Type:  Full-time permanent, exempt 

Location: USA

Supervisor:  Executive Director

Timeline: Applications will be accepted beginning July 23rd, reviewed immediately, and accepted until the position is filled. Anticipated start date is August 15, 2021.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy

SSDP is the only international network of students dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. At its heart, SSDP is a grassroots organization, led by a youth-run Board of Directors. We create change by bringing young people together and creating safe spaces for students of all political and ideological stripes to have honest conversations about drugs and drug policy. Founded in 1998, SSDP comprises thousands of members at hundreds of campuses in countries around the globe.

Mission statement

SSDP is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug misuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.

Hiring and compensation policies
SSDP is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women or non-binary people, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply, particularly those who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs. We understand that unraveling the harms of the War on Drugs requires us to engage in practices and adopt policies aligned with the values we seek to engender in the world. We leverage our opportunity to create a more just and equitable workplace through our Hiring and Compensation Policies. We do not conduct drug testing of candidates or employees. 

Organizational management
SSDP uses Holacracy to define and organize domains, roles, and accountabilities for staff. Work is conducted using the Getting Things Done time management system, and all staff capture their work in Asana, promoting a very high degree of transparency. Responsibility is distributed throughout the entire team and successful team members are driven, accountable self-managers who are open to constructive feedback, enjoy iterative processes, and embrace well-managed risk.

The position

The Communications Manager envisions, oversees, and executes SSDP’s communications strategy and practices. They are primarily responsible for managing SSDP’s external communications channels, digital storytelling, and coordinating with the media. Additional roles and responsibilities will be assigned based on experience, training, interest, organizational need, and competence. 

Primary roles & accountabilities

Communications Strategist

  • Setting, monitoring, projecting, and meeting or exceeding annual communications objectives
  • Writing, tracking, and evolving our communication strategy; communicating that strategy effectively to board and staff
  • Staying up to date with communications best practices
  • Identifying opportunities, conceptualizing how we’ll capitalize on them, and executing implementation
  • Supervising SSDP’s Social Media Coordinator


  • Communicating important information and opportunities to members and supporters
  • Speaking at public forums about SSDP
  • Drafting public messages for the blog, reports, brochures, media, and to the SSDP network
  • Reviewing draft content and providing critique and feedback on request from other roles which create content
  • Creating compelling messages that inspire action, gifts, and engagement
  • Representing our membership and sharing member stories in ways that reflect our values.

Media coordinator

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with journalists who cover drug policy news
  • Responding to interview requests or media requests directly or connecting requesting journalist with members or staff
  • Connecting members with journalists and other media when opportunities arise to highlight the student’s voice

Data and stories tracker

  • Highlighting the work members do on their campus and community, for the purposes of giving wide recognition and to help the development team highlight the major successes of our network.
  • Maintaining accurate data on our mailing list in our CRM
  • Stay up to date on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Capturing and accurately recording noteworthy accomplishments
  • Compiling photos and videos created by our members into appropriate Google Drive folders and social media pages

Email sender

  • Composing and editing email blasts
  • Checking email blast targeting to ensure the appropriate audience receives the best messaging
  • Sending email blasts written by others

Newsletter editor

  • Compiling all content for the newsletter
  • Formatting the email of the newsletter


The successful candidate has demonstrated deep commitment to the principles of drug policy or adjacent reforms, particularly those which are driven by youth or other impacted communities. 

Necessary skills and experience:

  • Experience successfully leading or building power for systematically targeted communities including but not limited to people of color, neurodivergent people, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, or of course young people
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and presentation communication skills; openness in interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and expression in the workplace
  • Ability to drive a process, stay organized, and hold oneself and team members accountable
  • Experience managing at least one employee and/or significant mentoring experience
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to adhere to strict data and record keeping practices 
  • Familiarity with EveryAction (NGPVan) CRM platform preferred
  • The equivalent of 1+ years relevant work experience with demonstrated success managing digital communications

Compensation and benefits

SSDP offers a salary commensurate with experience and similar positions in the local market and ensures a living wage to all full time employees. The salary for this position is $40,000 with annual salary adjustments available according to the Hiring and Compensation policies. The benefits package includes health, dental, vision and life insurance, a generous paid time off policy, and an Employee Assistance Program. SSDP offers flexible work scheduling and observes all federal holidays except Columbus Day, instead closing the office the day after Thanksgiving. 

Application process

Please submit your application by email to referencing “Communications Manager” in the subject line. The resume and cover letter should be combined in a single PDF file and titled as follows: Last-First-Communications-Manager.

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.