Jill Harris, Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives
Jill Harris is managing director of strategic initiatives, based in New York. In that capacity she leads the movement building team to promote drug policy reform around the country in collaboration with national and state-based allies.
Before joining DPA, Harris worked as a political campaign manager and was the early vote director for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in Ohio. She also spent 13 years as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in New York City, including two years as the attorney in charge of the Manhattan Criminal Defense Division, the country's largest public defender office. At the height of the AIDS crisis, she defended a group of ACT UP activists charged with a crime for distributing clean needles to drug users. All the activists were acquitted based on a defense of necessity.
Harris is originally from Eugene, Oregon, and is a graduate of Harvard University and the New York University School of Law.