Mary Speta

Executive Director


Dr. Mary Speta is a researcher, educator, speaker, and advocate in the movement to end commercial sexual exploitation. She serves as the Executive Director of Amirah, Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit providing exit and aftercare services to women who have experienced prostitution, sex trafficking, and commercial sexual exploitation. Mary utilizes her own lived experience of commercial sexual exploitation as well as her research on the commercial sex trade to break down myths, inform policy, and shape effective evidence-based exit ramps supporting individuals seeking independence from poverty and commercial sex. She sits on the Massachusetts Governor's Commission to Address Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking's Subcommittee on Human Trafficking and serves on multiple legislative advisory and service provision committees throughout New England as a policy advisor and consultant on prostitution and intersectional issues. Mary is also a recipient of the 2023 North Shore Chamber of Commerce Diamond Award honoring women in leadership and the 2024 receipt of the North Shore Conference of Women's Goddess Award. As an educator, Mary regularly speaks at universities, helping the next generation of service providers and policy makers understand the complexities of poverty, trafficking, and commercial sex in the United States. The work she enjoys most, though, is walking alongside other women exiting the commercial sex trade as a mentor, supporting them as they reach economic independence and walk the road of recovery. Mary completed her doctorate in law and policy at Northeastern University; her research focuses on the phenomenon of prostitution, the distorted impact of prostitution criminalization, and evidence-based policy approaches to supporting exit from the commercial sex trade. She also holds a master’s degree in arts and nonprofit administrative sciences from Boston University and completed her undergraduate studies at Gordon College.