• Participate in organization-wide goal setting, in partnership with other senior leaders across the
  • Serve as principal strategic advisor to Executive Director on short- and long-term messaging framework, media relations and communications
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive communications strategy and ensure that it is clearly understood by key stakeholders, including staff, supporters, and national and affiliate boards of This includes internal and external communications plans, marketing plans, partnership plans, and relevant and high priority initiatives, key messages, expected outcomes, and target audiences.
  • Lead and motivate a diverse group of communications and external relations staff and consultants in ACLU headquarters, and provide guidance to ACLU staff around the country to ensure their effectiveness in working in a decentralized working environment.
  • Strengthen the ACLU’s media presence and ensure the deepening of relationships with key print,
  • online, and broadcast journalists and editors.
  • Assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges facing the ACLU’s current communications operation and develop a comprehensive and cohesive communications strategy that will ensure that the message of the organization reaches and influences its targeted
  • In partnership with ACLU’s political advocacy department, engage decision-makers across all sectors to build credibility for ACLU and support for its political
  • In partnership with ACLU’s development team, engage current and prospective donors in the
  • ACLU’s work and build their understanding and commitment to, and support of, efforts.
  • Ensure a robust, proactive digital and social media presence that maintains brand integrity and message consistency, in collaboration with digital department.
  • Integrate sophisticated and innovative communications strategies into all work of the national ACLU and enhance the capacity of the organization to implement these strategies so that it can maximize its influence on attitudes, policies, and
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, senior staff, and affiliates to develop and execute a comprehensive strategy that ties together legal, legislative and advocacy, development, and communications
  • Ensure there is a standard of excellence in all communications activities, establishing an appropriate degree of consistency in both the messages conveyed and the means and methods employed to convey them.
  • Work closely with staff to develop and improve structures and systems that facilitate increased collaboration amongst and between affiliates and the national staff in communications
  • Work in close collaboration with the development, political advocacy and digital departments to develop strategies for the recruitment of new members, mobilization of constituents for non- partisan political advocacy, and provide assistance in conducting presentations to major
  • Measure and assess the influence and impact achieved by the communications strategies of the ACLU, including using benchmarking and data metrics, to continually refine and improve.
  • Manage large budgets, select and supervise external consultants, and efficiently deploy organizational resources in a manner that is closely aligned with ACLU


ACLU seeks a highly-skilled individual with strong external relations experience at the intersection of communications, advocacy, policy, and marketing. The leader should have a deep understanding of and passion for civil liberties and civil rights and the ACLU’s unique mission. The successful candidate should have a proven ability to frame and promote the ACLU’s work and to translate high level strategy into tactical implementation in the areas of public affairs and communications, and bring experience in overseeing integrated multi-channel campaigns across multiple audiences. The individual should be

steeped in crisis management with demonstrated experience working in a fast-paced environment. The ideal candidate will be a successful issue advocacy communications professional with a demonstrated track record of success in fast-paced media relations and with leadership experience in both PR and marketing strategy development and implementation.

The ACLU National Communications Department has a staff of 21, and is divided into three areas: (1) strategic communications (media relations); (2) brand and events (artist engagement and partnerships); and (3) research and special projects.


In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

Strategic Vision: The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of setting priorities and leading organizations to success. The individual will be a strategic thinker who will work with ACLU’s senior staff to establish the external relations plans, methods, and media to achieve its mission while providing the strategic direction necessary to evolve the organization. The candidate will be capable of working with others to develop differentiated strategies with multifaceted approaches to address disparate audiences, cultures, and political contexts. The individual will possess a track record of leadership in communications that extends beyond traditional one-way media relations to encompass the key roles that thought leadership and stakeholder development play in supporting both mission and organizational initiatives. The candidate will bring demonstrated marketing and strategic partnership building skills and savvy, and a thorough understanding of the workings of media (print, broadcast, and social media).

Leading Teams and Managing People: In addition to the critical, externally-focused competencies, the successful candidate must also possess outstanding leadership skills that will enable them to oversee the management of a highly-skilled and collaborative team operating within a complex, diverse, matrixed, and fast-moving organization. The candidate should demonstrate the leadership necessary to be effective in an organization that is deeply committed to equity and inclusion, and includes motivated professionals with a diverse set of skills and perspectives. The candidate should foster a culture of engagement and empowerment, convening and leading to achieve excellence. The candidate should have the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results, understanding the balance of accountability and empowerment in a decentralized and affiliated model. The individual must be able to take risks, see opportunities and pivot when called for by circumstances.

Impact, Impression and Communication: The successful candidate will be highly articulate and capable of making arguments in a compelling and nuanced, but to-the-point manner. This person will communicate with passion, energy, gravitas, intensity and enthusiasm. The candidate will display executive presence and confidence, gained in part through experience in a relationship-based position where effective communication skills influence outcomes. This work requires superb communications skills and strong diplomacy skills; openness to a multi-faceted range of viewpoints; and ability to engage with tough questions in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

Judgment: The successful candidate will have the demonstrated ability to make timely and clearly- communicated decisions and take appropriate risks to achieve results. Likewise, the candidate will be thoughtful about deploying the organization’s resources in a way that maximizes outcomes aligned with the ACLU’s strategic plan and core institutional values while managing risk. This person will listen to and learn from key stakeholders inside and outside of the organization and will be an inclusive and independent thinker, who can manage ambiguity and devise solutions even when a clear path is not evident. The leader must also possess strategic judgment when deploying ACLU leaders and experts in the media, and provide support, guidance and constructive feedback to them in their roles as public spokespersons.

Interpersonal Acumen: The successful candidate must be a person of the utmost personal and professional integrity with a high level of energy. Candidates must have a track record of effectively leading a diverse workforce and possess the right combination of self-confidence, humility and a healthy sense of humor. The successful candidate needs to be gracious in manner and comfortable in any situation. The leader will be confident enough to hire and retain strong, smart people, and possess an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. This person should be an effective listener with a collaborative style, and must possess a strong background of managing change throughout a distributed system of entities and teams. A calm, unflappable demeanor marked by patience, resilience, and a drive to create change through collaboration is required.


The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

Applications can be sent to ACLU@russellreynolds.com.

The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail benefits.hrdept@aclu.org.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

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