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Job Opportunities: Deputy Directors, Program & External Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization promoting alternatives to the drug war that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Together with its allies and supporters, DPA advances policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition and seeks solutions that promote safety while upholding the sovereignty of individuals over their own minds and bodies. DPA works to ensure that the United States' drug policies no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions -- particularly young people and people of color who are disproportionately affected by the drug war.

DPA actively engages in legislative and ballot initiative campaigns as well as public education to advance its objectives of rolling back the excesses of the drug war and promoting sensible drug policy reforms. Our work to date has resulted in significant reductions in incarceration, expanded access to drug treatment and harm reduction programs, and legalization of medical marijuana in many states. Current priorities include ending marijuana prohibition, significantly reducing criminal penalties and incarceration for drug law violations, integrating harm reduction principles and policies into local, state, national and international drug control policies, and stimulating broader and more informed debate about alternatives to punitive, prohibitionist drug policies.

DPA also operates an advocacy grants program that seeks to promote policy change and advance drug policy reform at the local, state, and national levels. The grants program awards both annual and "rapid response" grants to organizations working for reform.

DPA's work is performed by the Drug Policy Alliance, a 501(c)(3) organization, and Drug Policy Action, a 501(c)(4) organization. DPA has an annual operating budget of approximately $10 million. Currently 45 staff members work in DPA's headquarters in New York City as well as in California, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington, DC. DPA is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors.

Deputy Director, Programs:

In this newly created role, the Deputy Director, Programs, reporting to the Executive Director, will work with the Executive Director, board and staff to develop and implement DPA's vision and strategic direction and ensure that its work is innovative, high-impact and strategically focused. S/he will be a thoughtful, creative and dynamic leader and manager who excels at leading a talented and engaged team.

The Deputy Director, Programs will supervise seven direct reports, including the Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives, Director of National Affairs, Director of Legal Affairs, and the California, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York State Directors. It is anticipated that s/he will devote 40% of her/his time to the supervision of a dedicated and professional staff of 26, 30% to external relations and outreach, and 30% to senior management team responsibilities.

During the first twelve months of employment, the Deputy Director, Programs will be expected to:

  • Thoroughly immerse herself/himself in DPA -- its history, mission, philosophy, programs, structure and operations, finances, constituencies, organizational culture and values, and potential;
  • Establish a solid working partnership with DPA's Executive Director in order to bring forth his best ideas and efforts, gain his support, and undertake special projects at his behest;
  • Begin to develop and leverage relationships with key opinion leaders -- including partner organizations, non-profit leaders, and government and elected officials -- among diverse communities including and beyond drug policy reform supporters; involve DPA colleagues in external relationship building as appropriate;
  • Get to know DPA's staff, understand their programs thoroughly, work collaboratively with them in order to bring forth their best ideas and efforts; serve as a sounding board and act as a liaison between staff and the Executive Director;
  • Get to know members of the Board of Directors, Honorary Board of Directors and other key DPA stakeholders; use their talents, resources and ideas to enhance public policy activities; encourage their ongoing participation;
  • Provide oversight and continuity for DPA's current public policy programs;
  • Become an effective spokesperson for DPA, increasing awareness of DPA's mission and work and broadening the organization's reputation and visibility among policymakers, media, funders and other constituencies.

On an ongoing basis, the Deputy Director, Programs will be expected to:

Management:

  • Provide oversight, strategy, and direction for DPA's public policy program;
  • Serve as a strategic partner with and senior advisor to the Executive Director;
  • Serve as a key member of DPA's senior management team, participating in the development and implementation of policies, strategy, short- and long-term planning, and financial and operational goals and objectives;
  • Lead the public policy program in a fiscally sound manner; develop organizational budgets in tandem with the Managing Director of Finance and Administration; approve and monitor program expenses; ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to support DPA's goals;
  • Supervise, coach, mentor and evaluate senior public policy managers; work closely with senior managers to ensure the flow of relevant information and encourage effective coordination between and among teams; recruit, train, support and work to retain a diverse, engaged, and talented staff; identify and develop professional growth opportunities for staff.

Program:

  • In partnership with the Executive Director and public policy staff, lead efforts to identify public policy priorities and facilitate decision making;
  • Work with staff to ensure that DPA remains at the cutting edge of drug policy reform work, ensure consistent high-quality and maximum impact for DPA's work;
  • Develop and plan special/new initiatives and projects;
  • Work with program directors and the communications department to plan and coordinate DPA's participation in public forums, among national coalition partners, at national and international conferences, and in the media; engage consistently with a range of external audiences to promote DPA's agenda;
  • Collaborate as appropriate with the development department to assist with raising funds to suport DPA's public policy work;

Ideally, the Deputy Director should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least 10 years of experience managing and leading people with an emphasis on organizational development; ability to connect to staff, both on an individual level and in groups; capacity to ensure accountability and to develop and empower top-notch leaders; experience in managing change is desirable;
  • Extensive experience at the national or local level in policy development, including leading policy development and advocacy coalitions; demonstrated substantive strength in one or more key areas of DPA's work is desired;
  • Proven ability to lead and engage in strategic planning processes; able to think critically, objectively, analytically, and strategically and to set priorities; a successful track record of initiating and fostering the growth of programs, projects and/or organizations;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; well-developed public speaking skills are a plus;
  • Credibility and experience to connect DPA to resources and opportunities outside the organization;
  • A Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement; a law degree or advanced degree in a relevant discipline is preferred.

