Started in 1966, the ACLU of Nevada is a non-partisan organization that works to defend and advance the civil liberties and civil rights all Nevadans. Grounded in the principles of liberty, justice, democracy and equality, the ACLU of Nevada works in three areas: public education, advocacy, and litigation. Its public education efforts serve to help the public understand their liberties, rights, and responsibilities. Its advocacy efforts serve to inform and educate public officials about liberties and rights. And its litigation work serves to defend the rights and liberties of individuals when they have been violated.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU-NV) is the Silver State’s largest and most active nongovernmental organization dedicated to protecting the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As an affiliate, many of the ACLU of Nevada’s policy positions flow from the national ACLU, although the ACLU-NV has the latitude to focus on issues critical to Nevada and to develop policies and priorities that reflect Nevada’s culture and state Constitution.
The ACLU is Nevada’s leading civil liberties and civil rights organization. The affiliate prides itself on its non- partisan and non-ideological approach to policy, advocacy, legislation, and litigation, and often surprises the public with cases and clients that defy expectations. From its work on efforts to reform the criminal justice system by virtue of its involvement on the legislature’s Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice and Supreme Court’s Indigent Defense Commission, to pursuing more government transparency on the Open Meeting Law Task Force, and standing up for minority communities on the Clark County Sheriff's Metro Multicultural Affairs Committee, its dynamic litigation docket that covers the entire spectrum of constitutional and other important legal issues, to the central role we play in public policy and a host of advocacy arenas, including police abuse and accountability, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, voting rights, and reproductive freedom, the ACLU-NV continues to protect the rights of all Nevadans.
The ACLU of Nevada is comprised of two separate corporate entities: the ACLU of Nevada, Inc. and the ACLU of Nevada, Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation gifts fund litigation and public education efforts. The ACLU of Nevada, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, and gifts to it are not tax-deductible. The ACLU of Nevada, Inc. is the “member” organization. ACLU of Nevada, Inc. monies fund legislative lobbying.
The organization now has 10 staff members with fully staffed offices in both Reno and Las Vegas. The Executive Director will partner with this group of dedicated and talented staff to address issues at the forefront of the ACLU of Nevada including but not limited to: Criminal Justice Reform, Education, Free Speech, Immigrants’ Rights, LGBTQ+ Rights, Unsheltered Nevadans, COVID-19, as well as future mission- related issues as they arise.
The Executive Director (ED) serves as the chief executive officer of the ACLU-NV and is responsible for providing direction and leadership toward advancing the organization’s philosophy, mission, strategies, and achieving the organization’s annual goals and objectives. The ED must be a dynamic and empathetic leader who understands advocacy, organizing, and litigation work within a social justice frame. The ED will report to the Board of Directors to set the strategy and direction of the organization. The ED should have experience with board governance and a demonstrated history of communication and relationship-building between a board of directors and staff. The ED will need to adhere to principles of financial controls and will ensure the organization is fiscally sound and capable of meeting the current and emergent needs of its constituents. The ED will lead and manage the staff with intention and a mindset that reflects diversity and inclusion and embodies a culture of equity and belonging. The ED will remain up to date and current on issues that might be of importance to the community and ACLU of Nevada partners, will engage the Board with consistency, serve as the public face of the organization and as a thought leader on emerging issues, amplifying the work of the staff and ACLU of Nevada community partners.
The ACLU of Nevada seeks an experienced, strategic, and visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to broad community engagement and the issues impacting equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the state of Nevada beyond Las Vegas. The Executive Director will possess strong organizational development, nonprofit acumen, fundraising and interpersonal skills, outstanding judgment, and must be a critical thinker. The Executive Director will determine the strategic direction of the ACLU of Nevada, lead a talented and passionate staff to evaluate initiatives, taking into account the financial demands, on the ground resources required, and the alignment with the ACLU of Nevada’s organizational interests. The Executive Director must be able to balance many different interests of various constituent groups and individuals with a strategic focus. The Executive Director will champion the affiliate’s vision, mission, and values and lead the development of strategies for the organization’s core priority areas, ensuring that the national office and affiliate together achieve shared performance outcomes.
