We envision a world where our veterans have access to the most advanced healthcare options to heal from the mental and physical wounds of war.
We believe that actions speak louder than words. We lead by example and do not compromise our integrity.
We persevere through challenges. We know we have what it takes to overcome obstacles both external and internal.
We commit to those actions with the greatest potential for change, because we know that lives are at stake.
We dedicate our work to saving lives, with gratitude and generosity for those who support us along the way.
We understand what it’s like to struggle with the mental and physical effects of trauma, because we’ve been through it too.
We share a mutual sense of character, strength, and commitment with the veterans we serve.
When he was medically retired after 13 years. and multiple combat deployments as a U.S. Navy SEAL, Marcus Capone and his wife, Amber, thought that life would return to normal. Instead, their struggle had just begun. Marcus was experiencing an escalating myriad of challenges, including depression, isolation, cognitive impairment, excessive alcohol use, headaches, insomnia, and impulsivity. Marcus was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but, instinctively, Amber felt there was more to be discovered. After learning about the effects of blast waves, concussive, and subconcussive brain injuries, everything started to become clear. Marcus’ military career as an explosives expert, combined with his prior years of contact sports, had left him with the invisible wounds of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a condition that has significant overlap with PTSD, and is often not properly diagnosed.
When all hope seemed lost, Amber learned about ibogaine, a plant-based psychedelic used traditionally in West African ceremonial settings that has been studied as a potential treatment for opioid addiction and other mental health conditions. Marcus traveled to a reputable independent clinic outside of the U.S. to receive treatment with Ibogaine, as well as 5-MeO-DMT, another naturally occurring psychedelic compound. Immediately after the sessions, Marcus felt a massive weight had been lifted, his cognitive functioning returned, he had no desire for alcohol, and he stopped taking all prescription medications.
Marcus and Amber dedicated themselves to finding out if psychedelic therapy could also help his fellow teammates, many of whom were also experiencing the combined challenges of PTSD and TBI.Get Involved
Since 2019, the non-profit Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS) has provided grants for hundreds of U.S. Special Forces veterans to receive psychedelic-assisted therapy treatment outside the U.S., as well as preparation and integration coaching. VETS believes that psychedelic therapy can lay the foundation for further healing. This “foundational healing” enables continued progress across a range of therapeutic modalities, and is supported by a robust coaching program, providing a holistic treatment solution for veterans.About Our HEaling Grants
Amber has a history of fixing, building, and tenaciously seeking solutions to complex challenges. In 2019, she chose to walk away from a successful career as a top-producing real estate agent in order to pursue her most critical work yet, serving as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VETS. As her own personal and professional life began to unravel upon Marcus’ separation from the military, she became determined not to become a victim, but to pursue victory for her own family, as well as countless others who are suffering. Amber possesses a heart for serving others, and a steadfast determination to make a difference.
Chris is an Executive Assistant at VETS. Prior to joining, Chris held several leadership roles at QTS Data Centers including most recently as a Hyperscale Project Executive. Prior to QTS, Chris served 7 years as an Army Infantry Officer and continues to serve in the Army Reserves today.
Chris attended West Point for his bachelors degree and received his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chris is driven by a passion for empowering high caliber leaders and helping businesses grow. He lives in the Atlanta area with his wife, two young children, and golden retriever.
Kristopher Ray Bolleter is a multifaceted creative with over a decades experience crafting brands and conversion-focused online experiences across a number of industries from small businesses to Fortune 500 organizations and political campaigns local to presidential. Kristopher’s custom-tailored approach to developing personalized, data-driven strategies allows every client to standout and materialize their brand’s vision and goals.
Brad earned his B.A. in Communication and Psychology from Stanford University in 2005 and his M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. He worked with MAPS from 2009 to 2020, where he engaged daily with journalists and media producers around the world to enhance public knowledge about psychedelic research, produced the largest psychedelic conference in history (Psychedelic Science 2017) while also helping develop and evolve MAPS' international brand and outreach strategy.
Brad is passionate about finding better ways for humans to work with the pharmaceutical and digital communications technologies of the 21st century. When he’s not plugged in, you’ll find him in the mountains, carrying a backpack, somewhere down a long trail.