Ideally, the Deputy Director will be:

  • Committed to the values that inform DPA's work; a catalyst with vision who can create excitement and energy around DPA's programs and encourage others to support the goals of the organization;
  • Persuasive, persistent, and creative in the pursuit of DPA's goals; strategic and resourceful;
  • An outstanding relationship builder with the integrity, maturity, confidence, wisdom, patience, flexibility, creativity and the problem-solving skills necessary to gain the trust and confidence of DPA's staff, board, funders, and other constituencies;
  • A team builder; able to delegate and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; one who inspires collaboration, functions decisively, and treats people fairly; one who understands the subtleties of motivating, directing and working with diverse, strong, independent personalities and work styles;
  • Savvy, and able to help staff advance their goals and maximize their contributions in a challenging organizational climate; able to manage complex decision-making processes and negotiate organizational change; diplomatic;
  • A highly skilled communicator and a keen listener;
  • Emotionally mature and self-confident, with a sense of humor.

Deputy Director, External Affairs

In this newly created role, the Deputy Director, External Affairs, will provide the leadership, strategic direction, management and coordination for expanding DPA's fundraising and outreach to new and emerging constituencies. Reporting to the Executive Director, and in partnership with staff, board, and key volunteers, the Deputy Director will create and implement fundraising and outreach strategies that increase the organization's financial resources and broaden support for DPA's work among existing and new audiences, including and beyond drug policy reform stakeholders.

The Deputy Director, External Affairs will be broadly responsible for coordinating fundraising, outreach and communications activities throughout the organization; direct supervision of the Managing Director, Communications and the Managing Director, Development; and oversight of a dedicated and professional team of 14. It is anticipated that s/he will devote 60% of her/his time to development, 30% to communications and
outreach, and 10% to senior management team responsibilities.

During the first twelve months of employment, the Deputy Director will be expected to:

  • Thoroughly immerse herself/himself in DPA -- its history, mission, philosophy, programs, structure and operations, finances, constituencies, organizational culture and values, and potential;
  • Establish a solid working partnership with DPA's Executive Director and undertake special projects at his behest;
  • Establish a solid supervisory and mentoring relationship with the Managing Directors of Development and Communications;
  • Begin to develop and leverage relationships with key opinion leaders -- including business, academic, and non-profit leaders, government officials, and celebrities -- among diverse communities including and beyond drug policy reform supporters; and involve DPA colleagues and board members in external relationship building as appropriate;
  • Get to know DPA colleagues and programs, and collaborate with them to inform fundraising, outreach and communications strategies;
  • Get to know members of the Board of Directors, Honorary Board of Directors and other key DPA stakeholders; use their talents, resources and ideas to enhance fundraising activities; and encourage their ongoing participation as donors and solicitors;
  • Become an effective spokesperson for DPA, increasing awareness of DPA's mission and work and broadening the organization's reputation and visibility among policymakers, media, funders and other constituencies.

On an ongoing basis, the Deputy Director, External Affairs will be expected to:

Management:

  • Serve as a strategic partner with and senior advisor to the Executive Director and play a leading role on DPA's senior management team, participating in the development and implementation of policies, strategy, planning and financial and operational goals and objectives;
  • Lead the development and communications departments in a fiscally sound manner; develop organizational budgets in tandem with the Managing Director of Finance and Administration; approve and monitor program expenses; and ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to support DPA's goals;
  • Supervise, coach, mentor and evaluate senior colleagues; work closely with senior managers to ensure the flow of relevant information and encourage effective coordination between and among teams; work with managing directors to recruit, train, support and work to retain a diverse, engaged and talented staff; and identify and develop professional growth opportunities for staff.

Fundraising:

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, board and staff, provide the leadership, strategic direction, management and coordination for expanding DPA's fundraising efforts;
  • Maintain a proactive, creative leadership role in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of individual and institutional donors; cultivate and directly solicit key donors, working with the Executive Director, key staff, and Board, as appropriate;
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with the philanthropic community and individual donors; serve as a visible spokesperson and advocate for DPA's mission and programs in the funding community;
  • Prepare the annual fundraising plan in collaboration with the Executive Director and the development team for presentation to the Board of Directors; provide detailed reports about fundraising progress to the Executive Director and the Board on a regular basis;
  • Mentor development staff on fundraising practices and professional development;.
  • Provide management oversight of development staff.