Reporting to the ACLU Nevada Board of Directors, the ED should be someone with leadership experience who is confident in their leadership and adept at balancing internal management with external visibility and will:
- Lead with transparency by effectively communicating directly and explicitly;
- Be an empathetic leader who understands advocacy and organizing work (has some on the ground community organizing experience);
- Share their passion and curiosity to learn through shared experiences with community partners and staff for impact; and
- Work to build a culture of equity and belonging and workplace reflecting diversity and inclusion. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to develop and maintain relationships inside and outside of the organization. The ED will ensure the financial health and stability of the organization, evaluate fundraising effectiveness and create an environment conducive to maximizing the organization’s influence and coalition-building capabilities with the public. The position requires a collaborative and driven leader with a broad range of knowledge, and significant commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging and the furtherance of civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES/ SKILLS
The Executive Director represents the ACLU-NV and is the primary liaison to the national ACLU organization. The ED provides the leadership, vision, and strategic planning necessary to address civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice issues in Nevada and to ensure that the affiliate is well positioned to meet the challenges of the future. The ED will be an effective storyteller with proven media training and public speaking experience. The ED should possess a proven track-record as a leader in racially and ethnically diverse and LGBTQ+ friendly nonprofit organizations, including a strong track record in fundraising, management, and external relations. Staff development and donor cultivation among non-dominant identity groups, communities of color, and indigenous populations in the state are critically important and the ED will be expected to build strong coalition partnerships.
LEADERSHIP & VISION
- Represent the Nevada ACLU affiliate with strength and vigor. Serve as primary liaison with national organization to ensure a strong relationship and to advocate for resources to support the staff and partners of the Nevada affiliate.
- Develop the affiliate’s priorities and positions on key issues in collaboration and consultation with the Board and staff, articulating the organization’s positions and communicating its mission to increase the organization’s visibility and the public’s understanding of the goals and work.
- Build consensus around a shared vision of goals and strategies that advance ACLU-NV’s mission.
- Lead using best nonprofit and governance practices.
- Act with clarity of mission and purpose.
- Develop and maintain a robust litigation department.
- Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff, ensuring strong internal communication, collaboration, and retention. Foster a supportive team-oriented environment where both independent and innovative thinking and collaboration are encouraged.
- Oversee the implementation of existing and new initiatives and work-flow to ensure the high- quality delivery of services, as well as managing future program enhancement and growth.
- Drive a culture of accountability with clear program goals (measurable, specific, inclusive, equitable, time-bound) strategies to accomplish, and regular feedback.
- Foster an environment of continuous improvement, learning, and effectiveness.
- Guard the organization’s integrity, credibility, and non-partisanship.
- Champion and value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at every level of the organization to strive towards a culture of belonging.
- Lead collaboratively with a Board of Directors to implement a model of strategic and generative governance.
- Build and maintain a strong and contributing board. Ensure there is the right mix of talents, skills, abilities, and perspectives represented on the board.
- Manage teams dedicated to litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education.
- Specifically, interface with the Litigation Committee of the Board to ensure a robust litigation program that addresses community needs.
- Act as chief recruiter working to attract and retain a strong and talented team.
- Evaluate the organization’s current professional development opportunities for staff and implement changes that will positively impact and enhance the organization's operations and retention in a way that will continue to build a diverse organization.
BUDGET & FUND DEVELOPMENT
- Oversee a Director of Finance and Administration who leads fiscal planning and financial oversight, ensuring transparency and use of best practices that meet the highest standards.
- Oversee a robust fundraising program to protect the affiliate’s long-term financial stability, steward key donor relationships, identify new major donor prospects, and solicit major donations.
- Assure that the development leadership anticipate funding needs and seek out opportunities to meet those needs.
