Rick Lines was appointed Executive Director in 2010. He joined Harm Reduction International in 2007, initially as Senior Policy Advisor and later as Deputy Director.
Rick has been working in HIV and harm reduction services, policy and advocacy since the early 1990s, and is known for his leading work in the areas of HIV in prisons, prison needle/syringe programmes, human rights and the death penalty for drug offences. He started his career providing front-line HIV and harm reduction services for prisoners and ex-prisoners in Canada. He later served as Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust in Dublin, and acted as a technical assistance advisor on HIV in prisons for several UN agencies.
Rick holds an appointment as Visiting Professor at the University of South Wales. He is co-founder and Chair of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, where he is a Visiting Fellow. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Visiting Lecturer in human rights and drug policy at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway. He holds Masters Degrees in both Sociology and International Human Rights Law, as well as a PhD in Law.
He is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group to the UN on Drug Use and HIV and of the Global Fund Human Rights Reference Group. He is a former member of the Technical Advisory Group to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and the Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use.
His first book, 'Drug Control and Human Rights in International Law', was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.