Skip to main content

Job Opportunity: Policy Associate, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, DC

Submitted by David Borden on (Issue #705)


The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening in its Washington, DC office for an entry-level Policy Associate to assist DPA's federal legislative campaigns.

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 seven offices, 42 staff, an annual operating budget of $9 million, 26,000 dues-paying members and over 100,000 online subscribers. It has a growing track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and is increasingly visible in prominent media and policy circles. (For more information, see

The Position

The Policy Associate 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. Broad responsibilities include:

  • Tracking legislation, and executive branch policies;
  • Researching issues and developing fact sheets, sign-on letters and other materials; and
  • Assisting ONA staff in setting up meetings and other tasks.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Uses CQ, Thomas, U.S. House and Senate websites, and other services to track the status of drug-related federal legislation and hearings; keeps colleagues, NGO contacts and others informed of the status and meaning of important bills and hearings
  • Drafts fact sheets, sign-on letters and other lobbying materials;
  • Researches policy issues
  • Sets up congressional and NGO meetings for staff, plans events, and assists staff in administrative duties
  • Maintains congressional, NGO, media, sign-on letter and other databases
  • Coordinates legislative phone banking and delivery of DPA communiques and drop offs
  • Attends and reports on NGO briefings and committee hearings and marks-ups
  • Evaluates and recommends various legislative services, such as bill tracking systems, advocacy tools, and fax broadcasting
  • Participates in coalition meetings and lobbying meetings regarding current legislative campaigns
  • Perform other duties as required.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent writing, analytic, and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to comprehensively work under pressure, meeting quick deadlines while juggling multiple projects.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and to be extremely detail-oriented.
  • Ability to build and cultivate relationships with people and organizations of various orientations and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, and commitment to, issues DPA addresses.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor.
  • Experience with or knowledge of federal legislative process encouraged, but not 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 [email protected].  Reference (Legislative Associate) in the subject line – or by mail to: Lina Mingoia, Human Resources Manager, Re: (National Field Director), Drug Policy Alliance, 70 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018.

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.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.