Lori has a doctorate in Counseling and Psychological Studies with a concentration in Trauma and Crisis Counseling, a Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling, and undergraduate degrees in Psychology, Animal Science, and Agricultural Business Management. She is a certified psychedelic integration coach and has advanced training in psychological first aid and recovery, disaster behavioral health, child sexual abuse risk reduction, and supporting military children with traumatic grief. As an educational advocate, Lori provided educational testing, tutoring, specialized therapies, and advocacy for hundreds of Naval Special Warfare families. Prior roles include co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of an established commercial real estate development company; Controller of an automotive upholstery manufacturer supplying General Motors; and Interior Decorator and founder of an art and antiques franchise.
Stacy Fiske joined VETS in 2023 as the Chief Operating Officer. Stacy is a dynamic executive with more than 25 years of experience in driving business transformation, improving operational performance, and leading organizations to embrace new ideas, processes, products, and strategies.
Stacy graduated with a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of San Diego in 1997 and became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in 1999. Prior roles include Manager of Assurance Services with one of the Big 4 accounting firms; Vice President and Director of Product Management and Marketing Strategy with a top 10 financial services company; Director of Sales Strategy – Business Services for a leading e-commerce company; and Owner/CEO of a health and wellness company.
Stacy also has 13 years of experience serving on the Board of Directors for two local non-profit organizations in the San Diego area.
Stacy is married to a retired Navy SEAL Mustang who served for 23 years before retiring in 2017. Together, they have 5 children and live in the San Diego, California area. Stacy is passionate about the VETS mission as she has seen first-hand how the organization has impacted Veterans and their families in the Special Operations community.
Kristen’s journey into philanthropy began at an early age, ignited by a fervent desire to make a meaningful impact on the world. Her commitment solidified after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree, when she delved into the realm of international humanitarian work with a prominent NGO. This transformative experience led Kristen to witness firsthand the harsh realities of poverty and war across the globe, ultimately shaping her resolve to dedicate her career to the nonprofit sector.
For the past 18 years, Kristen has been an unwavering force within the nonprofit industry, contributing her skills in administration, emergency response, leadership, and program management. Her academic pursuits culminated in the attainment of a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University, further enhancing her ability to effect positive change.
In parallel to her professional journey, Kristen was an integral part of the military community for over 13 years. Her steadfast support began when her husband served as a Marine and later transitioned into the ranks of a Navy SEAL. Enduring numerous combat deployments, Kristen seamlessly balanced the challenges of caring for their three young children while providing steadfast support to her husband.
Currently residing in Texas with her family, Kristen’s passion for VETS' mission runs deep. Having witnessed the profound impact the organization has had on both the veteran community at large and within her own life, Kristen is wholeheartedly committed to advancing the cause.
Joining VETS in 2024 as Director of Marketing and Communications, Victoria brings more than 12 years experience in digital marketing, graphic design, content strategy, brand management, and funnel optimization. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts - her home state. Her professional background includes a diverse mix of in-house marketing roles in the non-profit sector, real estate industry, with service companies, and with local government. Nowadays, Victoria is passionate about helping organizations execute smart strategy, produce stellar content, and leverage their unique creative edge to achieve goals. As a proud partner to a military service member, and with friends + family in the veteran community, her connection to VETS' mission goes beyond the marketing.
Khurshid has served as VETS’ External Legal Counsel since its founding. He has advised VETS on matters including: US controlled substances laws; First Amendment rights to advocate for access to psychedelics; the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations; VETS’ grant program; informed consent, professional licensing and the qualification of providers; general corporate and contract law; and drug policy reform—including laws and voter initiatives decriminalizing and expanding access to plant medicines. Khurshid is passionate about advancing VETS’ mission. As a dedicated father, he prays his service to VETS will help to relieve the suffering of other parents, children and families who have already sacrificed for the defense of our nation, and aid VETS in averting future tragedies from the veteran suicide epidemic.
Khurshid is principal of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, P.C., a law firm established in 2012 to advance the reform of drug laws, and currently serves as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He holds a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law, an M.A. in International Relations from The University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University.
When first contacted by Amber and Marcus, Marty started with a question: “You want to do what!?” He then guided VETS through the IRS application process to secure its tax exempt status. He serves as VETS’ outside general counsel.
