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Job Opportunities: Drug Policy Alliance, New York and New Mexico Offices

Ten years ago, Drug Policy Alliance opened an office in New Mexico, which has had a history of major legislative, and regulatory successes, including legal access to medical marijuana, overdose prevention and harm reduction measures, and a statewide drug education project. Current areas of focus include the implementation of medical marijuana legislation, alternatives to incarceration legislation, youth drug education, and marijuana policy.

The State Director, New Mexico reports to the Managing Director for Public Policy in DPA's New York headquarters office and serves as DPA's primary strategist in the Southwest. Based in Santa Fe, the New Mexico State Director manages the work of three employees. In addition, the New Mexico State Director works closely with allies on the ground in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest, and oversees the work of the agency's Santa Fe-based lobbyists.

The New Mexico State Director oversees DPA's legislative agenda, and works with allies in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest to advance DPA's vision and agenda. Primary responsibilities include developing and articulating a vision for New Mexico and the region that is consistent with the organization's overall mission, philosophy, and strategic approach; seeking out and identifying opportunities to promote DPA's core priorities in New Mexico and the Southwest; implementing strategies to achieve DPA's goals and objectives throughout the state and region, particularly among Hispanic/Latino and Native American communities; seeking out and identifying opportunities to "push the envelope" in discussions of drug policy in New Mexico and the Southwest; creating and maintaining solid relationships with diverse partners, including state agencies, community-based organizations, elected officials, and local DPA members; supervising DPA's legislative, advocacy and program efforts in New Mexico, both statewide and in local jurisdictions; contributing to DPA fundraising activities, both locally and nationally; enhancing DPA's fundraising capacity in the Southwest; serving as DPA spokesperson in the media and at community events, conferences, and other forums; supervising and mentoring professional staff, student interns, and volunteers; and contributing to DPA management, oversight, quality control and internal communications.

Specific qualifications include experience building and leading coalitions in pursuit of an activist agenda with measurable results; demonstrated leadership skills, including 5-7 years progressively senior experience in public policy, legislative and/or governmental affairs, political campaigns or ballot initiatives; criminal justice and/or public health experience preferred; enthusiasm and motivation to lead on cutting-edge issues; entrepreneurial outlook; demonstrated ability to work with diverse partners, including community-based organizations and community members/constituents; familiarity with drug policy desirable; commitment to harm reduction philosophy essential; familiarity with issues and concerns of Hispanic/Latino and Native American communities highly desirable; understanding of New Mexico and/or Southwest politics a plus; demonstrated fundraising success, including cultivation and solicitation of major donors, foundations, and government funders; strong analytic ability and superior communication skills, including writing and public speaking; advanced degree in public policy/administration, public health, law or related field preferred but not required; availability to work occasional evenings and weekends and to travel periodically throughout the state, region, and nationally; fluency in Spanish a plus.

The ideal candidate will be a creative, entrepreneurial, self-motivated and collegial advocate who thinks conceptually and strategically. This is an organization that encourages initiative, and the successful candidate must be a self-starter and a risk taker, with a high degree of confidence and energy. Excellent interpersonal skills and a passion for social justice that includes fair and equitable drug policies are essential for success.

This position offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, as well as an excellent 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. Please submit a cover letter with your resume and salary requirements by email to [email protected]. Reference (State Director, New Mexico) in the subject line, or by mail to: Human Resources Manager, RE: (State Director, New Mexico), Drug Policy Alliance, 70 West 36th Street, 16th Floor, New York, New York 10018. All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.

The National Organizing and Field Director will oversee DPA's organizing efforts among drug policy reform organizations around the country, particularly in states where DPA does not have offices or staff. The Director will reach out to allies and potential allies who are working at the federal, state and local levels on issues that are aligned with DPA's organizational priorities, and will work with these organizations and individuals to coordinate a national strategy to end the drug war.

Reporting to DPA's Managing Director for Public Policy, and working closely with DPA's Policy Staff and Grants Program Director, the National Organizing and Field Director will be broadly responsible for identifying the states where DPA can work with local partners to impact drug policy issues; identifying organizations and individuals with whom DPA can partner to advance the cause of drug policy reform on a national level; working with existing DPA partners to coordinate advocacy efforts on drug policy issues; serving as a convener and connector of various individuals and organizations working on drug policy reform on the federal, state or local level; providing policy and/or communications support to DPA's partners to help them advocate more effectively; and working with DPA policy staff to maximize the effectiveness of DPA's partnerships in DPA states.

Based in DPA's New York City headquarters, the National Organizing and Field Director will be part of DPA's Policy team. Primary responsibilities include being familiar with DPA's national agenda and identifying allies whose work is or can be aligned with that agenda; working with the Grants Program Director and the Staff Grants Committee to bring the grants program in line with DPA's national goals, and identifying areas where the grants program can add capacity to DPA's national efforts; convening allies regularly by phone and in person, to discuss national drug policy issues, keeping the allies up to date on DPA's national efforts, and discussing how local and national efforts can be aligned and maximized; serving as a liaison between DPA's Office of National Affairs and allies, and facilitating the allies' work in support of DPA's federal agenda, working with ONA to identify federal elected officials who need to be contacted by constituents, and providing support to allies' federal lobbying efforts; serving as the liaison between the allies and DPA's media team, helping allies to align their local media efforts with DPA's national media efforts, and providing support and media training where appropriate; working with the State Policy Directors to maximize their ability to effectively partner with allies in support of local work in DPA state; providing training and capacity-building for allies; working with the Grants Program Director to provide training and capacity-building for DPA grantees where appropriate; identifying and working with contractors, where appropriate, to advance DPA's drug policy reform agenda; on behalf of DPA's affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, Drug Policy Alliance Network (DPA Network), identifying opportunities for political action in support of the organization's mission, vision, and goals; and keeping the Policy team apprised of the work of allies around the country, and aware of opportunities for collaboration.

The ideal candidate will have five-ten years experience in public policy advocacy, community organizing, and/or political campaigns; a track record of success in building coalitions in pursuit of a shared agenda to achieve concrete results; the ability to build and cultivate relationships with people and organizations of various orientations and backgrounds; a demonstrated passion for social justice and commitment to the issues DPA addresses; strong leadership abilities and experience managing complex advocacy projects; the ability to be a self-starter and to be detail-oriented; excellent writing, speaking and analytic skills; an advanced degree preferred but not required; and strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor.

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. Please submit a cover letter with your resume and salary requirements by email to [email protected]. Reference (National Organizing and Field Director) in the subject line, or by mail to: Lina Mingoia, Human Resources Manager, Re: (National Organizing and Field Director), Drug Policy Alliance, 70 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018. All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.

Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. DPA is particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs. Visit to learn more about the organization.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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