The ACLU seeks applicants for the full-time position of Chief Financial Officer in the Finance Department of the ACLU’s National office in New York, NY.

From paying vendors to forecasting budgets, and everything in-between, the Finance team provides the resources and platform for informed financial decision-making. In addition to having oversight of all financial activities of the National ACLU, the CFO will manage a team of 24 diverse and empowered doers and thinkers who take pride in their work and how it contributes to the mission of the ACLU. Its mission is to be a standard for excellence in non-profit finance. They aim to accomplish this by:

• recruiting, developing and retaining staff who are highly skilled in the work they do;
• providing exceptional customer service and using feedback to drive improvements;
• facilitating business decisions by providing timely, accurate and actionable information;
• using innovation and collaboration to solve problems and proactively get work done;
• and safeguarding the ACLU’s financial resources by using internal controls, best practices and compliance standards relevant to their work

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will oversee the financial strategy, operations and compliance of both the 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), with a combined budget of over $375 million in annual operating and capital expenses and nearly $1 billion in investments under management. The successful CFO candidate will be an experienced leader who has deep financial expertise, is a strategic and trusted advisor to senior leadership, and an effective people manager. They will have a successful track-record of managing the financial affairs of a large, complex organization, and a passion for the work of the ACLU.


The following strategic objectives for the CFO represent key financial priorities for the organization:

  • Participate as a key partner in the organization’s long-term strategic planning, providing data-driven insight into the organization’s current and future financial state
  • Improve the integration and adoption of financial systems across the organization to facilitate process efficiency, data integrity and the quality of analyses provided for decision-making
  • Cultivate a team culture that promotes recruiting, developing and retaining staff who are highly skilled in their respective roles
  • Continue to build productive partnerships with the ACLU’s fundraising teams, including bridging department-specific financial systems and improving cross-team communications
  • Continue to refine the financial models for the 501(c)(3), the Foundation, and the 501(c)(4), the Union

The CFO's essential duties and responsibilities include:

Organizational Leadership

  • Represent the organization and serve as primary point of contact with financial stakeholders, including ACLU’s Executive, Audit, Investment and Finance committees, investment advisors, external auditors, tax preparers, and regulatory agencies
  • Serve on the organization’s leadership team, helping to develop and execute business plans and strategies that advance the work of the ACLU
  • Effectively communicate and present critical financial matters to the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, COO, and other senior leadership, as well as to the Board and other key external stakeholders
  • Provide guidance to organizational leadership on financial management and fiscal policies and procedures to support strategic and operational decision making
  • Represent the finance team on cross-functional organizational projects as needed
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences regarding race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and socio-economic circumstance
  • Demonstrate a commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts

Team Management & Talent Development

  • Lead by example in managing a team of finance, accounting, investment, and finance operations professionals, driving results through the use of data, direct feedback, and strong accountability in a supportive and learning environment that fosters high staff engagement and professional growth
  • Oversee recruitment and hiring of finance staff, ensuring roles are clearly defined and hiring processes are inclusive, equitable, and reflective of ACLU values and guidelines
  • Actively engage in the professional development and performance management of direct reports and other team leaders by providing mentoring and coaching, delegating work streams effectively, setting appropriate development goals, and holding team members to a 
    high standard of excellence

Fiscal Strategy

  • Serve as the ACLU’s chief financial strategist; utilize financial expertise, industry trends, available financial data and inputs from internal and external stakeholders, and programmatic and organizational priorities to guide financial structures, recommendations, and decision-making
  • Oversee development and maintenance of comprehensive financial models that adapt to the ACLU’s complex organizational structure and evolving needs
  • Oversee the design and monitoring of financial performance metrics in alignment with the organization’s budget and long-term sustainability goals
  • Work with external investment managers, executive leadership, and Board committees to develop appropriate investment strategies, policies, and actions to maintain and grow the ACLU’s substantial financial resources
  • Identify and implement opportunities for improvement of financial management practices; continually assess and make necessary improvements to fiscal policies and procedures, financial information systems, and team structure, training and accountability measures

Financial Operations & Compliance

  • Oversee all operational functions of the finance department, including financial planning & analysis, accounting, payroll, travel management, investments & treasury, and finance operations
  • Set the bar for customer service excellence by providing timely, thorough, and friendly responses to internal and external stakeholder inquiries
  • Supervise the timely and accurate development of budgets, financial reports, and models that will assist the Executive Director, Board, and other senior managers in making informed program and operational strategy, resource allocation, and investment decisions
  • Oversee the successful completion of annual audits, IRS filings, and other mandated compliance filings and mandated reporting. Monitor changes in financial regulatory environments and implement changes needed to maintain compliance
  • Supervise the banking and cash management functions, serving as primary relationship and compliance manager for related vendors
  • Work with third-party investment advisors to monitor the ACLU’s investment portfolios, ensuring compliance with ACLU’s investment policy statements and appropriate state and federal regulations
  • Create, institute, and document best-in-class processes in budgeting, financial planning and analysis, cost management, program improvement, metrics, and/or policy changes to ensure the integrity, accuracy, compliance, and usefulness of financial information and reporting, in adherence to ACLU’s accounting policies and procedures
  • Supervise the reporting necessary for the Board of Directors’ Audit, Finance, & Investment committees and work with the audit function of the ACLU to meet its regulatory and fiduciary obligations to regulators
  • Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned


