Job posting: Strategic Communications Manager, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition


The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) is engaging communities across Canada to improve public understanding of drug policy, promote a public health and human rights-based approach to drugs, and develop momentum for sustained and coordinated efforts to improve responses to harms related to substance use and public policies. To help us reach our goals, we are seeking a Strategic Communications Manager who is experienced in public engagement, strategic communications planning, media relations, stakeholder communications, and website and social media development. The candidate will be in a leadership role within CDPC.

The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) is a national coalition located at Simon Fraser University that advocates for drug policies based on principles of public health, human rights, and social inclusion. CDPC promotes drug policies informed by the priorities of communities of people who use drugs, ethical research and knowledge-gathering processes, and First Nations, Inuit, Metis, and Indigenous sovereignty. CDPC engages in policy advocacy, public education and dialogue, research, and movement building within regional, national, and international arenas. CDPC’s goals are to inform, educate, and mobilize citizens to become involved in Canadian and international drug policy reform movements.


Job Responsibilities

  • Manages and executes CDPC’s Communications Strategy, with an emphasis on supporting CDPC programmatic work, Coalition members and growing mainstream public support for CDPC advocacy and reaching new audiences
  • Develops media engagement strategies for CDPC projects
  • Oversees the production of print and digital materials for web and social channels
  • Oversees the production of communications materials that support CDPC projects and organizational strategies and objectives
  • Manages external contractor relationships related to external and internal communications initiatives
  • Oversees CDPC’s communications with our coalition and stakeholders, and recommends system improvements as needed
  • Develops and produces communications materials for meetings and events including press releases, policy briefs and op-eds
  • Coordinates press conferences as required and provides support related to media requests
  • Develops and maintains relationships with key media organizations and people across Canada
  • Supervises three positions: Communications Coordinator, Social Media Specialist, and Digital Media Producer
  • Works closely with CDPC staff team, steering committee, project partners, and volunteers
  • Participates in organization or project-based evaluation and modifies strategies and activities accordingly
  • Other duties as required


Knowledge and Skills Required

  • University degree or equivalent experience in Communications or Journalism
  • Minimum of five years journalism experience working in media, with experience in video production and storytelling
  • Minimum of three years working in communications in a leadership role
  • Experience executing strategic organization-level communication plans
  • Skilled and versatile writer with excellent interpersonal communications
  • Experience drafting policy briefs, op-eds and press releases/advisories
  • A strong grasp of social media and digital strategy, including the technical skills to maintain and update CDPC’s website, search engine optimization, and google analytics
  • Understanding measurement of analytics to ensure initiatives are impactful and to build successful strategies
  • Experience in building and maintaining relationships with digital and traditional media organizations
  • Experience organizing and running digital campaigns
  • Knowledge of best practice and tools for meaningful supporter engagement
  • Proficient management of a supporter database (CDPC currently uses NationBuilder)
  • Experience in knowledge translation and dissemination of complex and controversial concepts into accessible materials for diverse audiences
  • Awareness of current issues relating to substance use and the overdose crisis, or a strong willingness to learn
  • Proficiency in commonly used software applications
  • Ability to effectively manage staff and delegate appropriate work
  • Fluency in written and spoken English



  • Familiarity with the drug policy landscape in Canada
  • Familiarity with HTML and CSS
  • Fluency in written and spoken French

The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition values equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion, and is focused on enriching our commitment to and application of these principles. We encourage applicants from a range of communities, experiences, and backgrounds including, Indigeneity, race, drug use, ability, sexuality, gender, and those affected by the criminalization of drugs and/or sex work.


Contract Position: Full-time, 12 months with the possibility of extension dependent on funding.

Salary range: $80,000 – 85,000 annually

Location: This position is based at Harbour Centre, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC

Hours and Travel: Work takes place during regular business hours though some flexibility may be required. This position may require domestic travel, safety conditions permitting.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and CV including a list of publications in PDF format to [email protected] Attention: Donald MacPherson with the subject line ‘Communications Manager.’ Please describe any ways in which you understand or incorporate diversity and inclusion into your work within your cover letter. Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by phone or email. Early applications are encouraged and appreciated. Thank you to all who apply.

Application Deadline: Thursday, June 30th, 2022.


Learn more about the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition