The American Kratom Association was formed in 2014 and officially launched in 2015, to protect the right of all Americans to use the natural botanical Kratom for improved health and well-being. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a natural analgesic which has been used for hundreds of years to safely alleviate pain, combat fatigue and help with the effects of anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, the spread of misinformation, both scientific and anecdotal, about Kratom has created a challenging regulatory environment. The American Kratom Association was formed to organize and represent a community of responsible consumers, provide the general public with clarification surrounding matters of health and wellness where Kratom could play an important role, educate lawmakers and regulators and support scientific research efforts.
On behalf of the growing numbers of Kratom users, including doctors, lawyers, teachers and law enforcement officers, The American Kratom Association works to help protect their ability to use Kratom for the purposes of improved health and wellbeing.
The American Kratom Association has 5 main goals:
- Support Consumers. We believe many political and private entities don't make the needs of the consumer and constituents a priority. Our goal is to change that.
- Educate. Kratom has many beneficial purposes and is an all-natural alternative. Our goal is to educate all Americans—from potential consumers to regulators and everyone in between.
Amplify. We represent thousands of Americans that each have a story to tell.
We believe the current environment in the United States often does not listen to individual voices and together we will make our voice heard.
- Global Awareness. We hope to demonstrate responsible use and practical knowledge other countries may study when considering Kratom legislation.
Protect Natural Resources. Kratom is a precious natural resource.
We support and advocate for sustainable harvesting techniques and reforestation efforts.
Founder and Director, American Kratom Association
Susan Ash is Director and founder of the American Kratom Association, a nonprofit organization formed to advocate for the safe and legal use of the natural botanical, Kratom. A native of Virginia, Ash began her professional career 25 years ago as a Park Ranger/Naturalist at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. She continued her work in the environmental field, leading forest preservation and policy campaigns out West.
Ash has dedicated her career to philanthropic and advocacy efforts, holding numerous leadership roles while also chairing and serving on Boards of other organizations, like the Audubon Society of Portland and Norfolk, Virginia’s Keep Norfolk Beautiful nonprofit, where she served as Assistant Recycling Coordinator and Environmental Programs and Volunteer Coordinator.
Passionate about government and the political process, Ash also spent several months volunteering as the Senior Office Manager and then Operations Manager for the Obama for President Campaign in Norfolk in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Ash earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Communications with a minor in Biology from Old Dominion University and a Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Her professional career was cut short in 2011 when she had to leave her job in Norfolk due to a debilitating case of Lyme Disease that went diagnosed for nearly eight years. Ash uses Kratom regularly to manage symptoms of a chronic illness, and is a proud advocate for her fellow consumers.
Paul H. Kemp
Founding Board Member and CIO