Drug Policy Alliance Job Description

logo_fb_360Title: Policy Coordinator, Los Angeles, CA
Type: Full-Time
Supervisor: State Director, California
Department: Public Policy
Location: Los Angeles, California
Last Day to Apply: Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening for a Policy Coordinator in our Los Angeles Office reporting directly to the State Director of California.

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 15 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 70 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $14 million, 35,000 dues-paying members and more than 300,000 online subscribers.  It has a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. For more information, visit our website at www.drugpolicy.org

The Position

The Policy Coordinator reports to and works with the California State Director to implement DPA’s state and municipal strategy, goals, lobbying, advocacy, online presence and media work. The Policy Coordinator will focus on the development and implementation of the Los Angeles County municipal drug strategy, moving regional stakeholders towards harm reduction based practices and policies. Key areas of focus include, developing a medication assisted treatment pilot in Los Angeles County Jails, increasing overdose prevention and harm reduction efforts among LA-based treatment providers and municipal agencies, ensuring housing and access to treatment for people who use drugs, working on new reform opportunities such as LEAD and drug court operations. The Policy Coordinator will also contribute to the development of criminal justice policy positions on statewide legislation in California and to DPA’s national policy agenda.

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, a passion for social justice, and superior culture competency are essentials for success.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Coordinate advocacy and legislative work related to drug policy reform in LA County.
  • Develop DPA materials related to LA County reform as necessary; ensuring consistency and accuracy of internal and external communication
  • Develop advocacy support materials for policymakers and advocacy partners, including briefing books, fact sheets, and information packets
  • Assist with developing, organizing and communicating with support coalitions including grasstops, grassroots, individual advocates, and public agencies.
  • Support statewide harm reduction and criminal justice legislation campaigns in California
  • Identify and develop relationships with harm reduction organizations and treatment providers in LA County and statewide.
  • Increase awareness of overdose as a health threat in LA County, California and nationally.
  • Support and use the DPA grants program to engage allied organizations and advance the CA agenda
  • Serve as a member of DPA’s national Policy Team, including supporting the development of the biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference and regularly scheduled calls, meetings and retreats
  • Produce data analysis, research summaries, and other reports as needed
  • Assisting the State Director and Deputy State Director with annual budget and work plan development, and department or program reports
  • Plan and coordinate events and trainings.
  • Recruit and supervise interns


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent research skills including experience with various web databases
  • Proven writing and analytic skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability to organize and prioritize
  • Ability to work well with diverse communities and organizations
  • Ability to coordinate advocacy coalitions
  • Ability to plan events
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • A high degree of proficiency with standard office applications such as Excel, Word and Outlook
  • Familiarity with drug policy; commitment to social justice and harm reduction essential
  • Understanding of California and/or LA County politics preferred
  • Advanced degree or 3-5 years’ experience in public policy/administration, public health, law or related field preferred
  • Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends and to travel regularly throughout the state

Terms of Employment

This position requires the candidate to live in the Los Angeles area. Telecommuting will not be allowed. Some travel 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: hr@drugpolicy.org.

Please include the following in the subject line: “First Name, Last Name – Policy Coordinator – LA”

Email submissions are preferred, but if you have a good reason for doing so, applications can be submitted by mail to:

Lina Mingoia
Human Resources Manager
Re:  (Policy Coordinator, Los Angeles)

Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33th Street
15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

 The 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.

 Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please do not call.



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