Communications:

  • Oversee all external communications about DPA's mission, programs, activities, and results;
  • Leverage DPA's visibility, reputation and influence in diverse high-profile academic, cultural, scientific and political settings by maximizing exposure of the Executive Director, DPA staff, and DPA messages among key constituencies beyond the growing drug policy reform community.
  • Oversee continued integration of communications and development efforts to ensure consistency of message.
  • Represent the Executive Director and DPA generally in public forums, among national coalition partners, at national and international conferences, and in the media.
  • In partnership with staff, capitalize on the existing success of and further develop DPA's reputation and credibility as a resource among key local, national and international media;

The ideal candidate will have the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least ten years of proven, successful experience building and expanding complex fundraising and communications initiatives in a sophisticated organization with a reputation for quality and excellence, ideally with extensive major gifts expertise;
  • A successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual donors and institutions for support; experience with social justice fundraising is desirable;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including board and staff members, donors, civic leaders, policymakers and members of the media;
  • A track record as an effective communicator; Highly skilled in writing and speaking, with the ability to communicate DPA's mission and interests to diverse audiences;

Ideally, the Deputy Director, External Affairs will be:

  • Committed to the values that inform DPA's work; a catalyst with vision who can create excitement and energy around DPA's programs and encourage others to support the goals of the organization;
  • Persuasive, persistent, and creative in the pursuit of DPA's goals; strategic and resourceful;
  • An outstanding relationship builder with the integrity, maturity, confidence, wisdom, patience, flexibility, creativity and problem-solving skills necessary to gain the trust and confidence of DPA's staff, board, funders, and other constituencies;
  • A team builder; able to delegate and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; one who inspires collaboration, functions decisively, and treats people fairly; one who understands the subtleties of motivating, directing and working with diverse, strong, independent personalities and work styles;
  • Savvy, and able to help staff advance their goals and maximize their contributions in a challenging organizational climate; able to manage complex decision-making processes and negotiate organizational change; diplomatic;
  • A detail oriented self-starter and finisher;
  • Emotionally mature and self-confident, with a sense of humor.

To learn more about the Drug Policy Alliance, please visit www.drugpolicy.org.

To apply for the position, please submit a substantive cover letter and current resume to Lauren I. Gumbs, Senior Partner, Gumbs + Partners, [email protected].

The Drug Policy Alliance is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, socio-economic status, marital or veteran status, or sexual orientation.

New York, NY
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Downturn

Reading this article was so depressing that I was actually thinking about going back to bed.Then I thought about the total collapse of the world economy and came to an epiphany.There is just no money to be wasted chasing drug addicts and other miscreants.If there was ever a time for a sober re-look at the wasteful drug prohibition policies of the past it is now.Unless the private prison industry can convince people that it is good for the economy to put people in prison at 35-45,000 a year.If we in the drug reform movement fail to make the case that it is far less expensive to use harm reduction and treatment on demand.We will have missed our best chance in the history of drug prohibition to show the futility of that approach.This should be a good year if we take the initiative.This comment was meant for the article on the political agenda for 2012 and wound up below Dave's article by error.Just thought I should mention that for anyone that might read it.

DPA writes BAD marijuana laws--STOP THE ASSULT, DPA!

DPA has written most of the BAD mmj laws passed nationwide over the last 14 years.  The language that is being overturned and mutilated across the nation, putting sick and dying patients and caregivers at risk.  STOP writing shitty marijuana laws, yourselves.  A20 is currently being stomped out of the Colorado Constitution.  Patients and caregivers are being arrested, losing their jobs and children.  Why are you guys not paying for the lawsuits out here that will clarify your shitty grey language in our constitution?  Why did you not correct your language in 1997 BEFORE it was passed?  DPA owes the voters of Colorado and Montana, Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and NJ $ so we can START FIGHTING for the rights we though we had, but were written so poorly we have none. Kick down the money DPA, you've reeked havoc all over the nation.  Your language is the reasons thousands of patients and providers are being arrested. 

DPA writes BAD marijuana laws--STOP THE ASSULT, DPA!

DPA has written most of the BAD mmj laws passed nationwide over the last 14 years.  The language that is being overturned and mutilated across the nation, putting sick and dying patients and caregivers at risk.  STOP writing shitty marijuana laws, yourselves.  A20 is currently being stomped out of the Colorado Constitution.  Patients and caregivers are being arrested, losing their jobs and children.  Why are you guys not paying for the lawsuits out here that will clarify your shitty grey language in our constitution?  Why did you not correct your language in 1997 BEFORE it was passed?  DPA owes the voters of Colorado and Montana, Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and NJ $ so we can START FIGHTING for the rights we though we had, but were written so poorly we have none. Kick down the money DPA, you've reeked havoc all over the nation.  Your language is the reasons thousands of patients and providers are being arrested. 

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