Policy Manager, DC, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

Title:  Policy Manager, DC ONA
Type:  Full-time
Supervisor:  Senior Director, National Affairs
Department:  Public Policy
Location:  Washington, DC
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 Manager reporting directly to the Senior Director of National Affairs.

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 at www.drugpolicy.org.

The Position

The Policy Manager will manage the department’s outreach and coalition-building efforts and help mobilize core constituencies, including faith leaders and African American community leaders. The Policy Manager will reach out to allies and potential allies who are working at the federal, state and local levels on issues that are aligned with DPA’s organizational priorities, and will work with these organizations and individuals to coordinate a national strategy to end the drug war.

Reporting to DPA’s Senior Director of National Affairs, the Policy Manager will be broadly responsible for:

  • Identifying states where DPA can work with local allies to impact drug policy issues;
  • Identifying organizations and individuals with whom DPA can work with to advance the cause of drug policy reform on a  national level;
  • Working with existing DPA allies to coordinate advocacy efforts on drug policy issues;
  • Serving as a convener and connector of various individuals and organizations working on drug policy reform on the federal, state or local level;
  • Coordinating and advancing select legislative campaigns;
  • Lobbying elected officials and their staff and representing DPA in legislative coalitions;
  • Researching, writing, and speaking on drug policy issues;
  • 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

Primary responsibilities include:

  • As a member of the Policy Team, be familiar with DPA’s national agenda, and identify allies whose work is or can be aligned with that agenda;
  • Serve as a liaison to allies, and facilitate the allies’ work in support of DPA’s national agenda, working to identify elected officials who need to be contacted by constituents, and providing support to allies’ lobbying efforts;
  • Work with Grants, Partnerships, and Special Projects Department to keep funded partners updated and active on national issues;
  • Build city-wide and state-wide coalitions in support of major reform;
  • Lobby local and state policymakers and their staff on legislation, regulations, and policy issues;
  • Identify and manage political consultants, where appropriate, to advance DPA’s drug policy reform agenda;
  • On behalf of DPA’s affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, Drug Policy Action, identify opportunities for political action in support of the organization’s mission, vision, and goals. 


The ideal candidate will have:

  • At least three-five years’ experience in public policy advocacy, community organizing, and/or political campaigns.
  • Track record of success in building coalitions in pursuit of a shared agenda to achieve concrete results.
  • Ability to build and cultivate relationships with people and organizations of various orientations and backgrounds.
  • A demonstrated passion for the issues DPA addresses.
  • Strong leadership abilities and experience managing complex advocacy projects.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and to be detail-oriented.
  • Excellent writing, speaking and analytic skills.
  • Advanced degree preferred but not required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor.

Terms of Employment

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


DPA offers a competitive salary, based on experience, and a benefits package including health, dental, long-term disability and life insurance; a generous 403(b) plan; and 25 days paid time off.


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: hr@drugpolicy.org.

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

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, DC ONA)
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 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.

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