The U.S. Policy Council, made up of SSDP alumni, Board, team, and chapter members sets SSDP’s policy priorities and supports members with resources, advice, collaborative opportunities, and communicating policy priorities and activities to the network.



US Policy Council

Policy Council members commit to spending at least 2 hours monthly advancing SSDP’s policy agenda through providing analysis, resources, and mentorship to SSDP chapter members. The full Council will meet at least once per month to share updates from issue groups, plan for future activities, review assignments, and discuss other matters before the committee.

Tactical Team

The Policy Council tactical team is selected from highly engaged Policy Council members and is responsible for approving Policy Council activities and work product, representing SSDP in closed coalitions, responding to short deadlines, managing the work of the Council, and providing an accountability framework for the issue groups. Members can be invited to the tactical group with consensus or a majority vote of the current members.

Members interested in joining the Tactical Group can email the group at to be considered. For those who are considering joining, here is a list of examples showing different types of experience that would be useful on the Team.


Current members

Rob Hofmann ‘16, Chiara Juster, Mike Liszewski ‘07, Sarah Noon ’18, Jason Ortiz ’08

Issue groups

Issue groups are formed to work deeply on specific policy issues. Primary responsibilities include monitoring bills and public debate about the issue; creating, updating, and maintaining toolkits and other resources; and providing support to SSDP members and chapters interested in the issue. Issue groups can select to have lead members if desired.

Current issue groups:

Cannabis Policy –

Drug Decriminalization –

Global Drug Policy and UN Advocacy –

Harm Reduction –

Psychedelic Policy –

Scientific Research –

Sentencing, Juvenile Justice, & Reentry –



The Executive Director has delegated endorsement authority for bills, sign-on letters, and other items requiring endorsement in the United States to the Policy Council’s tactical group according to the following constraints (carried over from the delegation of the Board of Directors):

Endorsements which clearly fit within SSDP’s established endorsement criteria and policy positions may be given without Board approval

Short-deadline endorsements (less than 96 hours) which are generally aligned with SSDP’s established policy positions or values may be given without Board approval but the Board must be notified immediately.

Endorsements that do not clearly fit within SSDP’s established policy must be evaluated by the Board of Directors by sending an email to the Board (, copied to The Board will discuss and vote on any such endorsements. Be sure to include:

  • A description of the item to be endorsed

  • The deadline for endorsement

  • Any relevant links

  • A brief analysis of the pros and cons of the endorsement.

Issue groups recommend endorsements to the tactical group for evaluation.

Chapters may independently choose to endorse particular items regardless of the Policy Council or Board’s position as long as the item is aligned with SSDP’s mission.

All bills, sign-on letters, and other items that are created outside the U.S. or by international bodies must be endorsed by SSDP International, SSDP’s Vienna office. All items created within the U.S. which have any notable effect on countries outside of the US (including United Nations items) will be endorsed following the approval of SSDP International.


Issue Toolkits are created, updated, and maintained by issue groups through comment access to the toolkit folder. Changes are approved by a member of the tactical team to ensure edits are aligned with SSDP policies and Style Guide. Toolkits are created by duplicating the items in the Issue Toolkit Template and should contain many if not all of the following items:

Action Center

Actions and corresponding social media/email requests can be completed by filling out the Action Center Campaign Template and sending the request to the tactical team.

Advising Members

Chapter members interested in the issue will be added to the issue group’s Slack channel and given comment-only access to the toolkit for that issue by their team contact ( or a member of the issue group. If the member is unwilling or unable to join Slack, the Fellow can post a note to the Slack channel and the group will determine which member is most suited to contact the chapter member directly.

Interested in Joining?

Sign up using our U.S. Policy Council Membership Form!