Board Members

FitzgeraldNiamh Fitzgerald, PhD, BSc (2nd Class Hons) – President

Professor Niamh Fitzgerald is a Professor of Alcohol Studies at the Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, where she has led on teaching and public engagement on alcohol for the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies since 2014.  Niamh is also the deputy director of the SPECTRUM (Shaping public health policies to reduce inequalities and harm) research consortium (2019-2024).  Funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership, SPECTRUM aims to conduct research to prevent and address harm to health from unhealthy commodities by using systems science to identify and evaluate solutions. Niamh co-ordinates an annual alcohol policy residential workshop and a public involvement group at Stirling for SPECTRUM.

Niamh specialises in mixed methods alcohol policy research and have broad interests within that field.   Current areas of focus include retail premises licensing, drink driving limits, minimum unit pricing, framing in alcohol policy debates, conflicts of interest, and alcohol use in pregnancy.  Niamh is recognised internationally for her work on alcohol brief interventions, having advised WHO-Europe, NHS Health Scotland and several European governments.

Niamh regularly contributes to radio/TV and print news on alcohol.  Her work has previously led to statements from Scottish Government and questions in parliament.

Niamh was elected to the ICARA board in 2016 and assumed the post of President in 2018.

baborThomas Babor, PhD, MPH – Immediate Past President

Dr. Thomas Babor is a Professor and Chairman in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  He holds the University’s Physicians Health Service endowed chair in Public Health and Community Medicine.  He received his doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Arizona, spent several years in postdoctoral research training in social psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and subsequently received a master of public health degree in psychiatric epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.  His research interests include screening, diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment evaluation, as well as alcohol and drug policy.  He has worked with the World Health Organization on the development of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Alcohol, Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST).  He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.  He is a co-author of Drug Policy and the Public Good (2018) and Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity – Research and Public Policy (2010).  Both books were awarded a first prize in the public health category of the British Medical Association’s book competition.

KosirMatej Košir – Vice-President/President Elect

Matej Košir is the Director of UTRIP ( He has been working in the field of addiction prevention and public health advocacy for the last 20 years. He is an author, co-author and reviewer of scientific articles and papers. He has been a Postgraduate Research Assistant at Oxford Brookes University (UK) (2015-2016). He is a coordinator of the Prevention Platform network, which includes more than 40 supporting institutions and organisations in Slovenia. He was also a senior consultant of the World Bank in the field of alcohol policy and prevention between January 2017 and June 2019. He has been awarded by the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) with “Leading European Prevention Science Practitioner Honour” in 2017. He has been awarded (together with his wife Sanela Talić) by the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) with “International Collaborative Prevention Research Award” in 2020. He is a PhD in Prevention Science student at the University of Zagreb (Croatia). He is a Deputy Chairperson of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC).

BerendsLynda Berends, PhD, BSc (Hons), BEd – Secretary

Dr. Lynda Berends specialises in the study of alcohol and other drug service delivery and system development. She is Director at TRACE Research, a private consultancy, Senior Visiting Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, and immediate Past President of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs. Since 2000 Lynda has undertaken research on prevention and treatment programs at local, state and national levels, and in New Zealand and PR China – on behalf of governments, philanthropics, and NGOs. Lynda’s current work is about resource allocation based on need and innovative intervention models that operate across care systems. Lynda has published extensively, with two academic texts, 50 technical reports and 40 peer-reviewed publications.

MohanAndrea Mohan, PhD, MPH, MPhil, BSc – Secretary

Dr. Andrea Mohan is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Dundee from January 2020. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling from 2017-2019. She is working on projects that focus on alcohol policy such as drink-driving and alcohol licensing, and on the lived experiences of people with alcohol dependence. Her research background is in public health, health promotion and behaviour change in socially-deprived populations. She previously coordinated a public engagement group based at the University of Stirling that met to discuss current topics on alcohol and unhealthy food.

PeralaRiikka Perälä – Treasurer

Dr. Riikka Perälä received her PhD in sociology in 2012 from the University of Helsinki. Her research interests cover in a variety of ways the positions of people suffering from substance abuse problems in welfare policy and welfare service provision. She has investigated these issues in the context of needle and syringe exchange programs, opioid substitution treatment programs and housing first policy. She is specialized in the ethnographic method. Currently, she is working as a coordinator of development and advocacy work in substance ombudsman’s office in Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention.

MorojeleNeo Morojele – Member

Dr. Neo Morojele is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand and the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town, and serves as a Consultant in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council. Her current research focuses mainly on alcohol use and HIV; adolescent substance use; and alcohol policy, with a particular interest in alcohol marketing. She is the Associate Editor for Africa for the Journal of Substance Use; an Associate Editor of the African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies; and a Consulting Editor of the International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research.

RossiDiana Rossi – Member

Diana Rossi is a Social Worker and Specialist in youngsters’ social problems from the University of Buenos Aires. Currently, she is professor and researcher of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires and an affiliated international investigator of the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) based in New York. She is also a founding member of Intercambios Civil Association, an Argentinean non-governmental organization working on research, training, advocacy and community interventions with drug related problems to ensure the health and human rights of drug users through evidence-based programs. She has participated in multiple investigations in collaboration with other national and international organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies and universities.

Former Board:

Tom Babor President
Niamh Fitzgerald Vice President
Kerstin Stenius Treasurer/Secretary
Isidore Obot Member
Sung Soo Chun Member
Diana Rossi Member