Executive Director

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU-OR)
  • Portland, OR
  • Aug 03, 2020

Job Description

Title: Executive Director

Office: Affiliate Offices

Location: Portland, OR


The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon (ACLU-OR) is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to advancing our rights and achieving access to justice through equity and integrated advocacy. We are organized as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization (with 501c3 and 50c4 entities) with nearly 50,000 members and supporters in Oregon. The ACLU-OR is an affiliate of the ACLU, our nation’s guardian of liberty for 100 years.

In addition to fulfilling our strong mission and high-profile work, we aspire to create an internal culture characterized by a nourishing, connected community that celebrates and supports our unique whole selves, fosters healthy relationships, builds trust, and repairs harms. We are working to dismantle white supremacy and build new and equitable organizational structures. We are intentionally seeking to attract team members and leaders who have the skills, commitment and experience necessary to help us cocreate an anti-racist and equity-focused organization.

We are also in a period of leadership transition. This has created an awesome opportunity for new perspectives, new ideas, and new ways of working on our team. We welcome the change and we seek those who are able to lead through and manage change.

The ACLU-OR is an equal opportunity employer. We endeavor to celebrate the diversity and lived experiences of all members of our nation and community without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.

We seek to build a team that reflects that diversity. All qualified applicants who share this vision and who have a desire to contribute to our mission are encouraged to apply.

The Opportunity

The ACLU-OR seeks a nonprofit Executive Director to lead a strategic and effective civil liberties agenda throughout Oregon.

The Executive Director will have primary responsibility for developing and inclusively achieving a clear vision and strategic priorities, building strong and affirming relationships, and reimagining collaboration to support intersectionality among board, staff and community partners. The Executive Director will provide accountable direction and effective, balanced oversight of the organization’s day-to-day processes and operations; direct and develop professional staff; and serve as primary spokesperson for the organization. The Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its internal and external engagement, fund development, and programs are resourced to address the needs and interests of its constituents.

ACLU-OR Values

In fulfilling their job responsibilities (outlined below), the ideal Executive Director will embrace and exude our organizational values and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to cultivate these across the organization and ecosystem.

  • Inclusion - Partner and affirm
  • Integrity - Be clear and aligned as we learn and adapt
  • Equity - Shift and share power
  • Pausing - Rest as a commitment to revolution
  • Persist - Balance work and life
  • Teamwork - Support and have fun together

Job Responsibilities

The Executive Director will be a seasoned nonprofit executive with a passion for increasing access to justice, a working knowledge of civil rights, liberties issues and a deep understanding of the partnerships and collaborative efforts required for effective policy change. They will be a trusted relational leader with a longstanding commitment to, and demonstrated success in, building equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual must be adept at balancing internal management with external impact and visibility. The Executive Director will be an outstanding connector and communicator who is able to engage a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public, in support of the ACLU-OR’s mission and activities.

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Exhibit leadership that provides inspiration and direction to all staff
  • Establish a clear vision and priorities for the continuous improvement and growth for ACLU-OR programs and integrated roles for its c3 and c4 entities
  • Establish effective decision-making processes that will enable ACLU-OR to achieve its long- and short-term goals and objectives, celebrating milestones along the way
  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU-OR who articulates the organization’s history, programs, and mission
  • Recognize rest and rejuvenation as integral to action and change
  • Initiate or strengthen community relationships and collaborations with organizations in Oregon who work on civil rights and liberties issues.
  • Collaborate with the ACLU and its affiliates to enhance the ACLU-OR mission and effectiveness

Inclusive and Engaged Staff Leadership

  • Exhibit a strong equity lens in every interaction with staff, board, and community partners
  • Draw from experience working with people of multiple cultures and backgrounds; identifying intersectionality to help support all staff
  • Advance an organizational strategy and commitment to embed equity into its internal and external operations, with the guidance of external consultants and the support of the Board of Directors
  • Reinforce a culture of feedback by creating a structure of transparency and learning mindsets

Organizational Excellence

  • Attract, retain, and develop a high-performing team whose work centers the needs of the most impacted and thus, creates substantive, radical change
  • Demonstrate an ability to delegate and share responsibility and ownership of projects to evenly distribute workload and not overextend capacity within the organization
  • Identify and build necessary internal systems, staffing structure, operational plans, and best practices to achieve organizational effectiveness and efficiency
  • Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal communications with staff and board
  • Create and promote a positive, inclusive work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization's strategy and operational methods
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and rigorous program evaluation to assess effectiveness of ACLU-OR initiatives and growth opportunities

Board Relations

  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and ability to support board development and the systemic transitions required to facilitate a nonprofit's transition through the equity journey in the context of a larger national organizational structure
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals
  • Assist the Board with identifying and establishing strategic goals for the advancement of civil rights and liberties in Oregon
  • Work with the Board to identify and help recruit new members whose personal and professional experience, perspective, talents, interests, and commitment will help to further the mission of the ACLU-OR
  • Regularly brief the Board on the status of the organization

Candidate Profile

  • Education:
    • Bachelor's Degree (highly desirable) with an MBA, MPA, JD, or related advanced degree preferred
  • General Experience:
    • At least 15 years of overall professional experience
    • Prior nonprofit leadership experience
    • Experience setting and achieving strategic objectives, and managing the financial and operational aspects of an organization
    • Demonstrated experience with fundraising across a variety of revenue streams, with an ability to build genuine and active partnerships with funders, organizations, and activists
    • Past success working with a Board of Directors, with the ability to cultivate relationships with current members while assisting with the recruitment of new members
  • Social Justice Experience:
    • Analytical and good understanding of the Oregon political landscape
    • Experience in community organizing and/or policy advocacy and campaigns
    • Excellent coalition building skills with an ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders; a persuasive negotiator able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions
  • Leadership Experience:
    • Ability to build a high-performance culture that reflects the organization’s values and commitment to progressive workplace policies.
    • Outstanding presentation and communication skills and the experience and proclivity to be an outgoing spokesperson, relationship builder, and fundraiser
    • A financially savvy and politically astute leader with the ability to set clear priorities, delegate, and guide investment in people and systems; keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills, which support and enable sound decision making
    • Strong commitment to the professional development of staff; successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team.
    • Strong emotional intelligence, with the ability to foster an environment and culture that supports people from all communities in developing their voice, generates action-oriented problem-solving, and values transparent communication, flexibility, and authenticity
    • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders by building trust, buy-in, and effective, authentic relationships
    • Demonstrated success building, coaching, and managing a high-performing team, including managing conflict and providing consistent constructive feedback in a timely manner

Total Compensation

  • Salary: $100,000 - $120,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications
  • Relocation: Reimbursement available up to $7,500.