Position: Policy Director

Department: Policy, which is within the Program Department

Location: Albany or New York City (NYC) (This position requires frequent travel between Albany and NYC.)

Salary Range: The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) offers a competitive and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the NYCLU compensation scale.

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted and considered until the position is filled.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's leading advocates on behalf of constitutional rights and liberties. Founded in 1951 as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with nearly 140,000 members and supporters and eight offices statewide. We work in the courts, in the legislatures and on the streets to advocate for the full range of civil rights and civil liberties, including racial and economic justice, education, free speech, freedom of religion, privacy and equality before the law for all New Yorkers. For more information, please visit our website: www.nyclu.org

The NYCLU is seeking an experienced, mission-driven professional to serve as Policy Director and spearhead our legislative and policy program.


The Policy Director is a member of the senior staff with primary responsibility for the NYCLU’s statewide legislative program. The Policy Director reports to the Program Director.

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Developing and implementing a State legislative strategy as well as a strategy for non-legislative policy actions, including policies, guidance, and regulations issued by executive agencies.
  • Managing and supervising lawyers, professional staff, and contract lobbyists engaged in legislative and policy advocacy including:
    • Identifying State legislative and policy proposals that impact civil liberties and civil rights;
    • Researching and analyzing proposed legislation and policies;
    • Drafting and presenting testimony on legislative and policy proposals before legislative and other government bodies;
    • Drafting new legislation and policies and amendments to existing laws and policies;
    • Preparing legislative and policy memoranda, reports, briefing papers and letters; and
    • Representing the NYCLU in key coalitions and coordinated advocacy campaigns.
  • Consulting with and lobbying senior lawmakers, the governor’s staff, and agency officials regarding NYCLU’s top priority legislative and policy issues.
  • Cultivating strategic relationships and influential partnerships to further the NYCLU’s mission and strategic objectives.
  • Collaborating closely with other members of the senior staff and the programmatic departments of the NYCLU, specifically with the:
    • Field Department on strategy and managing and implementing State and local advocacy campaigns that are mobilized through local and regional offices;
    • Legal Department regarding issues raised—or potentially could be raised— in litigation;
    • Education Center regarding various including education access and equity; school-to-prison and school-to-deportation pipeline; and safe and supportive schools;
    • Communications Department in developing communications plans and strategies, drafting and editing documents (news releases, e-alerts, position statements), and providing commentary on legislative issues for print, electronic, and broadcast media;
    • Development Department regarding strategic funding opportunities, and public education and messaging; and
    • Issue-specific projects and campaigns as they arise.
  • Support the Executive Director to develop and leverage opportunities and strategic relationships and in support of legislative and policy priorities.


  • The ideal candidate for this position flourishes in a fast-paced environment and can effectively manage multiple issues and projects simultaneously. This candidate has excellent writing and editing skills; possesses a deep understanding of a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights issues, advocacy strategies, and Albany and NYC politics; and has the competencies and commitment needed to create and support an equitable and high-performing work environment.

Candidates for the position must have at minimum:

  • Law or advanced policy degree;
  • 10+ years of progressively responsible experience in legislative policy, advocacy, lobbying and drafting;
  • Oral and written communications skills;
  • Experience in working with diverse audiences, including elected officials, community leaders, coalition partners and the public;
  • Leadership, supervisory or management experience;
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and the NYCLU’s mission and strategic priorities.


Please mail your resume and a cover letter to https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/168699/New-York-Civil-Liberties-Union-Foundation/Policy-Director  and include “Policy Directorin the subject line.  Your cover letter and/or resume must include the following:

  1. Your unique qualifications for this position.
  2. Where or how you learned of this job posting.
  3. Your salary require
  4. Whether you live in or would be willing to relocate to Albany or NYC.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed immediately. Qualified candidates will be asked to submit additional information, including work samples and references from individuals with whom the candidate has worked.

The NYCLU is proud to be an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and have a workforce that reflects the population that we serve.

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