Organization: ACLU of Northern California

Location: San Francisco, CA

Express Interest

About the ACLU of Northern California:

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) is dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in California. It is an affiliate of the nationwide ACLU.

The ACLU-NC works to advance civil liberties by employing litigation, policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, public education, organizing, and communications to protect and promote a broad range of individual rights. Its major areas include criminal justice reform, immigrants’ rights, education equity, police practices, LGBT rights, reproductive justice, voting rights, and the First Amendment broadly.

The ACLU-NC is comprised of two tax-exempt organizations, with a combined budget of $14 million: a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in lobbying and advocacy, and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in litigation and public education.

The Director of Finance and Administration is a full-time position based in San Francisco, California.

For more information on The ACLU of Northern California, please visit

The Opportunity:

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) seeks an experienced, organized, and numbers-savvy Director of Finance and Administration, who works well with diverse groups of people, to oversee and lead financial and organizational operations.

The Director will have a lot to work with coming into this role, as the senior finance executive for the organization. The ACLU-NC entered the current period in sound footing, and is experiencing substantial growth in light of the national context. The incoming Director will be working with an established executive team, an engaged Board of Directors, and key staff in the finance and operations area. In the last year, the organization completed a re-design of its financial systems, which are operating effectively.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Finance and Administration will be directly responsible for the organization’s financial systems and controls, which requires a hands-on approach. This aspect of the role includes developing a planning environment with reliable forecasts and projections, including matching these projections with the programmatic needs and opportunities. The Director will also monitor the ongoing development and monitoring of financial controls designed to preserve the organizations assets, and report accurate financial results. In addition, the Director of Finance and Administration will oversee all the organization’s business functions (Operations, IT Systems Administration, Human Resources, and Risk Management) and ensure that the finance and administration team is supported in the service of advancing the mission. The position includes supervising and supporting a number of direct reports, some of whom in turn supervise team members. The Director will also facilitate collaboration with the ACLU of Southern California, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, and the national ACLU on financial and operational issues.

Direct responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial Strategy: Provide strategic financial input and leadership on issues affecting the organization, including deployment of resources and long-term planning.
  • Internal Controls: Develop and implement internal controls in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and best practices of financial management, including manage bank relationships.
  • Financial Management & Accounting: Supervise the accounting team to complete monthly closing and reporting, and ensure an efficient year-end closing, annual audit, and tax return processes.
  • Investment Oversight: Make recommendations for investment levels and choices consistent with our socially responsible investment guidelines.
  • Budget Planning and Monitoring: Lead the annual budget process and monitor implementation, including quarterly adjustments based on resource availability and program needs.
  • Board Relations: Serve as the primary staff for the Finance & Investment Committee of the Board of Directors.
  • Operations Management: Oversees the administrative and operational functions for all offices, including San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno.
  • Facilities Support: Manage leases, subleases, moves, equipment leases, purchases and financing, including supervising and collaborating with operations and facilities staff.
  • Policy Development: Working closely with Compliance Counsel, enhance and/or develop, implement and enforce policies and procedures of the organization by way of systems that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the organization.
  • IT Infrastructure Oversight: Ensure that IT infrastructure is aligned with organizational and staffing needs, including working closely with managed services consultants and Operations Manager to strategize and implement IT solutions.
  • Risk Management: Working closely with Compliance Counsel, oversee risk management, including MOUs, contracts, and other legal documents and agreements.
  • Human Resources: Provides big picture oversight of the management of the human resources program, including recruiting and onboarding program, employee relations, policy implementation, and benefits administration, and the establishment of an effective HRIS system.

Candidate Profile:

The Director of Finance and Administration will be a focused, self-motivated individual who is deeply invested in the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. S/he will be a finance superstar who is willing to roll up their sleeves and dig into the finances of a $14 million organization. S/he will be a results-oriented leader who creates effective processes and structures; takes initiative and engages in strategic goal-setting; listens well, communicates clearly, and seeks advice and feedback from others; has experience leading teams, facilitates problem-solving, and has top-notch organizational skills and attention to detail.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Education: You hold a bachelor’s degree, and preferably a CPA or Master’s degree in a relevant field such as finance or public administration.

Experience: You are a professional with deep experience in managing and administering complex operations and finances. Your work experience includes effectively managing the finances of an organization with primary accountability for financial reporting, accounting, cash management, and financial planning (budget, strategic plan, operational efficiency, etc.), including 10+ years of related experience. This experience can be based in non-profits, for-profits, campaigns, or government.

Management: You have demonstrated leadership experience, preferably in a supervisory role, with a depth of experience in managing teams and the careers of people who report to you.

Communication: You are effective in written and verbal communication skills. You demonstrate confidence in communicating with executives and external parties. You exhibit professionalism and discretion.

Technical skills: You have complete comfort with learning and using computer applications, including finance and accounting platforms. You have strong analytical abilities and proven accomplishment in a position requiring independent planning and efficient utilization of resources.

Organization: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time. You pride yourself on your quality of work and exceptional level of attention to detail. You thrive in a busy, bustling environment, and have the ability to easily balance being available to staff while staying focused on details that matter.


The ACLU of Northern California has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Shavon Bell here.

The ACLU-NC is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law.  The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, educational institutions and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit