We’re hiring! Senior Communications Manager

Job opportunity: Senior Communications Manager

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 Senior Communications Manager who is experienced in public engagement, strategic communications planning, media relations, stakeholder communications, and digital channel development. The candidate will be in a leadership and supervisory 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

  • Leads the development and execution of 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 
  • Manages, supports and supervises a communications staff team of three including a communications coordinator, social media specialist and a digital media producer. 
  • Develops media engagement strategies for CDPC projects 
  • Oversees the production of communications materials including print and digital, that support CDPC projects and organizational objectives. Manages external contractor relationships related to external and internal communications initiatives 
  • Develops and oversees CDPC’s communications with coalition members and stakeholders, and recommends system improvements as needed 
  • Coordinates press conferences as required and provides support related to media requests 
  • Develops and maintains relationships with key media organizations and people across Canada  
  • 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, Public Relations, Journalism, or another related field 
  • Demonstrated experience managing a communications team, effectively supervising staff and delegating appropriate work to team members 
  • Minimum of five years working in strategic communications, some of which were in a leadership role.  
  • Demonstrated experience executing strategic organization-level communication plans  
  • Skilled and versatile writer with excellent interpersonal communications 
  • Demonstrated experience drafting policy briefs, op-eds and press releases/advisories 
  • A strong grasp of social media and digital strategy, 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 
  • Proven experience in budget management, strategic planning, project management, and research 
  • Ability to effectively manage staff and delegate appropriate work
  • 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 
  • 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: Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

About Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

Advocating for public health- and human rights-based drug policy grounded in evidence, compassion, and social justice