Executive Director

Deadline date

Submit your application as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia (ACLU-VA) seeks an Executive Director (ED) with experience managing and leading a high-performing team to achieve the organization’s mission, vision, and program goals, and a demonstrated commitment to civil rights, civil liberties, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

The primary responsibility of the ED will be managing day-to-day operations, leading the organization’s development efforts, and prioritizing the work of the staff. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its communications, fundraising, and advocacy programs are meeting current and emerging needs. The ED will have a comprehensive knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights issues, and will be a leader who is adept at both internal management and optimizing external impact and visibility.

Who We Are

The ACLU-VA strives to be Virginia’s premiere guardian of civil liberties and a recognized champion of civil rights for all Virginians. For nearly one hundred years (50 in Virginia), the ACLU has made a profound difference in the lives of clients and community members, as well as historic contributions to our country and state. Now, more people than ever before have turned to the ACLU to fight back against unprecedented new attacks on civil rights and liberties. The ACLU-VA is committed to pursuing impactful policy changes at the local and statewide levels that work to achieve racial equity and the advancement of civil liberties and civil rights for everyone. The ACLU-VA is committed to ending racist policing, reducing the number of people who are incarcerated in Virginia, increasing access to quality mental and medical care for people who are incarcerated, ending sex and gender-based discrimination at work and in schools, and securing a constitutional right to vote for everyone.

What You’ll Do

The Executive Director of the ACLU-VA will assume the following responsibilities:

Leadership and Vision

  • Establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of the ACLU-VA in a manner that aligns effectively with the organization’s mission;
  • Serve as the spokesperson for ACLU-VA, articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission;
  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to ACLU-VA’s mission and purpose;
  • Work in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff to carry out organizational policies;
  • Work in partnership with the Board of Directors to create and implement a strategic planning process that helps define the direction of the organization, establishes priorities, and identifies funding needs.

Staff Leadership / Management

  • Inspire, motivate, and build rapport to cultivate a cohesive staff, ensuring that there is strong internal communication, participation, coordination, and accountability;
  • Implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives established by the Board of Directors;
  • Direct the organization’s legal, advocacy, communications, and development programs;
  • Ensure that day-to-day operations are professionally administered, and that appropriate technologies are employed to maximize organizational efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Oversee the organization’s fiscal operations, including the budgetary process and financial controls;
  • Create an open, inclusive culture that invites conversation and active listening, enables staff to bring their true selves to work, and ensures personal growth and development;
  • Attract, recruit, lead, and mentor a diverse staff that serves civil liberties/civil rights with enthusiasm and deep personal understanding of the mission of ACLU-VA;
  • Ensure an organizational commitment to and achievement of goals for equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Resource Development

  • Oversee development and execution of a comprehensive, data-driven, and donor-centered fundraising program that includes specific fundraising goals and targets with a focus on the acquisition of annual leadership gifts ($10,000+);
  • Cultivate and solicit an assigned portfolio of donors for major gifts.

Board Relations

  • Work with the Board of Directors to recruit additional Board members who will bring diversity and new talents to the organization;
  • Work with the Board of Directors to identify and retain an auditor and cooperate in completing an annual financial audit;
  • Regularly brief the Board of Directors on the status of the organization;
  • Engage the Board of Directors in meaningful dialogue to further the organization’s goals.

Who You Are

The Executive Director of the ACLU-VA will possess the following competencies and qualifications:

  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU-VA and to racial justice and civil rights issues, and an understanding that these issues are central to the overall protection of civil liberties;
  • Managerial, problem-solving, strategic planning, fund development, and financial experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sector;
  • Empathetic and compassionate leadership style with the ability to listen to Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners, and the public with respect and genuine openness to constructive input;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, creatively problem-solve, exercise good judgement, and lead change;
  • Ability to connect the ACLU-VA to resources and opportunities outside the organization;
  • Successful track record of raising money from a variety of sources, including major donors;
  • Experience in creating and implementing programs and in collaborating with other organizations;
  • Proven success at working effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff as well as coalitions and community groups; ability to work across the political spectrum and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Robust understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, as well as experience successfully leading and integrating diversity into organizational policies, practices, management, and culture.

What Else You Should Know

The ACLU of Virginia is an equal opportunity employer. It values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-VA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status, and commits to comply with all applicable equal opportunity and nondiscrimination laws and to refrain from unlawful discrimination.

What Now?

Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email tsutrisno@koyapartners.com and agomes@koyapartners.com directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Submit your application as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.