State Advocacy Manager, SUD

Community Catalyst | Boston, Massachusetts


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

Job Summary

The Position

Our Program on Substance Use Disorders and Justice-Involved Populations seeks to help people lead healthier lives by improving health services and community supports that address problematic use of drugs and alcohol, and increasing access to those services. The majority of our work is building broad-based consumer advocacy to change local, state and national policies and practices.

The State Advocacy Manager will work with state and local organizations on cutting-edge health advocacy campaigns to expand prevention of drug and alcohol addiction, particularly among youth, and serve the community-to-prison pipeline. The advocacy manager will also catalyze action to expand access to high-quality services that bridge consumers’ needs for treatment and social services. A key element of the position is coaching advocacy groups and community organizations on planning issue campaigns, coalition-building, grassroots organizing, strategic communications, policy strategy, and financial sustainability. 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.

Reports To


The State Advocacy Manager will be 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.
  • Assist state and local partners to implement policy campaigns with special focus on coalition development and management, grassroots advocacy strategy, and strategic communications including social media.
  • Research and write talking points, blogs, fact sheets and other materials for advocacy.
  • 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.
  • Collaborate with other Community Catalyststaff 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 Community Catalyst staff and directors in other relevant work projects as appropriate.
  • Limited travel is required.
  • Build the capacity of state-based and grassroots organizations to advocate for change through coaching and facilitating peer-to-peer learning. Pay special attention to organizations of color, youth groups, recovery organizations, and harm reduction organizations. Areas of support include: issue campaign planning, coalition-building, grassroots organizing, strategic communications, policy strategy, financial sustainability and organizational development.
  • Train individual consumers in advocacy strategies and facilitate interactions between grassroots individuals and groups, and state and national organizations.
  • Assist our team with new and existing program design, proposal development, planning, evaluation and reporting. 



  • Bachelor’s degree plus 4 years relevant work experience,  Master’s degree plus 2 years relevant work experience, or 8 years relevant work experience
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and health equity
  • Experience in social change activism such as political/policy issue campaigns or legislative advocacy; grassroots organizing; and/or managing diverse coalitions
  • Experience providing technical assistance, coaching or training
  • Proven skills in team-building, relationship development and collaboration
  • Knowledge of substance use disorders
  • Experience working with teen-agers or young adults
  • 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


  • Work with schools or education stakeholders
  • Experience bridging the health, education and social service systems
  • Experience managing policy issue campaigns
    • Experience conducting health policy research or analysis
    • Knowledge of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, private insurance, prevention initiatives and/or addressing social determinants of health
    • Bilingual/bicultural background highly desirable



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



Community Catalyst is based in Boston, MA with additional offices in Pittsburgh, PA; Atlanta, GA; Washington DC; St. Louis, MO; Lansing, MI; and New York City. We expect the State Advocacy Manager to be based in our Boston office, but to work with organizations across the country.

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.

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.

Community Catalyst


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations