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ICAP founder Marcus Grant dies

Marcus Grant, founder of the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP), has died aged 74.

Marcus Grant founded the International Centre for Alcohol Policies

Grant, who died on 22 December 2019 in Reading, UK, dedicated more than 40 years of his professional life to tackling alcohol-related harm, advocating for a ‘whole of society’ approach to reducing harmful drinking.

Grant’s career in the alcohol industry started at the Alcohol Education Centre where he worked as director of a UK-based non-governmental organisation. The group provided national coordination of post-qualification training on alcohol problems for health and social services employees.

His next role took him to the World Health Organization (WHO) where he led global activities on the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. It was here that Grant became committed to his belief that the most effective way to reduce alcohol harm was through partnership and dialogue between all sectors, including the private sector.

Grant left WHO in 1994 to found ICAP, the predecessor of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD).

He has been described by the IARD as a “transformational leader and change maker” thanks to his “innovative thinking and visionary outlook to shift the paradigm in tackling alcohol-related harm”.

Once, when asked what ICAP’s most notable achievement was, Grant said: “Our success in bringing to the table people who might otherwise be wiling to meet – industry leaders, WHO officials, scientists, health advocates, representatives of governments, NGOs and the media.

“I think we’ve demonstrated that it’s a collective responsibility, involving everybody in society, including the private sector.”

Grant was also described as having an “infectious” devotion and “charismatic enthusiasm” towards his work.

Former colleagues have also said Grant brought “tremendous energy and enthusiasm” and “empowered his team to bring about positive change”. They added that he will be remembered by many for his “fierce intellect and humour”.

Grant is survived by four daughters and three grandchildren.

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