The Manager/Director - New York Campaigns

Policy · New York, New York
Department Policy
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced
Compensation $70,000 - $110,000 annual salary

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, New York Campaigns reports to the Managing Director, Policy and serves as DPA’s primary strategist in New York City and State. Based in Manhattan, the Manager or Director, New York Campaigns manages discreet state campaigns, works closely with allies on the ground in New York and the region, and oversees the work of the organization’s Albany-based lobbyists.




The ideal candidate will be a collegial, self-motivated advocate who thinks conceptually, creatively, 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.


Specific qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including five years’ (manager) to eight to ten years’ experience (director) progressively senior management experience in public policy, legislative and/or governmental affairs, political campaigns, or ballot initiatives; criminal justice and/or public health experience preferred
  • Experience managing consultants, lobbyists, and staff
  • Experience building and leading coalitions in pursuit of an activist agenda with measurable results
  • Enthusiasm and motivation to lead on cutting-edge issues
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse partners, including community-based organizations, community members/constituents, and people directly impacted by the war on drugs
  • Familiarity with drug policy highly preferable; commitment to harm reduction philosophy and racial justice required
  • Understanding of New York City and State political landscape required
  • Strong analytic ability and superior communication skills, including writing and public speaking
  • A proven track record of successful interactions with the media
  • Demonstrated fundraising success a plus, including cultivation and solicitation of major donors, foundations, and government funders
  • Commitment to professional development and ongoing learning (self and direct reports)
  • Advanced degree in public policy/administration, public health, law or related field preferred but not required
  • Availability to work evenings and weekends and to travel regularly throughout the state, and periodically throughout the region and nationally
  • Community organizing experience strongly preferred but not required
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus
  • Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, creativity, curiosity and a good sense of humor essential

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Serving as DPA’s primary strategist in New York, developing and articulating a vision for identified drug policy goals that are consistent with the organization’s overall mission, philosophy, and strategic plan and objectives
  • Implementing strategies to achieve DPA’s core priorities at the state and municipal level:
    • All-Drug Decriminalization:
      • Laying foundation for NY all-drug decriminalization campaign with legislative allies and external stakeholders
      • Working with close allies to build coalition and engage other key groups statewide
      • Strategic media work to shape public understanding and narrative supportive of all-drug decriminalization
      • Engagement on statewide policing and criminal justice work as relates to drug policy
      • Supporting fundraising for NY all-drug decriminalization initiative
    • Marijuana Implementation:
      • Monitoring implementation of MRTA, including draft regulations (Oct-Mar)
      • Holding the line on legislative attempts to roll back provisions of the law, especially possession limits, public use, and driving criminalization
      • Informational sessions with allies, especially focusing on equity and community reinvestment
    • Overdose Prevention Centers
      • Continue advocacy with EndOverdoseNY coalition and close allies to establish overdose prevention centers in New York
      • Focus on enacting overdose prevention centers pilot program, which is pending NYS Dept of Health authorization

  • Monitoring and responding to emerging issues in drug policy, including fighting back against regressive policies in the media and legislature, especially blocking attempts to increase fentanyl penalties and holding the line against re-criminalization efforts, such as drug-induced homicide laws
  • Creating and maintaining solid relationships with diverse partners, including state agencies, community-based organizations, elected officials, coalition allies, and local DPA members as related to work on all-drug decriminalization, marijuana legalization implementation, enacting overdose prevention centers, and defense on attempts to criminalize drugs
  • Supervising DPA’s legislative, advocacy, and program efforts in New York for key program areas of all-drug decriminalization and marijuana implementation
  • Tracking and monitoring emerging developments, trends, and needs in the drug policy field and adjacent sectors to inform potential areas for program and policy development or collaboration
  • Contributing to DPA fundraising activities, both locally and nationally, in partnership with the Development department; enhancing DPA’s fundraising capacity in New York following Development department guidance
  • Representing DPA as a spokesperson in the media and at community events, conferences, and other forums
  • Supervising consultants and retained lobbyists; supervising and mentoring professional staff, student interns
  • Overseeing the administration of DPA’s New York work, including developing and managing work plans and budgets and meeting state lobbying and ethics requirements
  • Working collaboratively with other DPA departments, such as Communications and Development, to further organizational goals and projects

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.

Thank You

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  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $70,000 - $110,000 annual salary