Policy Associate - Denver, CO


Title:  Policy Associate
Type:  Full Time
Supervisor:  State Director, Colorado
Department: Public Policy
Location:  Denver, Colorado
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 Policy Associate reporting directly to the State Director, Colorado.

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 www.drugpolicy.org)

The Position

The CO Policy Associate leads our organizing efforts with individuals and organizational partners.  S/he works with the DPA CO State Director to ensure DPA is working as effectively as possible to meet statewide goals and objectives and assists with strategic planning for the office. This position works closely with various governmental commissions established to address drug policy and racial disparity. Outreach, education and mobilization of the community DPA serves are key elements of the work.  The job will require some travel across the state, and flexible work hours, including some weekend and evening hours.

Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Internet, library and legislative research, analysis, and writing on key policy issues for the office, specific initiatives, and coalitions
  • Collaboration with State Director to develop and implement campaigns
  • Monitoring implementation of relevant new laws and policies and coordinating unified response efforts with partners
  • Assisting with development of advocacy support materials for policymakers and advocacy partners, including briefing books, fact sheets, reports, letters, and information packets
  • Drafting web content, media stories, and press releases and writing letters to the editor, opinion editorial, and blog posts for the DPA Crafting communications for supporters and members including e-mail updates, alerts, and newsletter items
  • Co-manage the DPA-CO email database
  • Representing DPA in various public speaking roles including legislative testimony, media relations, and presentations  
  • Planning and assistance with facilitating various coalition meetings and communications
  • Assisting with Intern projects and guidance
  • Outreach to, and communication with, and cultivation of relationships with State Partners and other coalition partners, specifically the Public Health and Treatment communities
  • Participating within DPA on larger policy issue areas, task forces and special projects  
  • Assisting with events/conference planning/coordination and increasing DPA visibility within the State
  • Participating on local drug policy prevention, treatment, and harm reduction commissions and coalitions and taking leadership roles within these groups when necessary  
  • Performing administrative duties including answering phones, processing paperwork, photocopying, and assembling information packets
  • Supporting fundraising activities as necessary  
  • Occasional nights and weekends and some travel outside the office


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent research skills including experience with various web databases such as Westlaw
  • Proven writing skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability to organize and prioritize
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Direct experience with drug policy reform preferred; commitment to harm reduction philosophy and racial justice essential
  • High degree of proficiency with standard office applications such as Excel, Word and Outlook
  • Experience in community-based organizing or legislative advocacy preferred but not required
  • Degree in public policy/administration, public health, or related field a plus
  • A sense of humor essential

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the Denver area.  Telecommuting will not be considered.  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:  (Policy Associate, Colorado) in the subject line – or by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re:  (Policy Associate, Colorado)
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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