Deputy Director, Office of National Affairs


Title:  Deputy Director, Office of National Affairs        
Type:  Full-time
Supervisor:  Director, Office of 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 in its Washington, DC office for a Deputy Director of National Affairs, to help lead its efforts to end the federal war on drugs.

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.

In the last 18 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 60 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, over 35,000 dues-paying members and nearly 275,000 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 Deputy Director of National Affairs in the Drug Policy Alliance’s Washington, DC Office manages the department’s legislative efforts to end the federal war on drugs. The Deputy Director reports to the Director of National Affairs and supervises a Policy Manager and Policy Associate.  Broad responsibilities include:

  • Managing the work of two legislative staffers;
  • Developing and managing strategies for advancing DPA’s federal legislative agenda, including lobbying congressional offices and building coalitions of organizations in support of reform;
  • Writing and speaking on DPA issues; and
  • Planning congressional briefings and other events.

Based in DPA’s Washington, DC office, the Deputy Director of National Affairs will be part of DPA’s Policy team.

Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities:

  • Manages and supervises the Policy Manager and the Policy Associate, including ensuring their responsibilities and job duties are fulfilled
  • Develops, implements, and manages strategies for advancing DPA’s legislative portfolio
  • Lobbies congressional staffers, Executive Branch staff and others on legislation and policy issues
  • Represents DPA at conferences and coalition meetings
  • Builds and maintains relationships with national organizations working on drug policy reform, criminal justice, civil rights, public health, and other issues
  • Manages DPA’s relationships with various DC-based advocacy coalitions
  • Plans congressional briefings and other events
  • Works with other organizations to get them to send out action alerts, lobby their members of Congress, and otherwise support DPA’s legislative goals
  • Researches and writes on key policy issues
  • Tracks, describes and reports on legislative and other program work
  • Speaks on drug policy reform issues at conferences and other events
  • Serves on the Policy Team which sets the organization’s short- and long-tern goals
  • Works with the Director of National Affairs to develop the department’s vision, strategy and short- and long-term goals


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Four to seven years experience in public policy advocacy, government relations or legislative affairs.
  • Strong leadership abilities and experience managing complex advocacy projects.
  • Excellent writing, speaking and analytic skills.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and to be detail-oriented.
  • Track record of success in building support for policy change, including coordinating legislative campaigns.
  • Ability to build and cultivate relationships with people and organizations of various orientations and backgrounds.
  • A demonstrated passion for issues DPA addresses.
  • 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 metro 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 [at] drugpolicy [dot] org.  Reference “Deputy Director of National Affairs” in the subject line – or by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re:  Deputy Director of National Affairs
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.  Please do not call.