Policy Coordinator, New Mexico


Title: Policy Coordinator, New Mexico
Type: Grant Funded Until May 31, 2015
Supervisor: State Director, New Mexico
Department: Public Policy
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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 Coordinator, New Mexico reporting directly to the State Director, New Mexico.

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 Positiion

The Policy Coordinator, Drug Policy Alliance of New Mexico, assists in the development and implementation of public policy initiatives and issue advocacy campaigns.  These initiatives and campaigns are pursued largely at the state level, and occasionally the federal or local level.   Based in DPA’s New Mexico office and reporting directly to the State Director, New Mexico, the Policy Coordinator will be part of DPA’s Policy team and is broadly responsible for:

  • working with DPANM State Director to maximize the effectiveness of DPA’s drug policy agenda in New Mexico
  • identifying organizations and individuals with whom DPA can partner to advance the cause of drug policy reform on a statewide and local level
  • working with existing DPA partners to coordinate advocacy efforts on drug policy issues
  • assist in implementing a pre-booking diversion/LEAD program
  • assist with implementing and analyzing a supervised injection facility user survey
  • assist with legislative efforts including LEAD, drug sentencing reform, harm reduction (including overdose prevention, 911 advocacy and access to naloxone), and asset forfeiture.

Primary Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Assist in targeted advocacy campaigns, aggressive social media strategies, and coordinated civic engagement efforts;
  • Develop and implement effective issue campaign plans;
  • Research policy issues and write memoranda, fact sheets, reports, letters, and articles on drug policy reform topics;
  • Research, analyze, and draft proposed legislation;
  • During legislative session, provide intensive Capitol and office support as requested by Director, including grassroots and direct lobbying;
  • Plan and facilitate coalition meetings as designated;
  • Represent DPA in public speaking roles, including media, speeches, presentations, and legislative testimony;
  • Represent DPA NM at meetings and exhibit at conferences;
  • Write media stories, including press releases, opinion editorials, and letters to the editor and conduct media interviews when appropriate;
  • Manage special projects, including statewide candidate questionnaire and border drug policy projects;
  • Coordinate events, including press conferences, public forums, and public speaking events;
  • Assume greater leadership role within DPA on larger policy issues;
  • Plan and provide content for national conferences;
  • Support the Director with fundraising activities when appropriate;
  • Respond to inquiries from allies
  • Basic office responsibilities (answering the phone, directing calls, taking messages, filing, email, etc);
  • Some travel statewide and some national travel for conferences;
  • Participating in organization-wide activities such as policy issues teams, DPA’s bi-annual conference, national reform advocacy, and strategic planning


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Direct experience with drug policy reform is preferred; commitment to harm reduction philosophy essential.
  • Experience in community-based organizing, policy development, advocacy, or policy analysis is a plus.
  • College degree in public policy/administration, public health, sociology, or related field preferred but not required.
  • Knowledge of campaign techniques, strategies, and practices to help place campaigns on the local and national stage.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor.
  • Working knowledge of the state’s political environment.
  • Must excel at working in team environment.
  • Strong research skills and analytic ability.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, organize and prioritize, with excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and to be detail-oriented.
  • Public relations and social media experience.
  • High degree of proficiency with standard office applications such as Excel, Word, Outlook, and Internet web browsers.
  • Spanish-speaking a plus.
  • Ability to handle stress, work under pressure, and meet deadlines.

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the New Mexico 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: (Policy Coordinator, NM) in the subject line – or by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re:  (Policy Coordinator, New Mexico)
Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33rd 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.