Political Director – ACLU of Georgia

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLU-GA) seeks a smart, sophisticated and dynamic leader with a mix of public policy advocacy and issue-based campaign experience to help the organization achieve its public policy goals. The most immediate project involves a campaign to reform Georgia’s criminal justice system.

The ACLU of Georgia, the state-wide affiliate of the national ACLU, is a nonpartisan public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights through litigation, policy advocacy and public education. The Georgia affiliate is poised for significant growth, and we are looking for an experienced, dynamic and passionate individual who is excited to join our team.

The ACLU of Georgia plays an important role in the national discussion on civil liberties and is one of the state’s premier public advocacy organizations. By shaping and delivering our public policy work, the Political Director will have a major impact on this discussion. For more information, please visit www.acluga.org


The ACLU works to advance civil liberties by employing litigation, public policy advocacy, public education, organizing, communications and social media to protect and promote a broad range of individual rights, including freedom of speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, voting rights, immigrant rights and rights for people with disabilities. The organization often works with broad coalitions of conservatives, moderates, and progressives.

Although the ACLU’s reputation is built on effective litigation at every level of the justice system, civil liberties cannot be protected in the courts alone. It is necessary to advocate in the halls of government and in the court of public opinion, and while the organization has had a legislative lobbying program, its political advocacy has not attained the scale or the impact of its legal program.

The ACLU of Georgia now seeks to build a more expansive advocacy infrastructure to increase the organization’s effectiveness in achieving its public policy objectives. The goal is to advance a powerful political strategy to stop or change legislation that restricts individual freedoms and advances legislation to strengthen civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU will also involve itself in statewide ballot initiatives to achieve policy changes and, when necessary, mount campaigns to defeat ballot measures hostile to civil liberties.

The Political Director is a new role designed to shape and lead the ACLU-GA’s public policy advocacy and political strategy.  The ACLU-GA seeks an exceptional individual to lead this work in collaboration with key Georgia and national ACLU leaders. The Political Director will play a key role along with the Executive Director and other members of ACLU-GA’s staff in shaping the overall vision of the organization’s work.

The Political Director will report to the Executive Director and will supervise a department that currently includes a Policy Counsel, who is the organization’s representative before the Georgia Legislature and other governmental bodies, and a Policy Advocate, who organizes community engagement work across the state. Additional positions are planned for the future.

The Role

  • Managing the ACLU-GA’s advocacy infrastructure and an increasing cohort of ACLU political/campaign staff, lobbyists and contract lobbyists and communications expertise to bolster support for the organization’s legislative campaigns, seeking to engage policy-makers from both sides of the political aisle;
  • Leading the development of a grasstops deployment strategy, building on a current network of card-carrying ACLU members in addition to thousands who are connected as online and social network activists;
  • Coordinating a political communications strategy in collaboration with the Communications Director to leverage traditional and new media to advance policy changes;
  • Overseeing the organization’s participation in the execution of a ballot initiative strategy to pass Constitutional amendments and, when necessary, a strategy to defeat state constitutional ballot measures that would restrict civil liberties; and
  • The design and execution of campaigns involving state legislation that will bring together and galvanize both conservatives and liberals.

Candidate Profile

This is an extraordinary opportunity for a talented leader to play a central role in shaping a new and bold vision to protect the liberties that define our democracy. We seek candidates with expertise in political, ballot and legislative campaigns to develop and lead a statewide strategy and drive a period of remarkable and exciting change for the ACLU – all at a critical juncture for civil rights and civil liberties in our nation.

While no one person will possess all of the qualities described below, the ideal candidate will have the following professional experience and demonstrated skills:

  • Finely honed and highly strategic political and campaign skills and high-level experience in leading, designing, and implementing significant political campaigns and effective organizing strategies;
  • Demonstrated and proven leadership experience working in an organization with both professional staff and volunteers;
  • Knowledge of the legislative and administrative processes at the state level;
  • A sophisticated understanding of how to be effective in the public policy arena, and experience in political organizing and formulating strategies that tie together research, legal analysis and litigation, lobbying, new forms of communications, and grassroots and grasstops strategies;
  • Knowledge of current political alignments and opportunities for collaboration with a broad range of groups;
  • Experience working closely and effectively with all media platforms and familiarity with social media as a communications and organizing tactic;
  • A history of working collaboratively and successfully with people and organizations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and a broad range of ideological positions and religious views;
  • A commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, and a demonstrated commitment to racial  justice and civil rights issues and an understanding that these issues are central to overall protection of civil liberties;
  • An understanding and keen interest in First Amendment and privacy issues as fundamental civil liberties principles;
  • A seasoned and effective leader with a record of recruiting, developing, and managing a highly talented and diverse staff, as well as overseeing budget and administration. A person who provides clear direction, delegates well, and assumes ultimate responsibility;
  • An interest in working with the Executive Director and other senior managers in raising funds with which to pursue the organization’s ambitious agenda; and
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. A law degree or graduate training is preferred, but not required.

Politics and Campaign Knowledge

The successful candidate will have deep substantive knowledge of the operation of the political, public policy and advocacy arenas in Georgia. The ideal candidate will be highly respected and possess the credibility to be able to deal across the political aisle and with all branches of government.  Regardless of political background, the ACLU-GA Political Director needs to be politically savvy and highly strategic, and have the ability to cultivate strong relationships with all key external constituencies and policy makers across party lines.

Leading Teams / Management

The ideal candidate will possess management experience along with a demonstrated track record of effectively running a team or organization. The new Director will know how to run a campaign, including how to recruit top talent and leverage staff members, as well as the resources in other departments. Additionally, the ideal candidate will have experience motivating and directing volunteers. The successful candidate will value talent and will inspire and motivate teams to work together with a clear direction and purpose.

Building Relationships and Using Influence

While the successful candidate must be a decisive, strategic leader, this individual also must have outstanding interpersonal skills. He/she will be a collaborator, motivator, and campaign builder.  He/she must have the ability to build relationships and use influence effectively to accomplish the goals of the ACLU.

This individual must also be able to represent the organization externally in all venues. In order to do this, he/she must be an outstanding communicator: articulate and persuasive, able to convince others to act on information or recommendations based on compelling logic or common best interests.

Interpersonal Acumen

The successful candidate will possess a keen sense of humor and a gracious manner as well as a style that is collegial, approachable, direct, and decisive.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU of Georgia’s compensation scale. Excellent benefits include paid vacation and sick leave, health and dental insurance, life and disability coverage and a Defined Contribution 401(k) retirement plan.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for the position, and indication of where you learned of this career opportunity, resume and three professional references (including contact information for each) to jobs@acluga.org  Please reference Political Director in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


This job announcement provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

ACLU of Georgia is an equal opportunity / fair chance employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-GA 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, and veteran status.

The ACLU-GA undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: info@acluga.org

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