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Major Staff and Board Expansion; Major New Funding for Leading Organization for Drug Policy Reform; New Position of Director of Government Affairs Open; DPF to Start Giving Out Grants in Drug Policy


July 1994

The Drug Policy Foundation has received three million dollars from the Open Society Institute, a foundation of George Soros, the Hungarian-born financier and philanthropist, to support DPF operations for the next three years.

As a consequence, DPF has hired David C. Condliffe to serve as Executive Director, a new position that will "lead" a management triumvirate that includes DPF's founders: President Arnold Trebach and Vice President and Counsel Kevin B. Zeese. Condliffe has a long background in public service. He was New York's Director of Drug Abuse Policy under Mayor David Dinkins. He worked for New York's well-regarded congressman, Jonathan Bingham, and for New York Mayor John Lindsay. Condliffe worked in establishing the Addiction Services Agency in New York, the first government agency in the country to focus solely on the needs of drug addicts. New York's retrograde Mayor Ed Koch dismantled the agency in 1978 to focus the city's resources exclusively on law enforcement.

Condliffe is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Rutgers Law School in Newark. He has been a top aide to the New York Deputy Mayor for Criminal Justice, and has worked with the famous Vera Institute of Justice. He has worked with two major New York law firms, and with clients such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the entertainment and communications industries.

Condliffe will be opening a Drug Policy Foundation office in New York City at 888 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1901, New York, NY 10106. Tel. 212-887-0685. Fax 212-489-8455. He will be dividing his time between New York and Washington.

Also joining the DPF as their new Director of Communications is well-known journalist Cynthia Cotts. Cotts' articles on drug policy have appeared in The Nation, Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Reason, and The New York Observer. Cotts has been one of the few journalists to expose the hypocrisy of the "war on drugs." As a free-lancer, she risked the danger of not being published by taking on the Media Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the pharmaceutical industry in her article on the promotion of Xanax(TM). She was one of the first reporters to identify the problems of asset forfeiture, and mandatory minimum sentences. She will be dividing her time between the New York and Washington offices.

Cotts replaces Kennington Wall who was with the Drug Policy Foundation from 1988 until 1993. He now is Director of Communications for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association in Washington, DC.

The Drug Policy Foundation has expanded its board of directors again to include Joseph D. McNamara, Ph.D., the former chief of police in Kansas City, MO, and San Jose, CA, who is with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; Ethan Nadelmann, J.D., Ph.D., former professor at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, and now Director of The Lindesmith Center in New York City; Nicholas Pastore, the chief of police in New Haven, CT, one of the most progressive of the nation's chiefs of police; Kurt L. Schmoke, the second-term Mayor of Baltimore, MD, and former prosecutor, whose remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1988 inspired the national debate on drug policy as an alternative to the hegemony to the "war on drugs;" and U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet of the Southern District of New York, whose advocacy of the legalization of drugs in 1990 was front-page news across the country.

DPF has posted an opening for a Director of Governmental Affairs. This person will develop a governmental affairs program for DPF "to ensure that the Drug Policy Foundation's agenda is considered by Congress and the Executive Branch." The program will work with DPF's divisions of publications, conferences and television production, and with DPF's International Network of Cities. Specific responsibilities are tracking legislation, preparing testimony, preparation of memoranda on legislation and regulations, educating Members of Congress and staff, developing coalitions, representing DPF in coalitions, reporting on Federal affairs in DPF publications, and identifying and supervising staff and volunteers. Applicants with three years of experience in Federal matters will be given preference. Salary depends on experience, and includes "excellent" health and life insurance. Resumes and writing samples should be sent or faxed to DPF, address below. No deadline was included in the announcement.

DPF announced in its latest issue of The Drug Policy Letter that it is "examining the feasibility of a grant-giving program." It may consider proposals for --

  1. humanitarian assistance for drug users and their families;

  2. drug policy advocacy at all levels of government;

  3. reform efforts outside the United States that would not be limited by the restrictions of current U.S. law.

A formal proposal and review process has not yet been established, but preliminary proposals are being accepted by Kevin Zeese, Esquire, Vice President and General Counsel, Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008-2302. (Tel 202-537- 5005; Fax 202-537-3007).