Executive Director

  • ACLU Texas
  • Jan 27, 2021
Full time Legal

Job Description

About ACLU of Texas

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU of Texas) is the unyielding guardian and promoter of freedom, justice, equality, and dignity of all people, particularly for those who are still fighting to secure the full exercise of their civil rights and liberties. ACLU of Texas is the leading civil rights organization in the Lone Star State. Since its formation in 1938, it has worked in the courts, the legislature, and communities to protect civil rights and individual liberty.


For more information on the ACLU of Texas please visit its website.


The Opportunity

The ACLU of Texas seeks an Executive Director with experience in managing and leading teams to provide direction and leadership toward achieving the organization’s mission, vision, strategic plans, and program goals. ACLU of Texas seeks a progressive leader with a demonstrated track record of commitment to civil rights, civil liberties, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


The Executive Director will secure the resources and provide the leadership and planning necessary to ensure ACLU of Texas’ continued growth and impact. Reporting to the Board of Directors and in collaboration with the staff, the Executive Director will lead the organization’s statewide advocacy agenda and strategic priorities to protect, defend, and fight for racial justice, immigrant rights, LGBTQ equality, abortion rights, criminal law reforms, and voting rights.


The Executive Director’s primary responsibilities include the following:


Leadership and Vision

  • Create and implement strategies that advance civil liberties/civil rights in the context of a challenging state and national socio-political climate, and the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Champion best practices for effective organizational management, including practices that assess the effectiveness of projects undertaken by ACLU of Texas;
  • Ensure that the organization is building relationships with peer organizations and organizational leaders to develop strategic partnerships that advance its mission;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with senior staff at the National ACLU and other affiliates;
  • Advance and leverage the use of integrated advocacy by which civil liberties/civil rights issues are addressed in a cross-disciplinary approach that includes litigation, lobbying, strategic communications and advocacy;
  • Exhibit courage, clarity, and an understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging matters when addressing highly evolving and complex situations;
  • Guard the organization’s integrity, credibility, and non-partisanship by emphasizing these qualities in all aspects of ACLU of Texas’ work.


Fund Development

  • Oversee fiscal and budget planning, and manage obtaining results within that approved budget;
  • Oversee a robust fundraising program to protect the organization’s long-term financial stability; 
  • Initiate funding opportunities with individual donors and foundations to ensure a consistent stream of financial support;
  • Anticipate funding needs and engage staff to ensure they have the resources needed for success and sustainability;
  • Inspire, cultivate, steward, and solicit a dedicated group of major donors to the organization;
  • Communicate with a broad array of stakeholders with empathy, sensitivity, and respect, and demonstrate the ability to work cross-culturally.



  • Ensure that the organization reaches its objectives and makes progress toward strategic goals; identify challenges to timely progress, and pinpoint and implement solutions with foresight;
  • Oversee fiscal and strategic planning, program execution, and human resources;
  • Ensure day-to-day operations are professionally administered and in a state of continuous improvement to conform to evolving best practices;
  • Champion and value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in working relationships with the Board of Directors and all staff and actively strive to assure the organization more closely reflects the communities it serves;
  • Collaborate with the Board on regular and periodic audit, oversight and governance issues through consistent and thorough communications.


Staff Leadership

  • Inspire, motivate, and build rapport to cultivate a cohesive staff, ensuring that there is strong internal communication, participation, coordination, and accountability; 
  • Supervise, lead, inspire, and mentor staff to meet priorities, achieve organizational and strategic goals and fulfill the organization’s mission;
  • Cultivate a supportive team-oriented environment where independent thinking and the creative process of staff are encouraged and nurtured; 
  • Attract, recruit, lead, and mentor a diverse staff that serves civil liberties/civil rights with enthusiasm and deep personal understanding of the mission of ACLU of Texas;
  • Create an open, inclusive culture that invites conversation and active listening, enables staff to bring their true selves to work, and ensures personal growth and development.


Communication and External Relations

  • As the chief spokesperson of the organization, represent ACLU of Texas to the media and public, clearly articulating the organization’s positions and communicating its mission to increase the organization’s visibility and public’s understanding of the work;
  • Ensure the development of clear messaging accessible to all staff and board who publicly communicate ACLU of Texas’ strategies, goals, and positions on issues;
  • Foster relationships with scholars, educators, activists, civil liberties/civil rights and social change advocates so that the Board and staff have the expertise and knowledge they need to address a wide range of policies and challenges;
  • Lead a communications strategy that values a diverse set of voices to represent the organization’s positions on its work;
  • Communicate with a broad array of stakeholders, including within the organization, with empathy, sensitivity, and respect; show ability and desire to work effectively in cross-cultural settings.


Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing and defending civil liberties and civil rights;
  • Ten years of professional or lived experience ideally in the civil rights or social justice space; proven managerial, fund development, and financial management experience in the not-for-profit or public sectors;
  • Experience connecting issue-based organizations to resources and opportunities outside of the organization; a successful track record of raising funds from a variety of sources;
  • Success with recruiting, supervising and mentoring staff and supporting professional and leadership development;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; ability to translate vision into action;
  • Proven success at working effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff as well as coalitions and community groups; ability to work across the political spectrum and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Empathetic and compassionate leadership style with the ability to listen to Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners and the public with respect and genuine openness to constructive input;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, creatively problem solve, exercise good judgement and lead change;
  • Strong diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging analyses and commitments as well as experience successfully leading and integrating diversity into organizational policies, practices, management, and culture.