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Policy Associate, New York

Job posted by: Drug Policy Alliance – New York

Posted on: October 1, 2014 on

Job description

Title: Policy Associate

Type: Full-Time

Location: New York City

Last Day to Apply: Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening for a Policy Associate reporting directly to the Policy Manager.

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 14 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 60 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, 35,000 dues-paying members and more than 250,000 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, see

The Position

The Policy Associate, NY is an integral part of our advocacy and organizing efforts to end the war on drugs in NY and advance drug policies grounded in science, health, compassion and human rights. Responsibilities include writing and research, advocacy and organizing, public education and communications. Administrative responsibilities comprise upwards of 25% of this position. The position requires some travel across the state and flexible work hours, including evening and weekend hours as needed. The Policy Associate, NY reports to the Policy Manager, NY.

Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Participating in coalition meetings and lawmaker education meetings regarding current legislative campaigns and playing leadership roles when necessary
  • Developing materials for policymakers, community partners and the press, including issue briefs, fact sheets, and information packets
  • Conducting research on drug policy and related issues
  • Writing draft press releases, letters to the editor, opinion editorials, e-mail updates, alerts, newsletter items, etc.
  • Analyzing and tracking legislation and related media
  • Assisting with planning and coordinating events, including press conferences, meetings, presentations, and conferences
  • Representing DPA in public speaking roles as needed, including media, speeches, presentations, and legislative testimony
  • Collaborating with the team to develop and implement advocacy campaigns, working closely with our partners, including grassroots community based organizations, advocacy groups, and service providers
  • Participating in outreach and relationship cultivation efforts
  • Supporting management of databases
  • Providing outstanding administrative support to the team
  • Assisting with intern projects and guidance
  • Engaged participation in internal planning and evaluation processes
  • Supporting or facilitating statewide or nationally focused advocacy activities, when needed
  • Other duties as assigned


To be considered, the ideal candidate must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree and at least two years’ experience in policy advocacy or community organizing. Those without a bachelor’s degree must have at least four years’ experience in policy advocacy or community organizing
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively – including exemplary writing skills
  • Excellent research and analysis skills
  • Ability to organize and prioritize among multiple projects in a demanding environment
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to operate as a self-starter
  • High degree of proficiency with standard office applications such as Outlook, Word and Excel as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • A clear interest in helping build a movement for equity, justice and human rights
  • A commitment to harm reduction philosophy and racial justice

Preferred candidates will have:

  • Direct experience with drug policy or criminal justice issues
  • Motivation to grow and develop
  • A willingness to experiment and learn from failure
  • A sense of humor

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the NY metropolitan area. Telecommuting will not be allowed. Some travel required.

How to apply


Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Application Process

Please submit a cover letter with your resume and salary requirements by email to: Reference: (Policy Associate-NY and your first & last name) in the subject line – or by mail to:

Lina Mingoia Human Resources Manager Re: (Policy Associate and your first & last name)

Drug Policy Alliance 131 West 33th Street15th Floor New York, NY 10001

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

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.

Please Do Not Call!


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