The Senior Director of National Campaigns and Organizing (Senior Director) is responsible for charting the course for all issue advocacy campaigns at the national/federal level. The Senior Director is a critical member of leadership within the National Political Advocacy Department (NPAD) and reports directly to the Chief Political & Advocacy Officer, Deirdre Schifeling. It is one of two senior directors roles within the Department.

NPAD builds power to achieve an accountable, representative democracy. The Department has ambitious goals across Reproductive Freedom, Democracy and Voting Rights, Systemic Equality, Immigration, Trans Justice, Criminal Justice and other core issues in order to protect and expand civil rights and civil liberties, and advance the freedom, equality, ability to prosper, and humanity of all People. 

NPAD conducts analysis, develops policy, crafts world class campaigns, and situates the ACLU to have impact across legislative, administrative, and electoral levers. They are policy experts, lawyers, community organizers, lobbyists, campaign strategists, electoral specialists, program managers, and more. They partner across the ACLU to drive national efforts, and support and amplify the priorities of our affiliates and work to center principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in their approach.

The Senior Director will lead the National Campaigns & Organizing team, which is charged with setting a vision and leading divisions responsible for developing and implementing campaign goals, strategies, and budgets to reach political/policy outcomes. This role will manage six direct reports and a total team of 20 professionals, including Director-level staff. The team is responsible for achieving legislative and administrative victories across priority issue areas that advance civil liberties and civil rights at the national/federal level while building the ACLU’s power. In consultation with the Chief Political & Advocacy Officer, the Senior Director will operate as a central decision maker on all national campaign engagements, shaping budgeting decisions, campaign priorities, policy development agendas, and political messaging frames. Flexible in nature and in partnership with ACLU Senior Leadership, this role will be responsible for identifying areas of work that should be prioritized by the National Campaigns team, as well as campaigns and initiatives in response to unexpected, significant developments.

The Senior Director will maintain a strong awareness and understanding of the intersectionality of priority issues at the ACLU. The Senior Director will spot trends and think strategically across issues and campaigns, driving interventions that highlight the political power wielded by the Department and the ACLU. They will consult with the State Campaigns Division, the Electoral Team, and ACLU affiliates on identifying and executing state-based campaigns, to the extent they overlap with federal campaign priorities. This role will also maintain a big-picture awareness of emerging opportunities and challenges across all issue areas as well as the flexibility and nimbleness to respond. Equally important, this role will develop and maintain relationships with allies and other organizations to further political advocacy goals. The Senior Director will partner closely with colleagues across NPAD, including those in the Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives Department, Communications, Analytics, and Legal departments, to develop comprehensive strategies to enhance goals.

Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintain big-picture awareness of emerging opportunities, challenges, and trends across all issue areas.
  • Drive efforts to fundraise on behalf of the Department and the broader ACLU.
  • Develop staff capacity to work together collaboratively and grow issue expertise and campaign skills; lead efforts to recruit and grow staff, and further strengthen the Department.
  • May provide subject matter expertise, advice, and support to fellow colleagues as they develop and execute campaigns in new and unfamiliar issue areas
  • Demonstrate an ability to be flexible and adjust priorities as necessary in order to adapt to changing external environment.
  • 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 and values of ACLU and NPAD.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to 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.

The role is based in Washington, D.C. and travel is expected.


The ACLU is seeking a highly skilled and experienced individual who brings outstanding leadership, partnership, and strategic capabilities. The successful candidate will have a track record of success leading campaigns and building effective organizations around them. This individual naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.

The successful candidate will bring demonstrated experience leading issue campaigns and, ideally, multi-year efforts. This individual will also bring an expertise in one or more priority issues at the ACLU.

This individual is a valuable and reliable thought partner who can connect dots, strengthen strategies, and establish comprehensive plans. The successful candidate is someone who gets energy from enabling others and by serving as a partner. They will provide strong problem solving and creative skills, and a deep commitment to collaboration.

This individual will bring a track record of inspiring confidence by enabling decisions and setting priorities. Further, they will have experience strengthening the culture of an organization. The successful candidate will excel at operating in a fast-paced, demanding environment, and serving as a source of clarity and calm to colleagues. They will bring an exceptional capacity for managing and leading people. The successful candidate will have superb listening and communication skills, and a passion for developing staff.

