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Associate Director, Affiliate Advocacy Programs
American Civil Liberties Union in New York, New York
Date Posted 05/05/2021
Nonprofit-Senior/Executive Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

The Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives Department (ASNI) builds state capacity and strengthens the connections between the ACLU and its network of 54 state affiliates and their 1,500 staff members across the country. Their work constitutes an unparalleled bulwark defending and advancing our civil liberties and civil rights. ASNI staff lead efforts to build program, build organizations, and drive resources to key battles across the country, positioning the nationwide organization for future challenges.

The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Associate Director, Affiliate Advocacy Programs in the Affiliate Support and Nationwide Initiatives Department of the ACLU's National office in New York, NY.

Reporting to the Deputy Director of Program and Strategy, the Associate Director, Affiliate Advocacy Programs will be responsible for two main areas of work. First, the role will support the execution of affiliate advocacy strategies and tactics that build power and deliver wins on critical multi-state civil rights and liberties initiatives. Second, the role will be a key part of a team responsible for building thriving, innovative, and impactful advocacy programs in ACLU affiliates, including organizing, issue and electoral campaigning, lobbying, policy development and analysis, and other advocacy strategies. The Associate Director will work closely with colleagues in both national and affiliate offices and work as part of an interdisciplinary team.


Drive Multi-State Initiatives (65%)

  • Partner with affiliate advocacy staff to build and execute high-impact advocacy strategies and tactics as part of multi-state initiatives, including direct lobbying, phone and text actions, lobby days, constituent mobilization, demonstrations and protests, direct mail and other paid media, phone banks, voter contact tactics, and other tactics
  • Coach and support affiliate advocacy staff participating in multi-state initiatives on planning, designing and executing strategies to build long term power that are integrated with their electoral and policy goals
  • Assess the needs of affiliates engaged in multi-state initiatives to develop, implement, and measure training programs that enhance the effectiveness of our efforts
  • Help ensure models and best practices in advocacy work generated by affiliate programs are institutionalized in ASNI to build shared resources and help maximize the opportunity for cross-affiliate learning and training
  • Partner with affiliates to design and implement integrated advocacy programs and campaigns that draw on the array of tools and capacities within the ACLU, including litigation, communications, digital strategy, organizing, research, and fundraising
  • Represent the interests of affiliate advocacy programs within the national ACLU office, coordinating national resources, technology, tools, and expertise to bolster and grow affiliate advocacy programs
  • Advise ASNI leadership on grants to affiliates from the national office and new programmatic initiatives

Build Programmatic Excellence (35%)

  • Participate in leading on-the-ground or virtual meetings, planning sessions, and trainings for affiliate advocacy programs
  • Develop templates, models, toolkits, and trainings on priority advocacy tactics and strategies, including direct lobbying, phone and text actions, lobby days, constituent mobilization, demonstrations and protests, direct mail and other paid media, phone banks, voter contact tactics, and other tactics
  • Support affiliate advocacy leadership learning community cohorts through facilitated working groups, meetings, and resource cultivation
  • Partner with others in the ACLU, such as colleagues in the National Political Advocacy Department, to develop best approaches to national-affiliate advocacy collaborations
  • Support innovative practices that will build a diverse leadership bench and talent pipeline in the ACLU
  • Facilitate, coordinate, and ensure team-to-team connectivity within ASNI and with other national departments, help problem solve if affiliate needs are not sufficiently prioritized, and be an ambassador for ASNI with national staff
  • Regular travel, when safe, is required
  • Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • Experience applying an expansive toolbox of strategies to move decision-makers, voters, and volunteers, including paid and earned media, direct lobbying, field organizing, digital activism, constituent mobilization, policy research, etc.
  • Experience designing and leading campaigns and managing advocacy teams
  • Experience working with diverse communities in building movements for social change
  • Ability to take initiative, think creatively, problem solve, work well under pressure, and manage multiple priorities and projects effectively under tight deadlines
  • Experience with managing projects across teams on aggressive timelines
  • Excellent written and verbal presentation and facilitation skills
  • Excellent track record of working with diverse teams
  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to engage stakeholders at all levels
  • Hungry to learn, curious to ask questions, and a desire to engage in exploration individually as well as being part of a team
  • At least 5 years' experience managing advocacy programs, including work on organizing, legislative, political, electoral, or issue campaigns is preferred
  • Experience with building skill and designing training in advocacy program development is preferred


The annual salary for this position is $115,638 (Level F). This salary is reflective of a position based in New York, NY. This salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.


The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.

For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it's ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we're in the courts or in the office, we believe 'We the People' means all of us.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU 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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

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