ABOUT THE JOB

The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Director, Policy & Government Affairs of the Liberty Division in the National Political Advocacy Department of the ACLU’s National office in Washington, DC. This is a hybrid role that has in-office requirements of two (2) days per week or eight (8) days per month.

The National Political Advocacy Department builds power to achieve an accountable, representative democracy. We have 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.

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

YOUR DAY TO DAY

  • Lead and manage a team charged with charting the course for the ACLU’s policy agenda on reproductive freedom and LGBTQ rights, and other civil rights and civil liberties issues
  • Lead the Division in the development of novel goals, strategy, and vision, and the strategic plans necessary to advance key policy priorities and civil rights and civil liberties
  • Identify areas of work that should be prioritized by the Division, developing an annual slate of policy priorities that drive the core work within the Division
  • Provide strategic advice and counsel to the Senior Director of Policy & Government Affairs as well as other department leadership in areas of substantive expertise and in efforts to lead the Division’s work on policy engagements, lobbying strategy, and shaping policy agendas
  • Develop the strategy for and direct the policy and lobbying efforts in specific issue areas and civil liberties and civil rights at the federal level and support similar efforts at the state and local levels
  • Coordinate with other leaders within the Policy & Government Relations vertical to ensure effective relationship management, coordination on Capitol Hill, and on effective legislative strategies across policy divisions; coordinate regularly with other division Directors of Policy & Government Affairs to ensure alignment
  • Work in partnership with National and State Campaigns leadership to achieve legislative and administrative victories that advance civil liberties and civil rights in specific issue areas, while building the ACLU’s power
  • Work collaboratively with Legal Department staff on policy advocacy directed towards Congress or the Executive Branch to align their efforts with federal policy counsel in the Division, as well as collaborate with Legal Department staff in providing advice to affiliates on state and local policy
  • Serve as a principal policy, legal, and/or subject matter expert and advocate; represent the Division and department in meetings of ad hoc lobbying and policy and/or political coalitions as well as interdepartmentally
  • Direct the Division‘s work on the development and execution of accurate and persuasive written explanations of the ACLU’s position on proposed federal or state policy
  • Manage and cultivate relationships with policymakers in Congress and the Executive branch; testify as an expert at legislative hearings and agency meetings; identify and prepare expert witnesses and testimony when necessary
  • Lobby elected officials, their staff, and other public officials to support ACLU positions on pending legislation and policy initiatives
  • Provide strategic guidance on lobbying efforts and testimony to be delivered by ACLU state affiliates before legislative or regulatory bodies at the state and local/municipal levels, in collaboration with affiliate leadership
  • In collaboration with ACLU Communications staff and other key stakeholders, provide expert commentary to media, participate in media briefings, and draft and contribute to op-eds and other publications
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the ACLU on substantive areas of expertise
  • Engage in fundraising and donor cultivation
  • Develop staff capacity to work together collaboratively and grow issue expertise and policy and lobbying skills; lead trainings and provide mentorship and guidance
  • Lead efforts to recruit staff, and further strengthen the division and department
  • May provide subject matter expertise, advice, and support to fellow colleagues in other Divisions as they develop and execute state/local 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

FUTURE ACLU'ERS WILL 

  • Be committed to advancing the mission of the ACLU
  • Center and embed the principles of equity, inclusion and belonging in their work by demonstrating commitment to diversity with an approach that respects and values multiple perspectives
  • Be committed to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and conflicts

WHAT YOU'LL BRING

The ACLU seeks a highly-skilled individual who brings a deep understanding of and passion for reproductive freedom and LGBTQ rights, and other civil rights and civil liberties issues, and will have a track record of driving successful policy outcomes.

This leader will be experienced in leading legislative and administrative advocacy. They will be familiar with building, leading, and working within coalitions. The successful candidate will naturally connect and build strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively. They will bring excellent research, writing, and analytical skills. The successful candidate will be comfortable representing one’s organization and bring public speaking experience.

This leader will be effective working in a fast-paced environment, can handle multiple tasks simultaneously, is able to work efficiently and quickly, and is reliable in their delivery against deadlines, and is composed under pressure.

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 policy priorities
  • Decisive in strategic planning but aware of a changing environment and maintains a needed level of flexibility
  • The vision 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

Leading Teams

  • 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 public officials, trade associations, 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
  • Skilled at advocacy, influence, and persuasion; able to convince others to act on information or recommendations based on compelling logic or common best interests

COMPENSATION

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 ACLU also has a locality adjustment policy that applies to salaries.  The annual salary for this position is $206,637 (Level C2), reflecting the salary of a position based in Washington, DC. This position is subject to a hybrid schedule of 2 days/week or 8 days/month in-office.   

WHY THE ACLU

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.

We know that great people make a great organization. We value our people and know that what we offer is essential not just their work, but to their overall well-being. 

At the ACLU, we offer a broad range of benefits, which include:

  • Time away to focus on the things that matter with a generous paid-time off policy
  • Focus on your well-being with comprehensive healthcare benefits (including medical, dental and vision coverage, parental leave, gender affirming care & fertility treatment)
  • Plan for your retirement with 401k plan and employer match
  • We support employee growth and development through annual professional development funds, internal professional development programs and workshops

OUR COMMITMENT TO EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. For us diversity, equity and inclusion are not just check-the-box activities, but a chance for us to make long-term meaningful change.  We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. 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.

With this commitment in mind, we strongly encourage 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.    

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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