Marty’s practice focuses on providing legal and board training services for nonprofit and tax exempt organizations. He is a BoardSource Certified Governance Consultant and frequent speaker on nonprofit organizations. Marty combines his unique combination of a lawyer’s skills, a nonprofit practitioner’s experience, and advanced training in nonprofit organizations to help these groups achieve their mission. Prior to establishing his firm he served as a North Carolina assistant district attorney and clerked for a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Marty served on the Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Committee for Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) where he advised the IRS Exempt Organization
Division’s senior leadership and co-authored several reports. He received the IRS Commissioner’s Commendation Award - the service’s highest civilian award.
Martin received a Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree with a concentration in managing nonprofit and public sector organization from the Harvard Kennedy School, his Juris Doctorate (JD) law degree from the Western New England University School of Law, and his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Isabel McKenzie joined VETS in mid-2022 as the Director of Development. With more than 15 years of experience building philanthropic support for nonprofits, Isabel is excited to advance the work of VETS through the strategic engagement of individuals, foundations, and organizations. She became familiar with the power of VETS when a family member greatly benefitted as a participant. Prior to joining VETS, she spent nearly a decade as a fundraiser at the University of Denver managing their principal gifts program. She has also worked for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Denver Botanic Gardens.
Isabel has an undergraduate degree in history from Colorado College and a MS in organizational leadership from the University of Denver. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their one-year-old twins.
Lauren Myers is both a veteran and a military spouse. Retiring after 21 years, she spent half of her career as an Air Force pilot including flying the C-5 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is married to a former Navy SEAL who served on multiple deployments during OIF/OEF. Lauren has a passion for helping veterans and their families and is honored to be a part of the change VETS is making. She lives in California with her husband and 2 daughters.
With more than 15 years in project and account management within retail, commercial and residential sectors Ashley Joins VETS to share her organizational and project management skills. Growing up next to Pensacola’s NAS base, Ashley developed a deep respect and appreciation for our country’s service men and women at a young age and remains passionate about supporting the VETS mission.
Dylan Peters oversees study coordination between VETS and its research initiatives at Stanford University and Ohio State, and serves as a liaison for grant recipients. In addition, Dylan evaluates incoming research proposals and explores new research opportunities for VETS. He received his Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University where he studied the neural correlates of psychedelics and meditation. Since 2019, Dylan has worked in clinical research at Johns Hopkins studying the therapeutic effects of psilocybin and other entheogenic compounds. Outside of research he enjoys making music and art, and hopes to bridge the gap between science and aesthetics in the coming age of psychedelic therapy.
Eric Smith (Moose) is passionate about the benefits that psychedelic medicine provides to our world. Moose is a former Navy SEAL and is currently a Certified Psychedelic Integration Coach. He is a devoted coach and mentor for veterans seeking transformative healing. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three sons.
Aymie Spitzer is a visual designer working with purpose-driven organizations and brands to create, develop and grow their narratives, and make meaningful connections with their audience. With a passion for cultivating culture in rural communities, Aymie has helped create a community of creativity and collaboration for young entrepreneurs and startups.
Chris Thompson served most of his time in the Army as a Green Beret in 3rd Special Forces Group. After his time in the military, Chris worked as a contractor, still deploying, in support of Special Operations for the next several years. Altogether, he conducted seven combat deployments and was decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor, two additional Bronze Stars, and has also been awarded the Congressional Veteran Commendation. Prior to coming to VETS, Chris has been heavily involved in the veteran non-profit space for more than eight years. There he has served in a variety of different roles, most of which have centered around engaging the veteran community. He is passionate about serving veterans, especially the Special Operations community, and is passionate about the healing benefits plant medicines can offer. Chris lives in central Texas with his wife and son.
DaisyMae is the Social Media and Marketing Manager for VETS, where she leads content creation and community management. Since 2019, DaisyMae has managed social media for multiple psychedelic medicine companies ranging from digital media to psychedelic-assisted therapy clinics. She has a passion for helping others and is honored to be contributing and sharing VETS mission with the online community. DaisyMae earned her B.A. in Communications and Global Studies at Hofstra University, and a certification in US Government from Harvard. When she’s not leading psychedelic medicine communications, you can find her reading, watching Hallmark movies, or planning her next vacation. She lives in New Jersey with her fiancé and two cats.
