State Advocacy Manager, Substance Use Disorders and Justice Involved Populations

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Join an organization at the forefront of health care advocacy around the nation

Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization working to build consumer and community leadership to transform the American health system. Our first priority is quality, affordable health care for all and to ensure that all individuals and communities sustain the power to influence local, state and national decisions that affect their health. Since 1998, we have provided leadership and support to consumer organizations, policymakers and foundations working to ensure the health care system serves everyone – especially historically marginalized communities. Community Catalyst strengthens organized consumer voices in communities, at statehouses and on Capitol Hill when advocates fight for changes that improve our health.

As an organization, we believe an inclusive and open environment fosters creativity, contributes to the quality of our work, and provides growth opportunities for our employees. Additional information is available at


Our Program on Substance Use Disorders and Justice-Involved Populations seeks to help people lead healthier lives by improving health services and community supports designed to address problematic use of drugs and alcohol, and increasing access to those services and supports. These services range from prevention and treatment to housing, food and job training. 

The State Advocacy Manager will mobilize state and local organizations across the nation to address drug and alcohol addiction using pro-active and defensive strategies that promote diversion from arrest, integration of health and social services, and expansion of insurance coverage and access. The State Advocacy Manager will cultivate and manage relationships with local, state and national partners from the criminal justice, substance use disorders, harm reduction and consumer advocacy movements. A key element of the position is coaching advocacy groups and community organizations on organizational development, grassroots engagement, coalition-building, financial sustainability, strategic communications and policy strategy. The State Advocacy Manager will join a team that is an organizational leader on issues of racial equity. The successful candidate will be a bold team player and a catalyst.


The State Advocacy Manager is supervised by the Program Director for Substance Use Disorders and Justice-Involved Populations. 


  • Manage relationships with state and local partner organizations across the country, including day-to-day interactions, grants and program requirements 
  • Foster effective health advocacy using Community Catalyst templates and best practices plus proven tools from other sources. This includes work on initiatives defending Affordable Care Act and Medicaid; promoting Medicaid expansion, pre-arrest diversion to reduce incarceration, and health system transformation; and advancing other relevant health policy issues. 
  • Build the capacity of state-based and grassroots organizations through coaching and facilitating peer-to-peer learning. Areas of support include: organizational development, grassroots organizing, coalition-building, fundraising, communications, and policy strategy. Research and write fact sheets, talking points, blogs and other materials for advocacy. Pay special attention to organizations of color, organizations focused on substance use disorders and organizations of people returning from incarceration.  
  • Build and sustain broad-based coalitions and strategic alliances. Provide coaching on stakeholder relations using Community Catalyst’s best practice models and materials for coalition development as well as strategies tailored to grassroots engagement. Special focus on bridging silos of health, substance use and criminal justice, and on fostering partnerships between state organizations and grassroots organizations. 
  • Help our team bring health equity to the fore in our program work and in the organization’s overall work.  
  • Build and maintain strategic relationships with national organizations, especially those working on transformative approaches to addiction, and connect their state or local affiliates with Community Catalyst partners. Participate in relationship tracking in Salesforce. 
  • Collaborate with other Community Catalyst staff to maintain up-to-date knowledge of local, state and federal policy initiatives and advocacy strategies in order to identify and share potential issues and/or opportunities with local and state partners. Focus on issues affecting substance use disorders and transformation of the health care system to better serve marginalized populations.  
  • Assist our team with new and existing program design, proposal development, planning, evaluation and reporting.  
  • Assist Community Catalyst staff and directors in other relevant work projects as appropriate. 
  • Limited travel is required. 



  • Bachelor’s degree plus 4 years relevant work experience; or Master’s degree plus 2 years relevant work experience; or the equivalent work experience 
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and health equity 
  • Experience in social change activism including grassroots organizing and managing diverse coalitions and stakeholders 
  • Experience providing technical assistance, coaching or training 
  • Proven skills in team-building, relationship development and collaboration 
  • Knowledge of substance use disorders and/or criminal justice 
  • Strong verbal communication skills including experience with public speaking 
  • Strong writing skills, including the ability to convey complex information so it is easily understood by the public 
  • Strong organizational skills including the ability to manage several projects at once, respond to tight timelines, pay attention to detail and operate effectively and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment  
  • Experience working in a multicultural environment 
  • Ability to travel, on average about once a month 


  • Experience in legislative advocacy; political/policy issue campaigns; and/or implementing communications strategies 
  • Experience doing health policy research or analysis 
  • Knowledge of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, private insurance, prevention initiatives and/or addressing social determinants of health 


Community Catalyst is based in Boston, MA with additional offices in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington DC, St. Louis, MO, Lansing, MI, and New York City. 

Community Catalyst is strongly committed to building a work environment that recognizes, respects, and encourages the unique contributions of a broad spectrum of qualified employees. We strive to make employment decisions that support inclusion to maintain a work atmosphere that is diverse, equitable and promotes family-friendly practices and work-life benefits so that people of diverse backgrounds and lifestyles may grow personally and professionally.

We do not discriminate in hiring based on age, color, ethnicity, race, national origin, primary language, religion, socio-economic status, family status, mental and physical disabilities, veteran status, gender identity characteristics and/or expression, sex, medical condition, sexual orientation or any other classification that is protected by federal, state, or local law.

Through all of our programs, Community Catalyst works to build a better future for all individuals by advancing health equity, focusing on people of color, immigrants, as well as disability, gender, sexual identity and socio-economic status. It is important for our staff to reflect the diverse communities with which we work. People of color, LGBTQ identified people, gender-nonconforming people, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and people who speak a language in addition to English are encouraged to apply.


  • Competitive salary 
  • Generous paid time off policy 
  • Robust benefits package 
  • Convenient downtown Boston location 

Level of Language Proficiency

Bilingual/bicultural background highly desirable 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Applicants should submit a resume with a one-page cover letter briefly summarizing their interest in and qualifications for the position to: Please put “State Advocacy Manager, SUD” in the subject line.