For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU NC) takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. While recognized as one of the nation’s leading public interest law firms, the ACLU’s strength lies in an integrated advocacy approach which requires collaboration between legal, advocacy, public education, and communications staff on comprehensive strategies to maximize impact.

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina the ACLU NC is supported by approximately 25,000 members in North Carolina. The organization is financially sound, has a very active legislative and legal agenda, and is in a position to grow its donor base, membership, and staff.

For more information on the ACLU of North Carolina please visit its website.

The Opportunity

The Executive Director of the ACLU NC will serve as the chief executive officer 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 NC. 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.

Job Responsibilities

The Executive Director will have a working knowledge of civil rights, 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 NC to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

Leadership and Vision

  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU NC, effectively 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 ACLU NC; provide direction to guide programs that align with the organization’s vision;
  • Lead the organization’s fund development efforts through private donations and grants; 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 ACLU NC’s mission and purpose;
  • Work in partnership with the board and staff to carry out policies approved by the Board of Directors;
  • Collaborate with the ACLU and its affiliates to enhance ACLU NC’s mission and effectiveness;
  • Effectively work and strategize with other organizations in North Carolina on civil rights and liberties issues.

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 including the budgetary process, and ensure that sound financial security and controls are in place;
  • Lead, coach, recruit, and retain 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;
  • Continue to expand the size of the membership, finances, and staff of the ACLU NC and its effectiveness in guaranteeing and advancing the civil rights and liberties of everyone in North Carolina.

Board Relations

  • Actively engage and energize the Board and implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives as established by the Board;
  • Assist the Board with identifying and establishing strategic goals for the advancement of civil rights and liberties in North Carolina;
  • 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 ACLU’s mission;
  • Regularly brief the Board on the status of the organization;
  • Engage the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, and goals, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
  • Proven managerial, fund development, and financial management experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors;
  • Success supervising and mentoring staff and supporting professional and leadership development;
  • Excellent communicator and writer with experience as a spokesperson who can articulate messages to different audiences, including but not limited to state and local forums, conferences, and print journalists and broadcast media; ability to inspire and mobilize individuals through communication;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and an ability to exercise diplomacy are critical; ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff including remote colleagues, coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Ability to think strategically, creatively problem solve, exercise good judgment and lead change;
  • A track record of extensive leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability;
  • Strong diversity, equity, and inclusion analyses and commitments as well as experience successfully leading the integration of DEI throughout organizational policies, practices, management, and culture;
  • Experience connecting organizations to resources and external opportunities; a successful track record of raising funds from a variety of sources.

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

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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