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.

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. Born in Michigan, Reta received her Bachelor of Business Administration at Northwood University. Her marketing and communications experience include work with Reaching Our Community Kids in Midland, MI, and congressional campaign work in Grand Rapids, MI.