The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama (ACLU-AL) seeks a dynamic, experienced, chief executive to lead and significantly expand a civil liberties agenda throughout Alabama. The ACLU-AL is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization (comprised of two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Alabama and the ACLU of Alabama Foundation) which uses legal, legislative and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues involving individual rights and freedoms, including free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, prison conditions, and more. The ACLU-AL is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights.

For over fifty years, the ACLU-AL has been one of this area’s premier public advocacy organizations. Based in Montgomery, the state’s capitol, the ACLU-AL has an operating budget of over $800,000. The organization is led by a twenty-one-member Board of Directors and a professional staff of nine and one office support staff.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU of Alabama, the ACLU, and the civil liberties they uphold please visit the website.

The Opportunity

The Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the ACLU-AL, with primary responsibility for managing the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations, leading the organization’s fund development efforts, directing the work of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU-AL. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its internal and external communications, fund development, and programs are meeting the current and emergent needs and interests of its constituents.

The Executive Director will have a working knowledge of civil liberties issues and policies and be a leader and manager who is adept at balancing internal management with external impact and visibility. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to convey effectively the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

The ACLU-AL is poised for growth with additional staff members to be hired.

Job Responsibilities

Leadership and Vision

  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU-AL, articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission. Represent the organization in the media, increase public awareness and broaden the organization’s reputation to strategic constituents;
  • Establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of the ACLU-AL. Provide direction to guide programs that align with the organization’s vision;
  • Lead the organization’s fund development efforts – utilize a staff-driven program model that focuses on increasing the number and capacity of major donors;
  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU-AL’s mission and purpose;
  • Work in partnership with the board and staff to carry out policies approved by the Board of Directors.

General Management, Finance and Administration and Program

  • Ensure by effective management and leadership that the day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered;
  • Direct legal, legislative, and communications programs;
  • Oversee the organization’s financial operations; oversee the budgetary process and ensure that sound financial controls are in place;
  • Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff ensuring that there is strong internal communication and coordination; recruit new staff when appropriate and evaluate performance;
  • Use technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, public education, and lobbying.

Board Relations

  • Implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives as established by the board;
  • Work with the board to identify and help recruit new board members who will add diversity to the board and whose talents, interests and commitment will help to further the mission of the ACLU-AL;
  • Regularly brief the board on the status of the organization;
  • Engage the board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals.
Candidate Profile

Ideal Experience

The Executive Director should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • Proven managerial, problem-solving, strategic planning, fund development and financial management experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors;
  • Credibility and experience to connect the ACLU-AL to resources and opportunities outside the organization; a successful track record of raising money from a variety of sources; major donor experience is preferred;
  • Proven and successful track record in creating and implementing programs; experience creating partnerships and collaborations;
  • A history of communicating effectively in writing and verbally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations; ability to represent the ACLU-AL to a broad public;
  • A record of success working in partnership with a board and staff of diverse personalities and talents;
  • Five years of professional experience and a Bachelor’s degree are minimum requirements.

Ideal Characteristics

Ideally, the successful candidate will have many, if not all, of the following characteristics:

  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU-AL’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
  • A commitment to racial diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • A working knowledge of Alabama politics, judicial system, and social justice nonprofit landscape;
  • A dedicated leader and representative who can translate vision into action; someone who is passionate about networking and representing the organization to critical constituencies including ACLU-AL members, the public, government, and the media;
  • A person who is intelligent and inspiring; able to conceptualize, express ideas, and anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities for the ACLU-AL;
  • An entrepreneur who is creative, strategic, resourceful and politically astute; someone who understands the values of creating partnerships with other organizations as a way of accomplishing the ACLU-AL’s goals;
  • An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter and finisher;
  • A team player who inspires collaboration and functions decisively; flexible and well-organized;
  • Outgoing and straightforward; one who shares information easily; listens as well as gives advice; respects the abilities of others.
Compensation & Benefits

Salary based on experience. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, 401(k), life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email or All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The ACLU of Alabama is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer and provides equal opportunity for all qualified people who desire to use their skills and abilities in their workplace, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, age, religion or disability.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit


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