Project Staff

Al | Executive Director

The Rev. Alexander E. Sharp has been working on criminal justice issues for 15 years. He served as the founding executive director of Protestants for the Common Good from 1996 through June 2012. He and colleague Walter Boyd joined the early efforts in Illinois to provide a second chance for those seeking to re-build their lives after prison. They were struck by how many individuals, predominantly African American and Hispanic, were incarcerated for low-level drug offenses. They began to challenge the War on Drugs.
Rev. Sharp has brought national models of diversion to public attention in Illinois and played a key role in the passage of medical marijuana in Illinois in 2012. He then served for 18 months as Acting Director of the Community Renewal Society in order to help incorporate PCG as a policy unit within CRS.
Al was Commissioner of Public Welfare for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1976 to 1979 and the chief financial officer of the University of Chicago from 1980 to 1994. Al is now devoting full time to Clergy for a New Drug Policy.
Rev. Sharp is a graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs. He was ordained by the United Church of Christ in 2007 after having received his MDiv from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago in 1996. He and his wife Margaret O’Dell live in Chicago and are members of Hyde Park Union Church.

Timothy| Senior Fellow
Timothy McMahan King is a writer, nonprofit professional, Senior Fellow for Clergy for a New Drug Policy and the owner of Vagabond Strategies. He has worked as a community organizer in Chicago, a chief strategy officer with Sojourners, and has served as a consultant for national non-profits, advocacy campaigns and political candidates.

The author of Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals About Us, King is an active advocate for those in recovery and to reform United States drug policy. He has spoken to church groups, educators, public health professionals, and doctors on the importance of compassionate care for those struggling with a substance use disorder. He hosts a monthly webinar series on addiction and drug policy issues for the Center of Addiction and Faith where he also serves as a board member. 

A graduate of North Park University with degrees in theology and philosophy, McMahan King has a deep interest in what healing looks like for the individual and for our culture. Growing up on a farm in New Hampshire, King also has a keen awareness of the ways in which our communities and the natural environment can call us into greater wholeness. McMahan King lives with his wife, Hannah, their daughter Ruth and dog, Hank, in New Hampshire.

Reta| Communications Associate
Reta Mae Keen joined Clergy for a New Drug Policy in January of 2018. Since moving to Chicago in 2014 she has acquired considerable fundraising and development experience, having worked with Heartland Alliance, the Jordan Family Sports Foundation, and the Vietnamese Association of Illinois. Reta was born in Michigan and received her Bachelor of Business Administration at Northwood University. Her marketing and communications experience includes work with Reaching Our Community Kids in Midland, MI, and congressional campaign work in Grand Rapids, MI.

Cassidy | Research Associate
Cassidy Willard previously worked as a civic fellow for You Can Vote, social advocate for Choose Welcome, and social media coordinator for the Center of Addiction and Faith. Cassidy was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina and received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies and Public Engagement at Wake Forest University. She is currently pursuing a J.D. at Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in Raleigh, NC and serving as a Judicial Intern at the North Carolina Supreme Court..