In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

Setting Strategy & Executing for Results

  • Proven ability to identify and set campaign strategy and organizing priorities; outstanding ability to serve as a central decision maker.
  • Significant demonstrated electoral campaign experience at the national/federal level; campaign management (both issue-based and electoral) experience strongly preferred.
  • Decisive in strategic planning but is aware of a changing environment and maintains a needed level of flexibility.
  • The leadership and skills to create and articulate an inspiring vision for the division.
  • The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving results.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; capacity to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
  • A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in their approach to making decisions; acts in a transparent and consistent manner while always taking into account what is best for the organization.
  • A leader who can serve as an effective and credible spokesperson for the organization.

Leading Teams

  • Demonstrated experience leading people and teams in an organization of similar size, scale, and scope
  • The ability to motivate the team, attract and recruit top talent, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity within the team, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
  • Able to persevere in the face of challenges, and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to higher standards.
  • Self-reflective and aware of their own limitations; leads by example and drives the organization's performance with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.
  • The willingness to make mistakes in pursuit of ambitious, game-changing goals, while possessing the ability to accept responsibility and learn from those mistakes with a sense of humor and humility.

Relationships and Influence

  • Outstanding relationship builder who uses influence effectively in a variety of settings, both within the organization and with external constituencies, including Capitol Hill, allied organizations, and other relevant parties.
  • Ability to work in a matrixed and federated environment; strong conflict management skills; ability to bring consensus around a common purpose and deliver collaborative solutions.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Skilled at advocacy, influence, and persuasion; able to convince others to act on information or recommendations based on compelling logic or common best interests.
  • Deep commitment to actively promoting the values and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and further fostering an environment of belonging and trust.


The ACLU values equity, transparency, and clarity in pay. Consistent with the ACLU’s compensation philosophy, there is a set salary for this role. The annual salary for this position is $247,964 (Level B2), reflective of a position based in Washington, DC. 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. 


Russell Reynolds Associates has been exclusively retained for this search. Individuals interested in applying are invited to submit, in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF form, a curriculum vitae and brief explanation of interest to ACLUNationalCampaignsOrganizing@RussellReynolds.com. Inquiries and nominations should also be sent to this address.


The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer and values 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 American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) is the nation’s premier guardian of the civil rights and liberties that define our democracy. Fundamental freedoms are under attack ranging from free speech, to voting, reproductive, and LGBTQ rights to racial justice. The work of the ACLU has never been more important or more urgent.

“Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.”

The ACLU was founded in 1920 to defend and protect the civil rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the nation’s civil rights laws. It is known for assembling broad coalitions of conservatives, moderates, and progressives to advance civil liberties on a wide range of issues, standing up for these rights even when the cause is unpopular and sometimes when no one else will. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. When the Trump Administration began an attack on civil liberties, the ACLU was the first organization to challenge its policies. The same holds true during Democratic administrations, whenever civil rights and civil liberties are in jeopardy.

The ACLU consists of two separate nonprofits with a combined budget of $375M between the ACLU and the ACLU Foundation. The ACLU is a 501(c)(4) corporation, and the ACLU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. The ACLU is funded by its 1.7 million members and donors. The 52 Affiliates are separately incorporated nonprofits, though a unified fund- sharing system allocates resources between and among Affiliates and the National Office. A National Board of Directors – with representatives from each of the Affiliates – sets overall policy for the national organization. There are over 1,700 ACLU staff members across the nationwide network.

The organization experienced substantial growth since 2016 almost doubling the budget and doubling its staff size in the national headquarters. This growth was fueled in large part due to its ability to quickly mobilize and challenge threats to civil rights and civil liberties so prevalent during the Trump Administration. As the organization has experienced rapid growth, there is work currently underway to ensure priorities, work and resources are aligned and that the values espoused externally are experienced internally.

The ACLU, with headquarters in New York City, is the nation’s largest public interest law firm, litigating across the nation and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (appearing before the body more than any other organization, other than the U.S. Department of Justice). The Washington, D.C., legislative office lobbies the U.S. Congress, and the ACLU uses strategic communications to educate the public about issues.

The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Their mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.

For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to their work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. They are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. The ACLU believes 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 colleagues to do the best work possible. They are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as they are externally. Because whether the ACLU in the courts or in the office, they believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.

For more information about the ACLU, please visit www.aclu.org and review the 2022 annual report here.

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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