The ACLU is highly interested in a CFO who will be a strategic business partner, who has strength in financial operations, and is a nurturer to staff in guiding them to the next level of financial services delivery that is synonymous with the growth of the ACLU. The ideal candidate will be a mission driven, people centered, financial leader with significant experience building and leading high-performing finance teams in a non-profit environment. The CFO will have the proven ability to build/manage budgets that have complex organizational priorities and structures. The successful candidate will be a team focused, service and systems-oriented leader with a big picture understanding of finance and a creative thinker around systems that create organizational efficiencies. Candidates must possess a strong track record for establishing systems that create operational and financial excellence and providing outstanding financial services to internal and external customers.

The successful candidate will possess the following attributes:

  • A winning blend of intelligence, passion for excellence, empathy for others, and integrity.
  • Financial management with organizational growth experience and specific expertise in financial planning and analysis.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact comfortably with the full spectrum of constituents.
  • Transparent communicator who keeps all stakeholders informed of key financial information.
  • Ability to provide analytical insight and perspective, as well as analyze and report on complex financial activities of the organization to a variety of stakeholders, including the Board.
  • Skilled at translating complex finance and accounting principles to a non-finance audience.
  • Demonstrated experience fostering workplace equity and diversity.
  • Ability to anticipate problems and provide smart, creative, fully formed, and defensible solutions.
  • Enthusiastic problem-solver with a consultative, intellectually curious approach.
  • Diplomatic; strong EQ; and service oriented


  • Expertise in financial reporting, internal controls, GAAP, audit, budgeting, revenue and cost analysis, capital projects, and capital markets
  • Knowledge of laws, procedures, and regulations relating to US tax exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) with a related 501(c)(4) affiliate operating under a cost-sharing or other shared services agreements
  • Familiarity with affiliate structures preferred
  • An appetite for talent development, including knowing how to lead and motivate teams of people, and the ability to partner with and influence senior management, peers, and others using a collaborative mentality and style
  • An undergraduate or graduate degree in finance or related subject (a CPA and/or MBA in accounting and finance are highly desirable)


The annual salary for this position is $337,366 (Level A). This salary is reflective of a position based in New York, NY. This salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.


The American Civil Liberties Union was founded more than 100 years ago and is our nation’s guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Today, the organization is headquartered in New York City with a 50-state network of staffed, autonomous affiliate offices. In the last 5 years, the ACLU has experienced exponential growth, essentially doubling in size, which has enabled their efforts nationally and locally.

In 1920 the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet upheld a single free speech claim, white women had just earned the right to vote, violence against Black people was routine, and constitutional rights for lesbians and gays, bisexual and transgender people were unthinkable. So, activists Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman, Albert DeSilver, and others founded the ACLU to defend and secure these rights and to extend them to people who had long been excluded from their protection – including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people; women; mental patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.

In the ACLU’s first year, it fought the harassment and deportation of immigrants whose activism put them at odds with the authorities. In 1939, the ACLU won in the U.S. Supreme Court the right for unions to organize. It stood almost alone in 1942 in denouncing the government’s round-up and internment in concentration camps of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans. Since their first year, the ACLU has been at the fore front of every ‘fight’ for civil rights through its litigation efforts, its lobbying efforts and its education efforts. It’s current areas of focus are categorized as follows:

These issues represent the organization’s current emphasis, driven
by their judgment that the threats faced and the need for reform could
not be more poignant at this time:

  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Immigration
  • Reproductive Freedom
  • Voting Rights

These issues represent the individual rights and liberties that are core to democracy and to our nation.

  • Capital Punishment
  • Freedom of Religion
  • National Security
  • Prison Conditions
  • Speech, Privacy, and Technology

These issues cut across all the work and are essential to assuring that all have equal dignity and protection under law.

  • Disability Rights
  • Human Rights
  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Racial Justice
  • Women's Rights

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to its work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. It’s a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency, and accountability.

To quote the ACLU: “We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we’re in the courts or in the office, we believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.”


The position is open until filled. First consideration will be given to applications received by October 28, 2022. To apply for this outstanding opportunity, please electronically submit your resume and a cover letter of interest to The Byers Group: ACLU.CFO@byersgroupca.com. The letter of interest should outline why you are interested in joining the ACLU and your relevant accomplishments.

Confidential inquiries are encouraged and can be directed to: Ms. Brett Byers at brett@byersgroupca.com l 323-403-8279 and/or Ms. Christine Boulware at christine@byersgroupca.com l 312-391-6098

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email benefits.hrdept@aclu.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The Department of Education has determined that employment in this position at the ACLU does not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.


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