Managing Director of Communications - New York, NY

Title:  Managing Director, Communications                   
Type:  Full-Time
Supervisor:  Executive Director
Location:  New York, NY
Last Day to Apply:  Applications will be accepted through September 29, 2017.

The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening for a Managing Director of our Communications department reporting directly to the Executive Director.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance is the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. We envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights; in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes against others; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Our mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug misuse and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

While we address the wide range of social, political, and economic issues touched by the war on drugs, nearly all of our efforts fall under three substantive issue areas: ending the criminalization of people who use, possess, or sell small amounts of drugs; replacing marijuana prohibition with a sensible system of regulation and taxation; and ensuring access to effective, evidence-based health interventions for people struggling with problems related to drug misuse. We approach this work with an emphasis on racial justice and supporting the communities most devastated by the war on drugs.

Over the last 15 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to a total of eight offices, 80 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $17 million, 25,000 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, please visit our website at

The Position

The Managing Director of Communications leads a comprehensive communications, marketing, media relations, and brand-management program to further both DPA’s drug policy reform agenda and its reputation as the leading drug policy reform organization.

The Managing Director of Communications serves on DPA’s management team, reports to the Executive Director, provides leadership to a talented staff of 14 professionals with expertise in media relations, web-based advocacy, social media, and publications and oversees a $2.3 million communications budget.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Articulate and unite DPA behind a strategic communications plan designed to promote DPA’s vision, mission and values
  • Design and manage issue-based campaigns, framing DPA’s agenda for multiple and diverse audiences
  • Cultivate and support DPA spokespeople, training staff on communications strategies, key messages, and use of materials
  • Ensure the use of effective, well-researched messages throughout the organization
  • Create and oversee DPA’s marketing and brand management strategy, ensuring consistency of messages, images, and materials
  • Manage online communications and ensure that DPA utilizes a cutting edge approach to social media and other emerging media channels and technologies
  • Oversee media relations to maximize exposure in print, broadcast, and online media channels
  • Manage the writing, design, production, and sale/distribution of all print and electronic publications and merchandise
  • Coordinate DPA’s representation at regional, national, and international conferences, symposia, and other events
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization
  • Manage and mentor communications staff and oversee budgets for all DPA communications functions
  • Coordinate closely with the Executive Director, the Development Director, and other staff to support DPA’s fundraising efforts


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Minimum of 10 years’ management experience in communications, public relations, or marketing with an effective, visible advocacy organization or public campaign
  • Demonstrated experience planning and executing major issue-based campaigns utilizing offline and online media channels, including social networks
  • Track record of success in creating effective strategies and messages
  • Experience with public opinion research
  • Experience generating media coverage for policy issues and a proven track record of packaging ideas and pitching and placing stories in local and national media outlets, including online venues
  • Experience in the creation of successful social media strategies and campaigns
  • Enthusiastic support for DPA’s agenda and a strong commitment to DPA’s mission and vision
  • Strong leadership abilities and experience managing senior staff and consultants
  • Strong budget management skills
  • Excellent writing, speaking, and analytic skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity, and a good sense of humor
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent educational attainment preferred

Terms of Employment

Preference is given to NYC candidates, however this position could be located in Oakland, California or Washington, DC. Some travel required.


DPA offers a competitive salary and 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 send a cover letter, résumé, and salary requirements to No phone calls, please. We will only contact candidates who are under consideration.

Please include the following in the subject line:  "Last Name, First Name – Managing Director, Communications”

Email submissions are preferred, but may also be submitted by mail to:

Devon Hutchins
Human Resources Manager
Re:  Managing Director of Communications
Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33th Street
15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation, or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.