With her passion for community building and project management combined with her experience in marketing and growth, Daffny serves as Social Media Community and Growth Coordinator for VETS. She has worked with advertising, content creation, and communications in a variety of industries and cultures, making her adept at evaluating and adapting to different perspectives. Daffny was born in Brazil, speaks three languages, travels the world volunteering for different environmental and social causes, and is passionate about writing, visual communications, photography, and all things creative.
Erika Bennett, MA, LMFT, CFRC is a psychedelic integration coach, somatic psychotherapist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Certified First Responder Counselor with private practices in Los Angeles, CA and Nashville, TN. She earned her masters degree in Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and is certified from the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Sciences (MAPS) for MDMA-Assisted Therapy.
In addition to being a life long athlete in both individual and team based sports, Erika has also been a yoga teacher, as well as a practitioner of Reiki, meditation, and breath work. She has a decade of experience working with and studying psychedelics and entheogens.
Erika has always been passionate about working with veterans along the healing path. While becoming a therapist, she volunteered at the San Francisco VA hospital in the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center. Now, again, she is honored to serve those who have served her, her family, and this country as a VETS Integration Coach.
Mia Black began working in the psychedelic healing field when, like so many others have experienced, these profoundly powerful medicines transformed her life through deep healing and spiritual awakening. With a background in clinical psychology, she pivoted away from offering talk therapy to dedicate herself entirely to the path of psychedelic healing. Since the early days of VETS she has had the honor of working with many retired service members and spouses. Mia is extremely grateful to be doing such rewarding and interesting work, helping already-incredible people to become the best possible versions of themselves.
Camille is a psychedelic integration coach and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been passionate about psychedelic medicine since 2014. She is trained in 5-MeO-DMT, LSD, psilocybin, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. She has extensive experience in supporting folks going through psychedelic journeys, and is currently working on numerous psychedelic clinical research trials. Before this, she spent time working in England, Germany, and Tennessee as a therapist for the military. Camille feels very blessed and honored to be a part of the VETS organization in helping those who have served our country.
Andrew Linares is psychedelic coach and therapist in private practice in Boulder, CO. In addition to working as a sub-investigator for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) researching MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD, he has also facilitated veterans retreats outside of the United States.
Andrew is honored and humbled to be serving the veteran community through psychedelic coaching. He has first-hand experience of the transformational potential of psychedelic medicines and believes in the critical importance of fostering healing for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Dr. Andrea Lucie has a Ph.D. in Mind Body Medicine. For the past 25 years she has worked for the Department of Defense including at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), and The Marcus Institute for Brain Health at the University of Colorado.
Andrea grew up in the south of Chile and at the hills of the Andes mountains. She learned from childhood the value of traditional medicine while observing her grandparents perform traditional healing rituals. Her knowledge is drawn from traditional educational institutions in the US as well as from mentors from the Lakota community and Mexican healers.
Andrea has specialized in the holistic treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. An advocate for integrated medicine and a holistic approach to healing, she is also certified holistic yoga teacher, a recreational therapist, and a Reiki Master. Her experience includes trauma sensitive yoga, tai chi, meditation, mind body medicine, shamanic healing, and martial arts. She has been featured in several publications, including the National Journal, U.S. Medicine: The Voice of Federal Medicine, and FIGHT magazine for her work on post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
Following her desire to continue her service to the military community, Andrea moved to Mexico to facilitate sacred medicine retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica. Honoring the sacredness of the medicine, she has worked with traditional healers from Peru, Brazil and Mexico. Now she is a full-time retreat organizer, facilitator, and coach.
Jennifer Packett MOT OTR/L, MA is a psychedelic integration and life coach with over 25 years experience working with entheogenic medicines. She is passionate about helping people awaken to their true self. She has a Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology with specialization in Consciousness, Health and Healing. She also has advanced coaching training in “The Three Principles” and Soul-centered Coaching; and holds certifications in Tantric sexual healing, Reiki, and Myofascial release. She is a licensed Occupational Therapist with 23 years experience working in Acute Rehabilitation where she offers a unique holistic approach helping her patients heal on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
She loves backcountry skiing, pickleball tennis, hiking, triathlons, and spending time with her husband, friends and her beloved dog. Her greatest joy is helping people experience true happiness and deep life fulfillment.
