Build a Global Youth Movement to End the Failed Drug War

International Liaison: Based in San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is seeking a highly motivated, well-organized, multi-lingual individual to become the organization's first international liaison.

About the organization

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a network of students dedicated to ending the destructive “War on Drugs.” SSDP works to create a world in which drug abuse is treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.

Founded in 1998, SSDP is a grassroots organization of nearly 200 campus chapters who are served by a national staff of five, based in Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA. SSDP also has international affiliates in Canada, the UK, and Nigeria, as well as budding networks in Colombia, Australia, Mexico, and Indonesia.

About the position

This position is part of a new grant that will be used to expand the movement to end the War on Drugs by mobilizing students and youth in countries outside of the United States.

SSDP's target growth region for 2010 is Latin America, so qualified applicants must speak both English and Spanish fluently.

This position will be based out of either our Washington, DC or San Francisco, CA offices (please indicate preference in application), although the liaison will be expected to frequently travel for extended periods of time to other countries.

The international liaison will be charged with three primary responsibilities: International Growth and Assistance; International Coordination; and International Representation.

  1. International Growth and Assistance: The international liaison will respond to inquiries that SSDP receives from students outside the U.S. and will also travel abroad to actively seek out students who will serve as leaders of SSDP affiliate organizations. He/she will be responsible for providing resources and training to new leaders on practices that have proven effective within our established networks, with the goal of helping each affiliate attain a state of autonomy.
  2. International Coordination: The international liaison will ensure that SSDP affiliates are collaborating and learning from each other by facilitating constant communication among the leadership of those organizations. The liaison will also identify opportunities for SSDP members to travel internationally and experience other countries’ drug policies first hand. In addition to cross-pollinating ideas and activists, the international liaison will coordinate international solidarity campaigns, such as a week of action in which all SSDP affiliates take part.
  3. International Representation: SSDP’s international liaison will represent the perspectives and interests of all international SSDP networks during instances in which a single voice is required (during media appearances or United Nations meetings, for example).


Qualified applicants must exhibit the following qualities/abilities:

  • Fluency in English and Spanish.
  • Experience with youth organizing or political advocacy.
  • The ability to communicate orally with comfort and conviction, over the phone and in person.
  • A love of travel, and proven ability to work well while "on the road."
  • Comfort with working nontraditional hours (nights and weekends).
  • A firm belief that students will play a key role in ending the War on Drugs.

The following qualifications are preferred but not necessary:

  • Proficiency with Apple products, Google applications, and Facebook.
  • Fluency in languages besides English and Spanish.
  • Extensive knowledge of drug policy reform issues.
  • Experience living in Latin America and working within the political system there.
  • Experience with fundraising.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit a one-page cover letter and one- or two-page resume to Executive Director Matthew Palevsky by using this application page:

In your cover letter, please indicate (1) why you are interested in working with SSDP, (2) your opinion on drug policy, and (3) why you think this particular position is an ideal fit for your experience and skill set. Feel free to include any additional information you deem relevant, not to exceed one page.

Salary is $38,000 - $45,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include health care and the satisfaction that comes along with changing the world for the better.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an equal opportunity employer. SSDP has a strong commitment to diversity and, as such, women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and individuals who have been directly affected by the Drug War are encouraged to apply.

If you submit a cover letter and resume, SSDP will respond to you within four weeks with either a request for additional documentation, or notification that your application is being considered.

Apply directly on our site for the quickest response: