Executive Director

Executive Director

ACLU of Colorado

Denver, CO   |   July 8, 2020

The ACLU of Colorado is seeking an experienced and dynamic leader with a demonstrated commitment to broad community engagement and the issues impacting civil rights and civil liberties, equity, and diversity and inclusion to become its next Executive Director. 

Organization Overview

With over 40,000 members, a staff of almost 30, and a budget of over $4 million, the ACLU of Colorado (ACLU-CO) is a dynamic, not-for-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization that engages in litigation, lobbying, field organizing, public education, and multi-platform communications to protect and promote civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice throughout Colorado. ACLU-CO is an affiliate of the national ACLU, an organization that has served as the preeminent defender of civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice in this country for decades. ACLU-CO frequently joins forces with the ACLU’s national offices and other affiliates, as well as community-based partner organizations to maximize its impact in Colorado and beyond. The Executive Director will partner with staff to address issues at the forefront of ACLUE-CO including but not limited to: Criminal Justice Reform, Immigrants’ Rights, Reproductive Rights, Voting Rights, Economic Justice, and Privacy and Surveillance, as well as future mission-related issues as they arise.

The Position  

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for providing direction and leadership toward achieving the organization’s philosophy, mission, strategies, and annual goals and objectives. The ACLU-CO seeks an experienced, strategic, and visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to broad community engagement and the issues impacting civil rights and civil liberties, equity, and diversity and inclusion throughout the state of Colorado. The ED will lead the development of strategies on the organization’s core priority areas, ensuring that the national office and affiliates together achieve shared performance outcomes. The ED must be able to balance many different interests of various constituent groups and individuals, and successfully develop internal and external relationships. The ED will champion the affiliate’s organization’s vision, mission, and values, have a proven track-record as a leader in racially and ethnically diverse and LGBTQIA friendly nonprofit organizations. The ED must have experience with change management as the ACLU-CO has undergone significant changes in recent years, including but not limited to diversification of strategy and workforce. Reporting to the ACLU-CO Board of Directors, the ED should be confident in their leadership and adept at balancing internal management with external visibility.

Key Selection Criteria 
  • Passion & Mission Alignment: The successful candidate must be a natural advocate of impeccable character committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission goals and programs with an understanding and ability to articulate the full range of civil liberties and their implications. This leader must inspire confidence and have a demonstrated track record of commitment to serving communities in need with a vision and passion for equity and inclusivity.
  • Visionary Leadership: Experience as a thoughtful and progressive leader who leads with a bold vision, future-orientation and executive leadership in rapidly changing environments.
  • Business & Financial Acumen: Demonstrated success with leveraging innovative models to sustainably grow and expand the organization and impact. A self-starter and creative problem solver who thinks and executes multi-dimensionally.
  • Staff Development & Change Management: Experience developing staff and teams. Knowledge of best practices employed for change management, board governance, succession planning, recruitment and retention of high performing teams. Has successfully implemented an organizational re-alignment and/or a strategic plan.
  • Fundraising & Partnerships: Has played a key role in philanthropic engagement and fundraising. A skilled leader in managing institutional advancement activities and building trusted and productive partnerships with donors and constituents.
  • Multi-Strategy, Multifaceted Advocacy Experience: Experience managing multiple areas of advocacy. The ACLU Colorado uses an integrated advocacy model, combining legal action, policy work, strategic communication and grassroots organizing.

Leadership & Vision:

  • Build consensus around a shared vision of goals and strategies that advance ACLU-CO’s mission, utilizing multi-faceted strategies, including advocacy, organizing, strategic communications, and litigation, to achieve the organization’s mission.
  • Develop the affiliate’s priorities and positions on key issues in collaboration and consultation with the Board and staff, articulating the organization’s positions and communicating its mission to increase the organization’s visibility and the public’s understanding of the goals and work.

Organizational Management:

  • Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff, ensuring strong internal communication and collaboration. Foster a supportive team-oriented environment where both independent and innovative thinking and collaboration are encouraged.
  • Champion and value diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the organization to strive towards a culture of belonging.
  • Lead collaboratively with a Board of Directors to implement a model of strategic and generative governance.
  • Evaluate the organization’s current professional development opportunities for staff and implement changes that will positively impact and enhance the organization’s operations and retention in a way that will continue to build a diverse organization, as well as individual staff’s skills and understanding.

Budget & Fund Development

  • Oversee a robust fundraising program to protect the affiliate’s long-term financial stability, steward key donor relationships, identify new major donor prospects, and solicit major donations.
  • Oversee a deputy director/controller who leads fiscal planning and financial oversight, ensuring transparency and use of best practices that meet the highest standards.

Public Representation:

  • Serve as the chief marketer, communicator, and spokesperson and maintain strong relationships with the media, guide organizational strategy, and work effectively with the national communications staff to maximize nationwide messaging and to amplify local priorities.
  • Grow and expand the ACLU-CO’s reputation, developing and maintaining key relationships of influence including decisionmakers, funders, clients, impacted communities, coalition partners, media representatives, and more.

Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest (cover letter and resume) should be directed electronically to [email protected]. All inquiries and communications will be handled confidentially.