Christopher Poulos serves as Executive Director at the Center for Justice and Human Dignity. Poulos has served as Director of Person-Centered Services at the Washington State Department of Corrections and executive director of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council. Poulos also developed a course on drug law and policy that he taught at Seattle University School of Law.
Prior to his appointment to the Reentry Council, he served as executive director of Life of Purpose Treatment at the University of North Texas, where he was also an adjunct professor of criminal justice. During law school, he served at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Sentencing Project. While at the White House, he helped redesign stigmatizing language previously used by the federal government regarding addiction and justice system involvement to reduce discrimination and promote successful reentry and recovery. Poulos has advised United States Senator Angus King (I-Maine) on addiction and justice policy and served on several national, state, and local task forces related to criminal justice policy. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law, where he was President of the American Constitution Society and represented youth facing criminal charges as a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic.
Prior to law school, Poulos overcame many obstacles, including tragic family losses, addiction, homelessness, and federal incarceration. He now dedicates his life to helping others overcome or avoid similar challenges and he supports a public health-based approach to addressing addiction. His work promotes equal access to the law and seeks to address mass incarceration and the collateral consequences now facing the tens of millions of people with criminal convictions.
His work and personal story have been featured on The Today Show and in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, CBS News, The Hill, Crosscut, The Epoch Times and The Harvard Law and Policy Review. Poulos was selected as one of Portland Magazine’s “Most Intriguing People” and as “Law Student of the Year” by National Jurist Magazine.