Manager/Director – Drug Markets and Legal Regulation Drug Policy Alliance New York,

Salary $70,000 – $110,000 a year
Job Type Full-time

Full Job Description

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the leading organization in the U.S. promoting alternatives to the war on drugs. We envision a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights; in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies; and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more.

We have played a pivotal role in transforming the national conversation about drug policy. We heightened conversations at the federal and state level around the role of race in shaping drug policy and moved vital issues – like legalizing cannabis, ending mass incarceration, and prioritizing health and harm reduction responses to the overdose crisis – from the fringes of U.S. politics to the mainstream.

We are ambitious risk takers and unrelenting advocates with radical imaginations, fighting to change hearts and minds and build a world that centers justice, communities, and dignity. With more than 35 staff in New York, California, New Mexico, and Washington, DC, we have an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, 12,000 dues-paying members and 170,000 active online subscribers.


The Position

The Manager or Director (depending on skills/experience), Drug Markets and Legal Regulation (DMLR) is tasked with leading internal processes to generate DPA’s drug market and legal regulation reform strategy to guide DPA’s efforts in the field and is responsible for developing and executing organization-wide policy advocacy and other campaigns to advance DPA’s goals and objectives relating to people who sell drugs and replacing prohibition with a regulatory system grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights.

The Manager/Director reports to DPA’s Managing Director of Policy (MDP) and is part of DPA’s national policy team. The Manager/Director of DMLR is responsible for collaborating with the MDP and other senior policy colleagues in establishing DPA’s DMLR policy and advocacy priorities; reviewing and crafting legislation and ballot initiatives related to people who sell drugs and drug legalization and regulation (particularly legal access to cannabis, psychedelics, and safe supply of opioids); devising and outlining reform campaigns that advance the organization’s DMLR goals and objectives; managing cross-departmental teams to execute DMLR campaigns; ensuring that DMLR campaigns across the organization are strategic, coordinated, and maximally efficient; coordinating DPA’s DMLR campaign efforts with the organization’s communications and development activities.


Primary Responsibilities

Working in close collaboration with the Managing Directors of Policy, Legal Affairs, and Research and Academic Engagement,

  • Generating organizational DMLR strategy to guide DPA’s efforts in the field;
  • Executing organization-wide policy advocacy campaigns;
  • On behalf of both DPA and DPA’s affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, Drug Policy Action, recommending national DMLR advocacy and political action campaigns including legislative, regulatory, ballot initiative, electoral, and systems-change, developing and outlining campaign plans and budgets, and managing internal cross-functional teams as well as lobbyists, funded partners, consultants, and other allies in execution of the campaign plans;
  • Drafting, reviewing, and analyzing DMLR legislation and identifying and tracking DMLR legislative and other policy developments;
  • Serving as one of DPA’s primary subject matter experts on DMLR-related issues;
  • Ensuring that public policy and advocacy efforts in DPA’s resident state and federal offices are complementary, maximally efficient, and consistent with the organization’s national goals and campaigns relating to DMLR;
  • Identifying emerging opportunities to advance DPA’s DMLR agenda;
  • Developing relationships with and representing DPA in coalition with our national allies and at national conferences and meetings and serving as a convener and connector of various individuals and organizations working on DMLR on the federal, state or local level;
  • Convening all manner of public and remote events and educational opportunities in furtherance of DPA’s DMLR goals;
  • Maintaining high visibility in public policy arenas and in the lay/professional press through writing and speaking to the media and identifying opportunities for colleagues to play those roles;
  • Partnering with DPA’s Communications department to create and disseminate consistent DMLR campaign messaging and helping to ensure that policy staff adhere to DMLR campaign messaging priorities and practices;
  • Partnering with DPA’s Development department and Executive Director to identify, cultivate and maintain key major donor relationships;
  • Work with the Director, Grants and Partnership to bring the grants program in line with DPA’s national DMLR goals, and identify areas where the grants program can add capacity to DPA’s DMLR national efforts;
  • Managing, mentoring and training staff, funded partners, and key allies working on DMLR issues;
  • Bringing a strong political analysis to the work;
  • Working to ensure DPA’s work has a strong intersectional analysis re: race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability and age.



The ideal candidate will have:

  • Five years’ experience (manager) to eight to ten years’ experience (director) in public policy advocacy and/or legislative drafting, preferably with an effective, visible advocacy organization or public campaigns;
  • Knowledge and expertise in the arena of drug legalization and regulation;
  • Excellent legislative drafting skills, ability to analyze complex legislation and regulations;
  • Track record of success in creating and implementing successful strategies to promote social change as well as in building coalitions in pursuit of a shared agenda to achieve concrete results;
  • A demonstrated passion for racial and social justice and commitment to the issues DPA addresses;
  • Strong leadership abilities and experience managing complex advocacy projects as well as staff and consultants;
  • Excellent writing, speaking and analytic skills; the ability to explain and interpret complex issues to the media and general public; a proven track record of successful interactions with the media;
  • Ability to be a self-starter, juggle multiple competing projects and priorities simultaneously, work both autonomously and within cross-functional teams, and to be detail-oriented.
  • Juris Doctor degree strongly preferred but not required;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor.


Terms of Employment:

Currently all DPA staff members are working remotely, with NYC staff members expected to return to the NY office in early 2022.


The salary range for this role is $70,000 – $110,000 annually. DPA’s benefits package includes health, dental, long-term disability and life insurance; a generous 403(b) plan; and 25 days paid time off.

Application Process

Applicants must send a cover letter and resume to

Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

No phone calls, please. We will only contact candidates who are under consideration.

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation, or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.


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