Lauren Trecosta is a Psychotherapist and Integration Coach specializing in work with veterans and their partners to maximize the healing potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy. She has been a therapist for 20+ years and has completed training from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Lauren works with clients before, during, and after their healing journeys. Before a journey, Lauren helps clients know what to expect and to develop a clear mindset and intentions. When she is present during a healing journey, she provides a calming, safe presence and guides clients toward inner healing intelligence. After the healing journey, Lauren helps clients integrate their psychedelic experiences into insight and the practical aspects of everyday life.
Lauren has in-depth experience with a broad range of life situations and presenting issues, including trauma / PTSD, adult survivors of child abuse, anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, personality disorders including bi-polar disorder, and couples issues. Lauren believes that each person has the power and wisdom to transform their life and that psychedelic-assisted therapy is a powerful resource to do so.
Lindsey is a well trained and seasoned preparation and integration coach, kambö practitioner, and certified kundalini yoga teacher. She retired her psychotherapy license in 2022 (after 18 years) to focus on coaching and exploring new endeavors.
In Lindsey’s years as a therapist, she worked extensively with individuals, couples, and families utilizing internal family systems theory, Jungian theory, and EMDR. She earned a certificate in psychedelic assisted therapy and research through the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2018, which included training in MAPS MDMA-Assisted Therapy protocol. She also earned a certificate in ketamine assisted psychotherapy from Phil Wolfson, MD (editor of the Ketamine Papers). She subsequently practiced ketamine therapy for three years and also conducted a pilot research study with Dr. Brent Turnipseed on the combined effects of ketamine and EMDR, which they presented at the 2019 Kriya conference in San Francisco.
Lindsey also founded the first therapeutic ibogaine integration center (Root Recovery, PLLC) in the US, which she ran from 2012-2022. In her coaching practice, she guides individuals in identifying practices that help them align mind and body (head and heart). In this way, the plant medicine journey becomes a truly healing experience that leads one back to their innate wholeness.
Lindsey practices within legal and ethical guidelines of the coaching discipline, which is differs from psychotherapy in that it focuses on generative change rather than reparative and/or diagnostically guided change.
Marcus is an entrepreneur and former Navy SEAL who spent a sizable portion of his 13 year military career deployed to a war zone. After Marcus’s transformational experience with entheogenic medicine, he felt compelled to immediately begin helping friends who were also experiencing the same post-war challenges. Marcus has been involved with several start-up companies since leaving the military, serves on a number of advisory boards, and is the Co-Founder of VETS. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University, a Master’s Degree in Global Leadership from The University of San Diego, and an MBA from USC Marshall Business School.
Nick is a graduate of both the United States Naval Academy and Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) Class 247. Upon completion of SEAL training in 2004, Nick assumed progressively higher positions of leadership within Naval Special Warfare, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally from Chicago, Nick received his Bachelor in Science from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 and his Masters of Science in Real Estate from The University of San Diego in 2013. Nick is the Co-Founder and CEO of Protekt Products, a wellness company that is committed to positively impacting customer health via both personal care products and nutritional supplements.
Jarred Taylor is originally from Washington state. After graduating high school in 2002, he joined the Air Force, where spent 14 years as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller. At the end of his time in the Air Force he co-founded two successful companies: Article 15 clothing and Leadslinger’s Whiskey, as well as launched a successful podcast, Drinkin’ Bros. In 2014, Jarred co-founded Black Rifle Coffee with Mat Best and Evan Hafer, which has become a staple in the conservative coffee space and directly rivals Starbucks.
Sara grew up in a military family, traveling the globe and attending over 15 schools before graduating and marrying Navy SEAL, Chad Wilkinson. Sara has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. As a successful gym owner and tenacious entrepreneur, Sara was recruited by CrossFit LLC to become a course supervisor, and spent the past 8 years engaging in public speaking, training, and instilling cohesiveness and camaraderie within the CrossFit global community. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree within the College of Health and Human Performance from the University of Florida and is a Level 4 CrossFit Coach. Sara’s husband served 21 years as an active duty Navy SEAL with more than 10 deployments before succumbing to the affects of PTSD, TBIs and blast wave injuries leading to his death by suicide on Oct. 29, 2018. The couple have two teenage children. Unable to receive treatments, himself, Sara has seen the positive impact VETS has provided to Chad’s teammates, and hopes to lend her voice and story to change the narrative and numbers surrounding the veteran suicide epidemic.
