The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is hiring a program director to lead the Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice (GSRJ) Program.  The Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice Director will lead a team of motivated and mission-driven staff in one of six broad issue-based programs in the affiliate’s Legal-Policy Department.  This is an exciting opportunity to provide vision, leadership, and support to a program devoted to ensuring Californians’ bodily autonomy and ending oppression based on gender and sexual orientation.

The Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice Director will provide supervision and support to a team that currently comprises a lawyer who is the content lead for our work focused on sexual orientation and the rights of LGBTQ people, two lawyers focused primarily on reproductive and gender justice, and three legal-policy professional staff (the LPPS staff also work in other program areas), as well as content supervision for the organizer who works with the GSRJ team.  The GSRJ Director will be supervised by a Legal-Policy Co-Director and will work with the other five Program Directors on annual programmatic plans and intersectional cases and campaigns.  Program Directors are expected to help advance the ACLU NorCal mission while modeling the values of the organization, including excellence, equity and inclusion, expansion mindset, and emotional intelligence.  The GSRJ Director position can be based in ACLU NorCal’s San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno offices. 

The Position

The Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice Director will lead the program team in its work. The GSRJ Director will spend 50-75% of their time on management, strategic planning and leadership and 25-50% of their time on directly engaging in substantive policy advocacy, legal advocacy, or litigation.  The GSRJ Program has a number of active cases and multiyear integrated advocacy campaigns; it also responds to attacks on its core issues as they emerge.  ACLU NorCal also prioritizes work led by impacted communities, and the GSRJ team regularly works in coalition with grassroots and community-based organizations, as well as with the ACLU NorCal Communications and Organizing Departments, to impact policies and practices at the local, statewide, and national levels. The Director will have demonstrated commitment to multimodal advocacy strategies for advancing civil rights and liberties.  This is a management position and is unrepresented.   

The Approach

ACLU NorCal’s Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice Program works toward a California that is free of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation and that respects, values and supports all Californians’ bodily autonomy and right to have children, not have children, and parent the children we have with dignity. We ground our work in racial justice values and an understanding of intersectionality. Priority areas have included work at the intersection of criminal justice, including decriminalization of sex work; advancing paid sick and family leave; protecting the rights of transgender and gender-expansive people, particularly Black trans women; ensuring access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care; addressing government programs that lead to family separation for low-income families of color; promoting measures to eliminate racial inequities in birth outcomes and reproductive health access; ensuring comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education; and challenging discriminatory religious restrictions on health care.  

ACLU NorCal takes an Integrated Advocacy approach to the work of advancing civil rights and civil liberties in our region and across the state, meaning we deploy multi-pronged strategies that include impact litigation, policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, organizing, and communications.

You are an experienced civil rights advocate and leader who thrives in a busy, mission-driven environment.  You have led impact work on a regional, statewide, or national level, and can effectively support high-achieving individuals and teams to advance their work strategically and effectively. 

You are a leader who trusts and inspires trust in supervisees, and who also can share responsibility and authority with others.  You are a strategic thinker with a particular focus on gender justice and/or reproductive justice and enough experience with the GSRJ Program’s range of issues to be a thought partner to the staff and others with whom ACLU NorCal works.  You have a demonstrated commitment to mentorship and supervision.  You work well under pressure, are professional and personable, and are committed to racial and social justice in the work and interpersonal work relationships.

About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) comprises two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (501c4). The GSRJ Director is an employee of the Foundation. For most of the last century, ACLU NorCal has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.  Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era and face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made.  We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative and other policy advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms.

Duties and Responsibilities  

The GSRJ Program Director will support and model a culture of shared purpose, mentorship, and mutual respect in the Program team, in the Legal-Policy Department, across the affiliate, and with partners. The GSRJ Director will plan and facilitate monthly Program meetings, annual retreats, and weekly one-on-one meetings with direct reports.  The GSRJ Director will provide content for monthly Department meetings and annual program planning.  The GSRJ Director will participate in Program personnel decisions, including recruiting, hiring, promotions, terminations, and flex working arrangements.  The GSRJ Director will meet regularly with their supervisor, a Legal-Policy Co-Director, to provide updates and solicit input and feedback and participate in formative and summative self-assessment.  The GSRJ Director will work regularly with colleagues in the Southern California and San Diego/Imperial Counties affiliates and ACLU National.

Required Experience:

  • Significant experience in legal or policy work required in the relevant fields, particularly gender justice or reproductive justice, with a preference for 10 or more years’ experience.

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Extremely strong project and time management skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and ability to inspire collaboration, including success leading teams, projects, and people towards action through persuasion.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide support, supervision, and strategic guidance to GSRJ team members.
  • Experience managing complex coalitions with a variety of viewpoints and goals.
  • Understanding of and experience with advocacy in a variety of contexts.
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultural diversity and demonstrated ability to hold and foster difficult and necessary conversations about race, class, sexual orientation and expression, religion, ability, and other identity-based issues.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging in creative problem solving and taking initiative, while utilizing a solutions-oriented approach and exhibiting flexibility and good judgment in a complex organizational ecosystem.
  • Willingness and ability to travel within Northern and Central California, and occasionally to Southern California and other parts of the country for speaking events, meetings, and conferences.
  • Ability to work outside of traditional office hours.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills.
  • Excellent ability to synthesize complex information for lay audiences.
  • Excellent oral communication skills.
  • Familiarity with and commitment to gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice.


Preferred Skills / Competencies / Education:

  • Familiarity with the Central Valley or other rural areas of California.
  • Intersectional analysis and the ability to contextualize reproductive justice, gender justice and/or LGBTQ justice within other social justice movements.
  • D. and/or graduate degree in a field such as public policy or political science preferred.
  • People with direct personal or professional experience with impacted communities are encouraged to apply for this position.


Competitive salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and, 401(k) plan with employer match. Starting annual salary range is: $141,386.25 – 157,931.45

Requisition Status:  Confidential Position

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) resume, (3) a written sample of your work – campaign plan, legal brief, etc. If your candidacy advances to the final round, you will be asked to provide a list of four references, including one a direct supervisor and one a direct supervisee (please indicate your relationship to each reference). Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter.

Please submit your application in PDF form here:

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