Overview of the ACLU of Connecticut:

The ACLU of Connecticut (ACLU-CT) defends, promotes, and expands the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Connecticut through litigation; community organizing and legislative advocacy; and civic education and engagement. We are an inclusive, nonpartisan, and statewide organization within the nationwide American Civil Liberties Union network, powered by our supporters, partners, staff, interns, cooperating attorneys, and our board of directors.

This is a critical time to join the ACLU. With enormous threats to civil rights arising in nearly every area of the ACLU’s work, we’ve seen a phenomenal outpouring of support from new members, donors, and volunteers who view the ACLU as the nation’s principal defender of fundamental freedoms and liberties. The ACLU of Connecticut is doing its part in the nationwide struggle to defend the Constitution while working to protect and advance civil rights and liberties here in Connecticut.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU-CT and ACLU please visit www.acluct.org and www.aclu.org.


Position Overview:

The Public Policy and Advocacy Director is a member of the ACLU-CT’s senior leadership team, serving at the pleasure of the Executive Director, and provides vision and direction for its policy, organizing, and legislative program. The PPAD Director is primarily responsible for building a statewide political advocacy infrastructure that leverages our policy and organizing process together with established legal assets; shaping and leading multi-faceted, non-partisan campaigns that achieve critical policy priorities of the ACLU-CT; and connecting campaign work to all aspects of the organization and to all levels of political action – state as well as local. The Public Policy and Advocacy Director oversees the Public Policy and Advocacy Department, which contains a policy team and field team. The Public Policy and Advocacy Director may also engage vendors, consultants, and contractors in the design and execution of campaigns.

The ACLU-CT has a hybrid work environment. The PPAD Director will be required to work from our Hartford CT office at least once a week, and job responsibilities may require work in Hartford more frequently, particularly during Legislative session.


Primary Responsibilities/Essential Duties:


  • