The Influence Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in New York in 2017. Our mission is to advocate through journalism for rational and compassionate approaches to drug use, drug policy and human rights.
(Treasurer) Phil Hur’s experience includes 13 years working at Ernst & Young, where has was an actuary and senior manager for People Advisory Services, with specializations including pensions risk management strategy, and mortality and annuity calculations. He was previously an expatriate tax services specialist. He has a BA in Economics from NYU.
(Secretary) Dr. Sheila Vakharia is the policy manager for the Office of Academic Engagement at the Drug Policy Alliance where she works to help bridge the research and policy divide. She was previously an assistant professor in the department of Social Work at LIU’s Brooklyn campus and has worked as a clinical social worker in both traditional abstinence-based and harm reduction treatment settings.
Archie Brodsky is co-founder of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. He has co-authored 16 books, including Love and Addiction and The Truth about Addiction and Recovery.
Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) is an executive board member of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), an organization of current and former law enforcement officials opposed to the War on Drugs. She spent over 20 years in law enforcement, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander for the Redondo Beach, California Police Department. A highly decorated officer, her views on the drug war gradually changed as she moved up the ranks and saw the failures of what law enforcement was trying to accomplish. She has presented at the UK Houses of Parliament and to Californian legislatures.
Our Fiscal Sponsor
The Influence Foundation is proud to be fiscally sponsored by the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (formerly Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), a US Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization. LEAP is composed of police and other law enforcement professionals dedicated to educating the public about the harms of drug prohibition, and advocating for better solutions across a broad range of drug policy and criminal justice issues.
Donate to The Influence Foundation
As a nonprofit organization, The Influence Foundation is funded entirely by donations and grants. If you wish to support our work of reporting on drug use, drug policy and human rights, please donate using the button below. We’re grateful for your support.
As a matter of policy, funders exercise no control over Filter’s editorial decisions, and all funders above $500 are publicly identified. Filter is committed to journalistic values and the editorial independence of its editors and reporters. We seek and accept financial support from a wide range of entities and individuals. Some funders support us on the basis of our past work, or because of their belief in our mission.
We are grateful to all of our supporters. The organizations and individuals listed below have donated or granted sums of $500 or more. Many other supporters have kindly donated smaller amounts.
All donations and grants are unrestricted unless otherwise stated.
Altria Client Services
The American Vaping Association
Daniel and Lynn Beller
The Drug Policy Alliance*
The Stephanie and Michael Ferdman Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey
The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World
Knowledge Action Change**
Philip Morris International
The Proteus Fund***
Reynolds American, Inc.
R Street Institute****
* Restricted grant to support the establishment of a drug war journalism diversity fellowship.
** Restricted grant to support reporting on tobacco harm reduction; Global Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarships are a Knowledge Action Change (KAC) initiative funded by a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, and independently designed and run by KAC.
*** Restricted grant to support reporting on prosecutors.
**** Restricted grant to support reporting on harm reduction.