Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance

The Policy Manager serves, with the State Director and the Deputy State Director of New York, in a leadership role in the New York Policy Office, developing and shaping strategy, goals, and communications efforts in New York. Responsibilities include developing and managing reform campaigns, including strategy, partnerships, materials and action plans; educating and lobbying elected officials and community leaders; supervising advocacy and communications work; speaking publicly and representing DPA in the media; and more. The Policy Manager also works with the larger DPA policy department to contribute to the development of DPA’s national policy agenda. The Policy Manager supervises junior level staff, NY Policy fellows, interns and volunteers. The Policy Manager reports to the State Director. This is an organization that encourages initiative, and the successful candidate must be a self-starter and a risk taker, with a high degree of confidence and energy. Excellent interpersonal skills and a passion for racial justice are essentials for success.

Broad Responsibilities Include:

  • Managing state and municipal level legislative campaigns.
  • Organizing NY residents and community groups in support of legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of other drugs.
  • Meeting with and influencing NY legislators and community based groups.
  • Educating the public and policymakers on the need to reduce racial disparities and treat drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Co-manages, with the deputy director and director, DPA’s legislative and advocacy campaigns in New York, both statewide and in local jurisdictions;
  • Builds statewide-level and municipality-based coalitions in support of major reform;
  • Supports and strengthens team efforts across campaign areas;
  • Seeks out and identifies opportunities to promote DPA’s core priorities in New York, including “push the envelope” discussions for drug policy reform and to implement strategies to achieve DPA’s goals and objectives throughout the state, particularly with respect to implementing coordinated drug strategies;
  • Drafts and disseminates fact sheets, backgrounders, policy reports, and other materials;
  • Creates and maintains solid relationships with diverse partners, including state agencies, community-based organizations, academics and researchers, businesspeople, elected officials, and local DPA members;
  • Actively seeks to include people most impacted by the War on Drugs in policy campaigns and decision-making, such as people who use drugs, people in recovery, formerly incarcerated individuals, and their families;.
  • Lobbies legislators, agency heads, and their staff on legislation, regulations, and policy issues;
  • Contributes to DPA fundraising activities in New York;
  • Serves as DPA’s spokesperson in the media and at community events, conferences, and other forums;
  • Supervises junior staff, interns and fellows;
  • Assists with the recruitment and training of student fellows, interns and volunteers;
  • Plans policy forums, rallies, press conferences, and other events;
  • Assists the State Director and Deputy State Director with annual budget and work plan development; and
  • Performs other duties as required.


At least five years’ experience in public policy advocacy, community organizing, and/or government relations; ideally in New York;

  • Experience building and leading coalitions in pursuit of an activist agenda with measurable results;
  • Experience supervising staff;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse partners, including community-based organizations and community members/constituents;
  • Strong analytic ability and superior communication skills, including writing and public speaking to diverse audiences;
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial justice and equity
  • Availability to work evenings and weekends and to travel periodically throughout the state, region, and nationally
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines;
  • Familiarity with drug policy desirable; commitment to harm reduction and drug policy reform principles essential;
  • Advanced degree in public policy/administration, public health, law or related field preferred;
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred;
  • Enthusiasm and motivation to lead on cutting-edge issues; and
  • Entrepreneurial outlook;

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the New York Metropolitan area. Telecommuting will not be allowed. Some travel required.

How to apply

Application Process
Please submit the following:

  • A one-page cover letter that answers: Why do you want to join DPA’s New York Policy Office, and what will you bring to the team?
  • Your résumé and salary requirements
  • A writing sample of no more than four pages (links to online examples are acceptable).

Submit by email to hr@drugpolicy.org

Please include in the subject line the following: “First Name, Last Name – Policy Manager, NY”

Email submissions are preferred, but if you have a good reason for doing so, applications can be submitted by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re: Policy Manager, New York
Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities and formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.

Note: Position open immediately; applications will be accepted and reviewed until filled. Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please do not call.**

Drug Policy Alliance
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. In its vision of the future, individuals will not be punished simply for what they put into their bodies, only for harm done to others. DPA fights for drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and seeks to promote dialogue on cutting-edge drug policy issues around the country. Its work spans issues from ending marijuana prohibition and promoting more honest and effective drug education to reducing the many harms of drug use and drug laws. DPA works to ensure that our nation’s drug policies no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions of nonviolent people, especially people of color.

DPA’s work encompasses a wide array of policy issues, including:

  • Sentencing reform and alternatives to incarceration
  • Harm reduction (HIV, hepatitis C and overdose prevention)
  • Ending marijuana prohibition, marijuana decriminalization, medical marijuana
  • Drug education, youth and drugs
  • Race and the drug war
  • Effective drug treatment
  • Civil liberties and rights
  • International drug control
  • Alternatives to prohibition and pragmatic steps for ending the drug war

In the last 15 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 70 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $14 million, 35,000 dues-paying members and more than 300,000 online subscribers. It has a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. For more information, visit our website atwww.drugpolicy.org.

Last Updated on December 17, 2017 by HepFree NYC


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