Mark Bates, PhD, is a psychologist participating in the Center for Psychedelic Therapy and Research certificate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is a retired Air Force pilot and psychologist. His military psychology background includes being a training director for an APA accredited clinical psychology internship program, chief of a multi-disciplinary outpatient mental health clinic, and branch chief for psychological health promotion in the military’s Psychological Health Center of Excellence.
Dr. Bates has a long-standing passion for understanding and supporting human potential in body, mind, spirit, and relationships (holistic) throughout his career and is now focused on the unique abilities of psychedelics in these areas. With a strong grounding in evidence-based science and practice, he is an advocate of careful research exploring and confirming how psychedelic-assisted therapies broaden and strengthen psychotherapy treatment options for alleviating suffering and supporting well-being. He is also particularly interested in the ability of these psychotherapies to support greater consciousness, meaning, caring, and connection as core parts of healing and living fully.
David Bronner is the Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the family-owned top-selling natural brand of soap in North America. The company caps Executive salaries at 5 times the lowest paid fully vested position and donates all profits not needed for business development to causes and charities they believe in. David graduated with a degree in Biology from Harvard in 1995, and by the end of that year had his heart and mind blown wide open by psychedelic medicine while living in Amsterdam. Ever since he’s been dedicated to the responsible integration of cannabis and entheogens into American and global culture and joined the board of MAPS in 2015. He also serves on the board of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, which promotes regenerative organic agriculture and ethical dietary choice, to support a more humane, sustainable, and fair farming system worldwide.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife, dog, and empty rooms from three children, one of whom is in college and two have graduated.
Amanda Feilding is the Founder and Executive Director of the Beckley Foundation, and is widely recognized as a leading force behind the current Psychedelic Renaissance. By establishing key research programs at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions (including Imperial College London, Maastricht University, Sant Pau in Barcelona, IDOR and UFRN in Brazil), she has propelled the field forward over the last 20+ years, conducting landmark studies, such as the world’s first psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression study (on which Compass Pathways based their business), the world’s first LSD, MDMA and DMT brain imaging studies, plus the initiation and collaboration with Johns Hopkins on the first study using psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to overcome nicotine addiction. She has also co-authored over 80 research papers.
Since its inception in 1998, the Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of exploratory research into psychedelics and cannabis, and evidence-based global drug policies. Through a series of pivotal international seminars at the House of Lords (starting in 2000) with leading figures from around the world in different fields, from science to politics, plus over 60 much-cited books, reports and papers, and numerous meetings with thought-leaders, academics, and policy-makers at the UN and governments around the world, Amanda has ensured that the Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of global drug policy reform, particularly in the field of cannabis and the psychedelics.
Through her work with the Beckley Foundation, Amanda is bridging the gap between science and policy, creating a positive feedback loop, with the aim of building and harnessing our knowledge of the benefits of currently prohibited compounds to optimize human health, wellbeing, and potential.
B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist, Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX; and Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry in Neurosurgery, Houston Methodist Academic Institute.
He has thirty years of professional experience working with military veterans and active-duty personnel, and has conducted clinical trials, epidemiology, historical epidemiology, and neuroscience research, primarily with psychiatric patients, prisoners, and combat veterans. He has co-authored over 300 scientific publications (h-Index = 86; total scientific citations > 22,000), including a current graduate textbook on adult psychopathology. Professionally, he has worked with combat veterans and servicemembers since 1991. He also devotes time to the SEAL Future Foundation (chair, medical advisory board), Boulder Crest Foundation (scientific advisory panel), Military Special Operations Family Collaborative (advisory board), Special Operations Association of America, and to the military special operations community in general.
He has testified before US Congress, and served as a paid contractor for Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, US State Department, and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He has also published commentaries in the National Review, Huffington Post, New York Times, Time, and Special Operation Association of America; and has been quoted or cited in the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, Scientific American, Stars and Stripes, USA Today, Men’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Reuter, Associated Press, and NBC News, among others.
