-called “legal highs”.

The new appointees are:

  • Dr Steve Pleasance, a chartered chemist with 20 years experience in pharmaceutical research and development. Currently Head of Industry with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • Dr Ben Whalley, Professor of Neuropharmacology and School Director of Research at the University of Reading.

  • Fiona Bauermeister, Assistant Chief Officer with London Community Rehabilitation Company.

  • Rob Phipps, who recently retired from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland. He was head of Health Development Policy Branch responsible for the government’s alcohol and drug policy for Northern Ireland.

  • Dr Tim Millar, a Senior Research Fellow and the Addiction Research Strategy Lead at the University of Manchester.

  • Dr Kostas Agath, an addictions consultant psychiatrist, currently working in both the NHS and voluntary sector.

  • Dr Emily Finch, clinical director of the Addictions Clinical Academic Group and a consultant psychiatrist for South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

  • Dr Marcus Roberts, chief executive of DrugScope.

  • Professor Alex Stevens, Professor of Criminal Justice and Deputy Head of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said:

I welcome the new members to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and look forward to working with them.

The ACMD provides a vital service to the government and the addition of new members will further strengthen its expertise, knowledge and skills.

The three-year appointments attract no remuneration and have been made in accordance with the code of practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA).

Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Professor Les Iversen said:

I am pleased to welcome nine new members: their considerable experience and expertise will further strengthen our council.

Published 24 July 2014