The ACLU-DC is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties of those who live and work in the District of Columbia. Our 20 staff members work daily to achieve this mission through advocacy before the D.C. Council, litigation, public education, and organizing in all eight wards of D.C. ACLU-DC is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU works in communities, in the legislature, and in the courts to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Policy Director will lead and expand the ACLU of DC’s policy programs, including developing and implementing effective multi-disciplinary and integrated policy initiatives involving a combination of policy, legal, communication, public education and organizing strategies.
The Policy Director is responsible for setting the overall policy strategy to advance the ACLU of DC’s mission, as well as handling the day-to-day management of policy staff. The Policy Director will advance a broad civil liberties policy agenda before the DC Council, other local government bodies and administrative agencies. The Policy Director serves as a critical member of the organization’s senior management team by providing strategic leadership on policy project initiatives to support ACLU of DC’s mission.
In addition, the Policy Director works in close coordination with our legal, organizing, fundraising and communications teams, the national ACLU staff, and other local and national partners to advance our policy goals.
- Oversee the ACLU-DC ’s policy and lobbying programs, including priority issue campaigns.
- Develop and implement the ACLU-DC’s legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactic.
- Lobby members of the Council and their staff, the Mayor’s office, and other government agencies.
- Analyze and track legislation, draft amendments, prepare and deliver testimony, and identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU issues.
- Supervise policy staff to plan and implement effective multi-disciplinary and integrated policy initiatives, involving a combination of policy, legal, communication, public education and organizing strategies.
- Cultivate relationships with key elected and appointed officials, staff, policy makers, related governmental bodies and leaders and key stakeholder groups.
- In collaboration with the Organizing Director, work in partnership with organizations, build coalitions and identify and participate in strategic opportunities to advance the ACLU-DC’s policy agenda; engage varied and diverse stakeholders and represent the ACLU-DC in meetings before various community groups.
- In collaboration with the Executive Director, Organizing Director, and Strategic Communications Director, lead or participate in District ballot measure campaigns.
- Prepare policy materials in collaboration with other department staff, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, reports, op-eds and website updates.
- Respond to media requests on policy issues and speak at events and forums.
- Work with the Director of Philanthropy to identify funding sources, participate in donor meetings and write funding proposals and/or status reports.
- Work collaboratively with the national ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance nationwide policy campaigns.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
Department Leadership & Management
- Serve as a leader in the Policy Department, supporting the development and execution of department-wide work and modeling inclusive leadership.
- Supervise all Policy Department staff members and handle recruiting and hiring for additional staff (budget permitting).
- Foster an organizational culture within the Policy Department that encourages staff development through internal and external resources.
- Promote a team-oriented culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, professional growth, and job satisfaction.
- Design systems to promote effective working partnerships within and across departments.
- Execute annual performance evaluation processes for the Policy Department.
- Oversee IT needs for the Policy Department.
- Assess training needs for Policy staff members.
- Design and execute training programs.
- Oversee recruitment and hiring efforts for Policy Department.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Public Affairs, social sciences, or related field.
- At least five years of experience in political, legislative, or policy related work, preferably in the District of Columbia.
- Juris doctor from an accredited law school strongly preferred.
- Experience working closely with volunteer board of directors and non-profit organizations, including allies from across the political spectrum.
- Experience working with activists, grassroots groups and other non-governmental organizations.
- Experience managing a team of policy professionals.
- Experience with strategic management of a team to accomplish policy-related objectives.
- Demonstrated commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences.
- Excellent communication, media, presentation, written, and analytical skills.
- Excellent organizational skills and a creative and strategic approach to problem-solving.
- Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and achievement-oriented, with an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities on behalf of the organization.
- Understanding of the legislative process, ballot measure campaigns and political strategic planning.
- Ability to work collaboratively in coalitions, including developing shared plans, coordinating external and internal communications, and navigating internal political dynamics among partner groups.
- Exceptional initiative, vision, and ability to develop and implement short and long-term integrated policy strategies utilizing a broad range of tactics.
- Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism.
- Ability to work long hours during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the District, as needed.
- Courage and integrity.
- Ability to consistently integrate deep understanding of key racial equity concepts into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions on race, class, and other group identities within the context of job responsibilities and projects.
- Ability to recruit, train, manage, and motivate a diverse, high-performing team.
- Ability to communicate effectively in multiple written forms and in oral advocacy.
- Ability to lead projects to completion with strategic thinking and problem-solving.
- Ability to take initiative, multi-task, and identify priorities amidst competing demands.
- Ability to work effectively with diverse coalitions and community groups, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances.
The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $120,000 depending on experience and qualifications. Excellent benefits include paid time off, generous paid holidays, medical and dental insurance, 401K plan with employer matching, life insurance, and income replacement during illness through a combination of annual sick leave, short-term and long-term disability insurance.
Applications must be submitted via the SmartRecruiter application page at http://acludc.com/policydirector2022.The position is open until filled. If you require accommodations to complete the application, please email operations (@) acludc.org. Please submit:
- A copy of your resume that lists relevant experience.
- A detailed cover letter explaining your interest in this position, and why you are well-suited to serve in this position.
- A list of three references, including a sentence about each one identifying what information the person can provide.
- One work sample/portfolio item of 1-5 pages. This should be a piece of work used for policy analysis/advocacy, and could include: a piece of correspondence, a memo outlining policy analysis or lobbying strategy, an op-ed or similar public writing sample, etc.
The ACLU-DC is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-DC encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected by the D.C. Human Rights Act or federal employment law. If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation regarding any part of the application process, please contact us at operations (@) acludc.org, or include your accommodation request(s) in your application email.