Policy Coordinator, New York

Title:  Policy Coordinator, New York
Type:  Full-time
Supervisor:  State Director, NY
Department:  New York Policy
Location:  New York, New York
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 Coordinator reporting directly to the State Director of New York.

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 Coordinator, New York plays a key leadership role in the development and implementation of public policy initiatives and advocacy campaigns. These initiatives and campaigns, developed in conjunction with the State Director and Deputy State Director, are pursued largely at the state and municipal levels, occasionally at the federal level, and always with an eye towards broader movement-building goals. Based in DPA's New York Policy Office, the Policy Coordinator is broadly responsible for advancing DPA’s goals and objectives in New York through responsible organizing, effective advocacy and strategic communications.

The Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate understands that the war on drugs is the New Jim Crow, driving deep structural racial inequities, and is profoundly committed to building a broad-based movement to end it. You believe deeply in responsible organizing and advocacy for equity, justice and human rights and want to be part of a dynamic team dedicated to transforming New York’s approach to drug policy.

Primary Responsibilities

The Policy Coordinator is responsible for:

  • Collaborating with senior staff to develop and implement reform campaigns, including leading outreach and relationship cultivation efforts
  • Researching, analyzing, summarizing and, at times, drafting proposed legislation for state and municipal legislative bodies
  • Educating and lobbying elected officials and staff on legislation and policy issues
  • Monitoring implementation of relevant new laws and policies and, where necessary, coordinating implementation activities with stakeholders
  • Closely collaborating with State Partners, including grassroots community organizing groups, to advance reform campaigns and broader movement-building objectives
  • Researching policy issues and writing memos, fact sheets, reports, letters, and articles on drug policy reform topics
  • Identifying, and, when necessary, developing potential leaders
  • Planning and facilitating coalition meetings as needed
  • Representing DPA in public speaking roles, including media, speeches, presentations, and legislative testimony
  • Drafting email alerts, maintaining web page content, and participating on social media platforms
  • Writing media stories, including press releases, opinion editorials, and letters to the editor
  • Coordinating community engagement efforts and other events, including community consultations, press conferences, public forums, and public speaking events
  • Co-managing office internship program, including selecting and supervising one or more interns to achieve goals as agreed with the State Director
  • Supporting fundraising activities when necessary
  • Co-managing the office database
  • Assuming a leadership role within DPA on larger policy issues, and participating in organization-wide activities such as policy issues teams, DPA's bi-annual conference, national reform advocacy

Required Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will have:

  • At least three years demonstrated leadership experience in community or labor organizing campaigns (including online campaigns) and/or legislative reform campaigns
  • Outstanding communication skills; excellent writing ability is a significant plus
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to operate as a self-starter
  • Ability to build and cultivate relationships with people and organizations of various orientations, backgrounds and perspectives
  • Commitment to harm reduction philosophy, equity and racial justice
  • Ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines, and demonstrate patience in the face of changing circumstances
  • Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends and to travel periodically throughout NY and nationally
  • Ability to manage, organize and prioritize multiple tasks
  • A sense of humor and openness to honest self-reflection

Preferred (but not required) Qualifications

  • Direct experience with drug policy reform
  • Working knowledge of the legislative processes
  • Knowledge of different social change methodologies and practices
  • High degree of proficiency with standard office applications such as Excel, Word, and Outlook required; proficiency is social media platforms (e.g., twitter, Facebook, blogs, Reddit)
  • Graduate degree in public policy/administration, public health, social work, law or related field
  • Spanish language proficiency

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the New York Metropolitan 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.  Please include in the subject line the following:  "First Name, Last Name – Policy Coordinator, NY”

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 Coordinator, NY)
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