Dr. Hendricks’ research centers on the development of novel and potentially more effective treatments for substance use disorders and comorbid conditions, with specific areas of focus on tobacco, cocaine, cannabis, opiate, and polysubstance dependence in vulnerable populations, including individuals in the criminal justice system. He has been an active researcher in the psychedelic field since 2014, publishing population studies suggesting psychedelics may be effective in preventing and treating substance use, criminal recidivism, and psychological distress, among other outcomes, as well as a number of systemic reviews and theoretical pieces. He is currently Principal Investigator of a pilot trial of psilocybin-facilitated psychotherapy in the treatment cocaine dependence, psilocybin-facilitated psychotherapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia, and low doses or “microdoses” of psilocybin in the treatment of demoralization. Dr. Hendricks is also site PI of a NIDA-funded study of psilocybin for smoking cessation. Dr. Hendricks service as Editor-in-Chief of Psychedelic Medicine (https://home.liebertpub.com/publications/psychedelic-medicine/673/).
Robert Koffman, MD, MPH, is a retired Navy Captain, currently serving as the Senior Medical Advisor for Warrior Canine Connection. He concluded his 32-year career as a psychiatrist and preventive medicine physician at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) as the Chief of Clinical Operations. Dr. Koffman is currently enrolled in the Center for Psychedelic Treatment and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and will be finishing summer of ‘21. Eager to enroll veterans into a MAPS-supported study, he is on track to begin MDMA-Assisted Therapy under Expanded Access at the Bill Richards’ Center for Healing at the Aquilino Cancer Center, Rockville, MD.
Frank Larkin is the Vice President for Corporate Development at a software development company and national advocate for veteran suicide prevention and traumatic brain research. Frank was the 40th United States Senate Sergeant at Arms. As chief law enforcement and executive officer of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms enforces rules of the Senate; provides a range of technical and administrative services to Senators in their Washington D.C., and state offices; and maintains security in the Capitol and Senate office buildings. He had direct oversight of the US Capitol Police Department, a 2200-member agency, and led numerous national security events.
Frank has been a member of the federal Senior Executive Service for more than 10 years, serving as both the Acting Director and the Vice Director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and Director of the Counter IED Operations-Intelligence Integration Center within the Department of Defense. He led the integration of technical capabilities, analysis and human resources against the global IED threat and terror networks.
Frank served for more than two decades as a special agent and senior leader in the United States Secret Service (USSS). He conducted complex criminal investigations and protected four US presidents, until his retirement as the Deputy Assistant Director for Protective Research and the agency’s Chief Technology Officer.
In the private sector, Frank was Director, Program Management & Leadership, for the Raytheon Company, and more recently, worked at Lockheed Martin’s Defense & Intelligence Solutions responsible as a senior program manager for intelligence community support.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Frank served as a special warfare operator in the Navy SEALs. After his military service, he was a uniformed patrol officer with the Norristown (PA) Police Department, a homicide detective with the Montgomery County (PA) District Attorney’s Office, and a Maryland State Trooper-Flight Paramedic. He has been a nationally licensed paramedic for 40 years and still serves Maryland as a volunteer medical provider.
Frank holds a BA degree in criminal justice and a MS degree in public administration from Villanova University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, to include the USSS Valor award, the Department of the Army’s Exceptional Civilian Service award and the Superior Civilian Service award.
Lynn Marie Morski, MD, JD, is the president of the Psychedelic Medicine Association, host of the Plant Medicine Podcast, the founder of Plant Medicine.org, and the medical director for WayofLeaf.com. She is a Mayo Clinic-trained physician in family medicine and sports medicine, as well as an attorney and former adjunct law professor. Dr. Morski worked at the Veterans Administration for nine years, and after leaving clinical medicine, she made it her mission to help fill the gap in the medical community’s knowledge of psychedelics by educating her fellow physicians on the plant medicines and entheogens that could bring life-changing relief to their patients. In furtherance of this mission, she started the Plant Medicine Podcast to bring scientific researchers, practitioners, and those who have been personally affected by the healing powers of these plants together to help educate the public on what is possible and help further research and decriminalization of these substances. She later founded the Psychedelic Medicine Association whose mission is to educate healthcare providers on the latest in psychedelic therapies so they can present the full range of therapeutic options to their patients, and to bring together key stakeholders in the psychedelic medicine community to work toward equitable access to these medicines for all.
