Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliance

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado
  • Denver, CO, USA
Full Time Nonprofit

Job Description


Job Announcement


Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances


ACLU of Colorado, the state’s oldest and largest civil rights and civil liberties organization, is looking for exceptional candidates for the position of Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances. The Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances is responsible for leading, designing, and directing ACLU of Colorado’s advocacy work, with a focus on strategic issue campaigns. The Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances will develop and oversee effective multi-disciplinary, high-impact campaigns to achieve ACLU policy priorities in state and local governments and through state and local ballot initiatives, along with legal, legislative, communications, and organizing tactics. The Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances will employ policy and political analysis in collaboration with strategic alliances and coalitions, using the tools of lobbying, organizing, and other advocacy strategies to enhance the overall political capacity and effectiveness of the organization and achieve short- and long-term policy and political goals. The Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances reports to the Executive Director and is member of the organization’s senior leadership team. The Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances supervises the legislative, campaigns, and organizing staff, and builds, supports, and inspires new and existing networks of activists and volunteers, building the power and influence of the ACLU of Colorado and its movement partners.




Leads the ACLU of Colorado on the use of political strategy, tools, and tactics to achieve strategic advocacy and public policy goals.

  • Direct strategies to win ACLU policy victories across advocacy venues, including the state legislature and state agencies, ballot initiatives, state and local candidate elections, and county and municipal governments
  • Advise Executive Director and senior leadership team in developing the organization’s political strategy
  • Supervise legislative, organizing, and campaign staff; recruit talent, develop staff leadership, and build high-functioning teams that can design and execute ambitious agendas
  • Work with leadership team to develop comprehensive, integrated strategies to achieve organizational goals, including support as appropriate for policy and program goals beyond priority campaigns
  • Work with staff to design and execute innovative advocacy tactics, including field organizing, political communications, lobbying, and legal opportunities in furtherance of strategic campaigns
  • Create processes, training, and ongoing support for consistent campaign planning, execution, and post-mortems by Advocacy department staff
  • Design and manage strategies to grow and engage ACLU supporters and activists and enhance the power, capacity, and influence of ACLU of Colorado and its movement partners
  • Develop strategic assessments of the impact of national and state elections
  • Ensure that campaign strategy and resource allocation is informed by astute political analysis and opportunities
  • Network and collaborate with decision makers, interested parties, allies, other organizations, and strategic partners to assess opportunities and build key relationships to further ACLU policy goals
  • Collaborate with the ACLU National office and other ACLU affiliates on national, regional, and statewide issues as appropriate
  • Publicly represent advocacy and campaign work on behalf of ACLU of Colorado at national, state, and local forums, conferences, and meetings
  • Represent the organization to the media, stakeholders, task forces, and others

Administration, Coordination & Support

  • Serve on organization’s Senior Leadership Team and participate in strategic decision-making for the organization
  • Coordinate and facilitate regular campaign updates and assessments with department supervisors, and provide updates and analysis to leadership team, ACLU-CO Board, and donors and funders
  • Coordinate interdepartmental collaboration related to campaigns and serve as a liaison between leadership and campaign teams
  • Provide leadership for advocacy department and staff; build an effective and cohesive team, mentor and identify leadership development opportunities for individual staff members, and ensure all department staff have annual performance reviews and professional development plans
  • Work with Deputy Director and Executive Director to develop and oversee department and campaign budgets
  • Create metrics to evaluate progress of campaigns, working with staff to refine benchmarks as necessary
  • Align with Communications team to ensure that messaging is timely, integrated, and responsive to the political environment
  • Keep leadership team abreast of political analysis and the potential impact for the organization in general and for functional teams more specifically
  • Work with Executive Director, Director of Philanthropy, and Deputy Director to identify and build relationships with donors and funders who can support policy and advocacy work; oversee and assist with drafting narratives for funding proposals and reports



  • Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias, with attention to this work as it pertains to both internal and external personal, organizational, and systemic work
  • Demonstrated commitment to civil liberties, civil rights, social justice, and race equity
  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 or more years of leadership experience in a combination of legislative, electoral, issue and ballot campaigns; substantial experience in senior-management roles that required significant judgment, emotional intelligence, and management finesse
  • Accessible, flexible, decisive, and supportive management style that inspires trust and confidence while creating space for collaboration and shared decision making whenever possible; ability to inspire staff to work together in pursuit of a common mission and hold them accountable for accomplishment of objectives; ability to provide clear direction, delegate well, and assume ultimate responsibility; ability to develop and nurture highly talented and diverse staff
  • Strong leadership, organizational, and strategic skills
  • Highly detail-oriented and well-organized
  • Excellent analytic, problem solving, and coaching skills; adept at overseeing and executing strategic projects with significant visibility and impact
  • Experience with the legislative and political processes and political strategic planning
  • Deep knowledge of tactics to move decision-makers, including political communications, organizing, online activism, and constituent engagement
  • Significant experience designing and executing advocacy strategies to accomplish a policy goal
  • Experience working in, building, and leading coalitions
  • Strong communications skills, including writing, and public speaking
  • Willingness to work flexible hours and travel as needed
  • A commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance 
  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications
  • An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter and finisher
  • A team player that inspires collaboration and functions decisively; flexible and well organized
  • Emotionally mature and self-confident, with resilience and a sense of humor in order to maintain balance and perspective


Compensation and Benefits:

Salary range is $120,000-$140,000 and within pay scale parameters of the nationwide ACLU and the Denver area nonprofit sector. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, and paid vacation and holidays.


Due to risks from COVID-19, ACLU of Colorado closed its office and implemented a mandatory work-from-home policy beginning on March 16, 2020. The work-from-home policy currently remains in effect. Some of our work nevertheless requires some staff members to go to office on occasion, and we have taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of staff while in the office. While the work-from-home policy remains in effect, the Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances would be expected to conduct most of their duties from home, but there may also be some responsibilities that could necessitate limited office visits. We anticipate that once it is safe to lift the work-from-home policy, the Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, like most ACLU-CO staff, will work partially in-office and partially from home.


To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and references in an email with “Director of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, ACLU of Colorado” in the subject line to No phone calls please. Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2021.


ACLU of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer. We value an equitable and inclusive workforce and culture and are continuously working toward becoming and remaining an anti-racist, equitable organization. ACLU of Colorado encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship status, disability, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction. The ACLU encourages candidates from non-dominant communities to apply.