Drug Policy Alliance Names Stephen Gutwillig Deputy Executive Director for Programs

Press Release January 23, 2012
Media Contact

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Stephen Gutwillig 323-542-2606</p>

NEW YORK — The Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization promoting alternatives to the war on drugs, has appointed Stephen Gutwillig Deputy Executive Director for Programs. Currently DPA’s California Director, Gutwillig will provide oversight, strategy and direction for DPA’s extensive nationwide public policy program. DPA fights for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights and seeks to promote dialogue on cutting-edge drug policy issues around the country. Headquartered in New York City, DPA maintains offices in California, Colorado, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Washington, DC. DPA also operates an advocacy grants program that promotes policy change and advances drug policy reform at the local, state, and national levels.

“Stephen has done an exceptional job these past four years as director of DPA’s work in California, winning the respect and admiration of colleagues, allies and foes alike,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “It is a pleasure to promote him to the new position of deputy executive director for programs, where he will play a central leadership role in our growing organization and movement."

Based in Los Angeles, Gutwillig has served as DPA’s California director since 2008, overseeing the organization’s statewide legislative agenda, “model city” initiative in San Francisco, and marijuana policy reform efforts, including advocacy on behalf of Proposition 19 on the 2010 ballot. His wide-ranging media appearances include NBC Nightly News, CNN, Telemundo, and Fox News as well as in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, and dozens of other outlets.

Gutwillig has worked for cultural and social change organizations in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. Prior to joining DPA, he served for eight years as executive director of Outfest, the L.A.-based nonprofit devoted to nurturing, exhibiting and preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media. Gutwillig also previously served as director of development and communications for the Labor/Community Strategy Center, the L.A.-based social and environmental justice organization best known for organizing low-income, transit-dependent bus riders. He has served since 2006 on the Community Funding Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation, the leading social change grantmaker in Los Angeles.

“I relish this opportunity to collaborate with my DPA colleagues and movement allies nationwide,” said Gutwillig. “It’s time to forge an exit strategy from the failed 40-year war on drugs. No one is better positioned than DPA to promote the low-cost, evidence-based, health-centered alternatives that are already in place in some American cities and in many countries across the globe.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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