- Collaborate with national staff to implement the national fundraising model, participate in nationwide convenings, and ensure that fundraising platforms are used well in the affiliate.
- Proactively and transparently provide financial reports, conduct regular audits, and engage the Board in the budgeting process.
- Strive to ensure staff has the resources needed to do their jobs effectively. Plan for various financial scenarios assuring the ACLU of Nevada is well positioned.
- Serve as the chief marketer, communicator, and spokesperson and maintain strong relationships with the media, guide organizational strategy and work effectively with the national communications staff to maximize nationwide messaging and to amplify local priorities.
- Act as the key spokesperson for the organization at press conferences and at key legislative hearings.
- Grow and expand the ACLU-NV’s reputation, developing and maintaining key relationships of influence.
- Ensure strong relationships with national staff and key partners across the country and state of Nevada.
- Exhibit courage and clarity when addressing highly controversial and complex issues.
- Create and cultivate a diverse set of voices to represent the organization’s positions on its work in the press, with the legislature, and with coalition partners.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
- Ten years of professional experience in the nonprofit or public interest sector. Experience in another sector can be considered for an outstanding candidate.
- Ten years of professional or lived experience and a bachelor’s degree are minimum requirements.
- Demonstrated ability to innovate, adapt when faced with change, and creatively think through complexity.
- Proven fundraising and financial management experience with a solid track-record of success.
- Proven ability to network and develop relationships amongst diverse partners and the political savvy to build relationships in new communities.
- Proven managerial, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and human resource experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors.
- Proven and successful track record in creating, implementing, overseeing, and continually improving programs.
- Proven and successful track record with change management, particularly with regard to developing cohesive, but distinct programs, that employ multiple strategies.
- 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-NV to a broad public.
- A record of success working in partnership with a board and staff of diverse backgrounds, levels of education, personalities, and talents.
- Ability to interact effectively with people from different racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, geographical, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Ability to listen, to Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners and the public with compassion, respect and genuine openness to constructive input that can be usefully incorporated in fulfilling the responsibilities of the problem.
- Experience supporting nonprofit boards to govern strategically.
- Ability to work in a high-pressure environment and to prioritize and deal with competing needs and projects.
- Proficiency with computers: Windows and Microsoft Office in particular.
- Creative, result-oriented, self-starting, willing to learn, and able to manage an aggressive schedule.
- Firm commitment to the mission and principles of the ACLU and to advancing the ACLU-NV’s goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of equity and civil liberties issues, and implications.
- History of work on civil rights, civil liberties, or social justice on a personal or professional level.
- Dedicated leader and representative who can translate vision into action. Passionate about networking and representing the organization to critical constituencies including ACLU-NV members, directly impacted communities, the public, government, and the media.
- Intelligent and inspiring, able to conceptualize and express ideas, and anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities for the ACLU-NV. Someone who understands the value of creating partnerships with other organizations as a way of accomplishing the ACLU-NV’s goals.
- Energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter and finisher.
- Team leader who inspires collaboration and independence, and functions decisively.
- A leader who shares information easily, listens as well as gives advice, and respects and enhances the abilities of others.
- Emotional intelligence necessary for effective leadership internally and externally.
Diversified Search has been retained by ACLU of Nevada to assist in this search process. Applications, nominations, and further inquiries should be directed to ACLU-NV-ED@divsearch.com.
J. VERONICA BIGGINS
(404) 942-6305 Office (404) 655-9775 Cell
Managing Director and General Counsel
(202) 567-6971 Office (301) 928-8071 Cell
Vice President & Senior Associate
(202) 350-9818 Office (540) 454-0666 Cell
(404) 942-6306 Office (404) 358-5054 Cell
The ACLU of Nevada is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing civil rights and civil liberties through litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education.
The ACLU of Nevada is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. It is our policy to employ qualified people without regard to: race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; disability; sexual orientation; veteran’s status; marital status; civil union status; arrest or court record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law.