Policy Manager - Washington, DC


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

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 Policy Manager in the Drug Policy Alliance’s Washington, DC office reports to the Deputy Director of National Affairs and works with DPA staff to end the federal war on drugs. The Policy Manager will be part of DPA’s Policy team.

Broad Responsibilities Include:

  • Formulating and managing legislative and other policy initiatives, both within Congress and Executive Branch agencies;
  • Analyzing legislation related to the federal drug war;
  • Meeting with and influencing staff for Congress, the Administration and NGOs

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Lobbies congressional staffers and Members of Congress, federal agencies and the White House to reform U.S. drug laws;
  • Identifies opportunities and develops strategies for undoing existing, and prevent the creation of, policies that perpetuate the war on drugs;
  • Assembles coalitions and coordinates legislative campaigns to advance DPA’s approach to U.S. drug policy;
  • Reports on the status of legislation, congressional debates, and the efforts of other organizations to impact drug-related policies;
  • Prepares and edits fact sheets, backgrounders, and other lobbying and education materials;
  • Represents DPA at conferences and coalition meetings;
  • Speaks on drug policy reform issues at conferences and other events;
  • Serves on the Policy Team which sets the organization’s short- and long-term goals;
  • Plans congressional briefings and other special events;
  • Assists DPA staff with special events and projects;
  • Performs other duties as required


The ideal candidate will have:

  • At least four years’ experience in public policy advocacy, government relations or legislative affairs;
  • Excellent writing, speaking and analytic skills;
  • Ability to analyze legislation and related-policy matters;
  • Ability to be a self-starter and to be detail-oriented;
  • Track record of success in building support for policy change;
  • 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 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 Manager, DC-ONA) in the subject line – or by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re:  (Policy Manager, DC-ONA)

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.