06/12/2016 6:10 PM | WWL Admin (Administrator)


The ACLU of Washington (ACLU-WA) invites applicants for the position of deputy director, which partners with the executive director in managing and leading the ACLU of Washington. The deputy director is a member of the ACLU of Washington’s senior leadership team and plays a key role in shaping the future of the ACLU-WA.  The position requires a strong leader, a trustworthy advocate and a highly capable, strategic manager.

The deputy director leads, supports, and supervises the Policy Advocacy Group which includes the legislative director, the field director and policy project directors who work on our Smart Justice Campaign, Technology and Liberty, Religious Restrictions on Health Care, and Youth Justice.  The deputy director helps develop long-term priorities, oversees implementation of work plans, and ensures success of cross-departmental campaigns. The deputy director handles other policy issues that arise and substitutes for the executive director in her absence.


The ACLU-WA is one of the ten largest affiliates of the ACLU with more than 50,000 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 thirty-plus 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 close teamwork, strong attention to detail, excellent communications skills, and a passion for our mission.

Primary Responsibilities

Overall staff leadership. Collaborate with the executive director and legal director to provide overall leadership to the ACLU-WA, establish key priorities and set organizational direction.  Ensure that the work of the ACLU-WA is consistently strategic, collaborative, and consistent with ACLU policy.  Serve as the hub for cross-departmental strategies on issues that require coordination across ACLU-WA legal, lobbying, communications, field, and policy teams.  Enhance understanding of ACLU issues, values, policies, and strategies among the staff.

Policy Advocacy leadership.  Lead, support, and supervise the Policy Advocacy Group. Help members of the Policy Advocacy Group develop long- and short-term work plans consistent with established priorities, and ensure progress toward goals. Oversee recruitment and mentoring of PAG interns and volunteers. Consult and advise the executive director on program strategies.

External Relations.  Develop and maintain strong community relationships, including with cooperating attorneys, allies, public officials, and stakeholders.  Ensure that the ACLU-WA relates effectively with allies on organizational priorities.  Represent the ACLU at certain public functions and ensure, on a strategic basis, participation by other ACLU staff in the events of our allies.  Work with the Communications Director and other staff members to develop talking points on key issues, and speak to the media at the request of the Communications Director.

Organizational.  Manage key projects requested by the executive director, and assume overall responsibility for the ACLU-WA in her absence. Attend Board meetings on request of the executive director.  Meet with ACLU supporters in collaboration with the Development staff.


A law degree and at least seven years of increasingly responsible relevant experience. Experience working in a senior policy position that required significant political judgment and management finesse.
Experience driving strategies toward long-term goals.  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 aplomb and to translate complex information for delivery to a variety of audiences.
Accessible, flexible, decisive and supportive 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. 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, unimpeachable integrity, and a commitment to the values of reliability, respect, accountability, and compassion.  Flexibility, determination and good humor.  A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
Competence in the use of office computer applications, electronic databases, and electronic legal research.  We use Microsoft Office.
The position is exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and requires a willingness to work beyond a standard 7.5-hour workday, including evening and weekend meetings and events. This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications. 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.

Compensation And Benefits

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

Application Procedure

To apply, email a letter of application and resume to and include in the subject line of the email your last name and deputy director.  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 affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression to apply.

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.”

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