Kirk Parsley, MD, served as an Undersea Medical Officer at Naval Special Warfare Group One from June 2009 to January 2013. While there, he led the development and supervised the group’s first Sports Medicine Rehabilitation center. He is a former SEAL, and received his Medical Degree from Bethesda, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) in 2004. He interned in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Balboa Naval Hospital San Diego in 2005 and subsequently completed a Navy residency in Hyperbarics and Diving Medicine in 2006. Dr. Parsley has been a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine since 2006 and served as Naval Special Warfare’s expert on Sleep Medicine. In addition he is certified in hormonal modulation (Age-Management Medicine). After leaving the Navy he went into concierge medicine and consulting. He continues to consult for multiple corporations, and professional athletes/teams. Doctor Parsley lectures worldwide on sleep, wellness, and hormonal optimization and is currently completing a book on sleep and his philosophy for wellness is simple; in order to optimize our health and get the most out of our bodies and minds, we must live more closely to the way we evolved as a species. He believes that many diseases and disorders that we accept as “inevitable” in modern society are unnecessary complications of poor sleeping habits, living in a toxic environment, eating foods we were not designed to digest, and allowing stress to overwhelm us. His passion is to help his patients and clients achieve the highest quality of life possible, and realize their health, performance, and longevity goals. Dr. Parsley spends as much of his spare time as possible with his three beautiful children (Hayden, Cole, and Harper). He has been a competitive athlete his entire life, and enjoys nearly all outdoor activities and sports.
Dick Simon is an entrepreneur, social enterprise philanthropist and catalyst for change. He works with organizations pursuing FDA and European Medical Association clinical trials for mental health (PTSD, depression) treatments using psychedelic medicines. He aims to shift public perspective and reduce stigmatization related to the use of these medicines and is also supporting researchers studying psychedelic treatments for a wide range of indications. Dick serves as Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics at Massachusetts General Hospital . He is a founder of the Boston Psychedelic Research Group and the YPO Psychedelic Medicines for Mental Health Group, and he works closely with organizations including MAPS, the California Institute for Integral Studies, and the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative.
Before this work, he co-founded the Peace Action Network (PAN) of YPO, a network of over 29,000 international CEOs. PAN addresses conflict resolution on local and global levels. He launched the kNOw THEM Initiative to raise awareness about the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language, THEM.
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, General Steele 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., 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.
In 2015, he 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.
General Steele is a graduate of the University of Arkansas where he obtained a BA degree in History (’74) and was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. He is a recipient of the 2013 Arkansas Alumni Award Citation of Distinguished Alumni which recognizes exceptional professional and personal achievement and extraordinary distinction in a chosen field. He also holds three Masters Degrees from Central Michigan University, Salve Regina College, and the Naval War College.
Married to the former Cynthia Bayliss of Little Rock, Arkansas, they are the parents of three adult children, and have three grandchildren. Their son, David, is a Colonel in the US Marine Corps and currently serves as the Chief of Staff 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Miramar, CA after three tours of combat in Afghanistan. General Steele serves proudly on several 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 the Board of Advisors. He and Cindy reside in Tampa, Florida.
Kevin Weiss currently serves as the Chief of Staff for Reforge, an education and professional development technology company. Previously, Kevin was a Principal at Dorado Capital Partners, a Texas-based Family Office, where he worked alongside the managing partner to source and execute investment opportunities and help launch new business ventures. Kevin was a founding team member of M13 Ventures and prior to M13, Kevin held operating roles within venture-backed companies in South Africa and Latin America.
In addition to VETS, Kevin is an advisory board member of The Change Reaction, a philanthropic organization connecting high net worth individuals with direct giving opportunities, and Study Smart Tutors, an education company focused increasing access for underserved individuals. Kevin is a trained yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher and is passionate improving access to mental health services as well as improving the services themselves.
Kevin studied Business, Economics and Public Policy at George Washington University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and also studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.