NEW YORK — The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization promoting alternatives to the war on drugs, has appointed Lynne Lyman California state director. Lyman will oversee DPA’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices and provide oversight, strategy and direction for DPA’s California-based efforts on criminal justice reform, harm reduction and marijuana law reform. DPA fights for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights and seeks to promote dialogue on cutting-edge drug policy issues around the country. Headquartered in New York City, DPA maintains offices in California, Colorado, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. DPA also operates an advocacy grants program that promotes policy change and advances drug policy reform at the local, state, and national levels.
“We are very lucky to have Lynne join our wonderful team and lead DPA’s work in California,” said Stephen Gutwillig, DPA’s deputy executive director for programs. “She brings substantial experience in policy development inside and outside government, leadership on myriad political campaigns and an unmatched commitment to our drug policy reform agenda. DPA’s next phase of advocacy in the Golden State is in good hands.”
Lyman joins DPA from the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization, where she focused on issues of violence reduction, criminal justice reform and community policing. A native of Los Angeles, Lyman recently spent six years working in Boston in criminal justice positions within state and city government, and as consultant to community and faith based organizations seeking to address social problems relating to street violence, racial justice and juvenile justice system reform.
In the 1990s, Lyman worked in California as an aide to members of Congress, the state legislature and the L.A. City Council, in addition to managing political campaigns for numerous politicians in the Los Angeles area. Lyman received her M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Criminal Justice and Leadership, and her B.A. in political science from UC Berkeley.
“I am thrilled to be joining an organization that is working to end the war on drugs and advances policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition,” said Lyman. “The war on drugs has had a devastating effect on young people and communities of color, arresting, incarcerating, and disenfranchising millions of people in this country while setting the conditions for tens of thousands of drug-market related deaths in Mexico and throughout the Americas. As a critical policy player among states, and our geographic significance, California is poised to lead on this defining issue of our times.”