Director of Strategy

  • ACLU of Washington
  • Seattle, WA, United States
Full Time Management Nonprofit Strategy

Job Description

The ACLU of WA is seeking a savvy, dynamic, and seasoned political strategist to help build and lead a new Political Strategies Department and to bring to bear advocacy and political strategies to ensure that work throughout the office takes the most effective approaches to achieve our goals.  

Building upon our strong record of policy advocacy, the Director will work with our staff to develop multi-faceted, long-range campaigns, while at the same time, ensuring that we respond quickly to immediate opportunities to make an impact.  Candidates should be experienced enough to bring additional political acumen to an already strong staff. Our lawyers, policy experts, and other professionals work in sometimes fast-changing situations and are able to take advantage of opportunities while adhering to civil liberties principles and treating others respectfully.  We value readiness and reliability, and we pay particular attention to the rights of those who have historically been marginalized.  We seek a leader who shares these qualities and can apply them to gain effective outcomes.   


The ACLU-WA is one of the ten largest affiliates of the ACLU with more than 80,000 members and activists.  It has a reputation for its impact litigation, robust integrated advocacy, and effective communications to advance freedom, fairness, equality, and justice. Its staff of 38 employees and numerous interns and volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional office.  We work closely and collaboratively with the nationwide network of ACLU offices and with community groups and leaders throughout the state. Work at the ACLU involves teamwork, strong attention to detail, excellent communications skills, and a passion for our mission.

The ACLU-WA has long had strong legislative and field programs.  We have played a vital role in the legislature’s adoption and defeat of numerous bills. We have also participated as leaders of campaigns to safeguard abortion rights, legalize marijuana, and win marriage equality.  With our growing base of activists, we can have an even greater impact on opinion leaders and policy makers.

The new Political Strategies Department will initially include our Legislative Director, who is the organization’s chief representative before the Washington Legislature with primary responsibility for legislative and executive branch advocacy; our Field Director, who works to support, strengthen and mobilize our network of organizational allies to advance ACLU priorities; and an Activism Coordinator who relates to the new national ACLU People Power program.  The Director will report to the Executive Director.


Advocacy strategies. Work with staff to assess political opportunities and ensure decisions are made based on strong strategic rationales; take the lead in bringing together staff to consider strategy questions that don’t neatly fit within existing work plans. Help develop, track, and assess implementation of strategies to move the public and elected officials on key issues on our civil liberties agenda.  Consult on strategic litigation decisions and help develop advocacy plans to utilize cases for maximum political impact.

Campaigns.  Collaborating with staff, develop long- and short-range campaigns building towards meaningful reform on selected ACLU issues. Provide vision, direction, and oversight for statewide campaigns, incorporating lobbying, communications, litigation, grassroots action, and other tactics.  Serve as a political consultant to staff in projects and other departments to build and strengthen our organizational capacities.

Constituent action. Provide vision and guidance as we develop and implement strategies to deploy 80,000 ACLU-WA members, People Power activists, and other supporters to advance selected priorities.  Oversee ACLU-WA’s participation in strategic coalitions.

Leadership.  Collaborate with senior staff to provide overall advocacy leadership to the ACLU-WA, help establish key priorities and organizational direction.  Ensure that the work of the ACLU-WA is strategic, collaborative, and consistent with ACLU policy.   Enhance understanding of ACLU issues, policies, and strategies among the staff.


  • A combination of ten years of experience in leading major issue political campaigns and working in senior policy positions that required significant political judgment and management finesse.
  • Successful experience driving strategies toward long-term goals, grounded in principles of equity and inclusion.
  • Excellent organizational skills including exceptional attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines and accomplish work in order of priority.
  • A practiced public speaker and very strong writer and editor, with the ability to handle controversial issues with delicacy and to translate complex information for delivery to a variety of audiences.
  • Accessible, flexible, decisive, and collaborative management style that inspires trust and confidence, inspires staff to work together in pursuit of a common mission, and holds them accountable for accomplishment of objectives. Ability to provide clear direction, delegate well and assume ultimate responsibility.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • The ability to respect differences while working toward shared goals, and to be comfortable with periods of ambiguity.
  • Ability to develop and nurture highly talented and diverse staff.
  • A diplomatic advocate with active listening skills who can negotiate, resolve disputes, and maintain constructive working relationships with people at all levels, both within and outside of the organization.  Self-confidence, high energy level, grace under pressure, and rapid responses to crises.
  • A commitment to the goals and mission of the ACLU. Exemplary professional workplace behavior, and a commitment to the values of reliability, respect, accountability, and compassion.  Flexibility, determination and good humor. 

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Salary is based on experience and qualifications.  Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card.


To apply, email a letter of application and resume to and include in the subject line of the email:  your last name and Director of Strategy. In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at

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, and veteran status.

The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington.”

Education Requirements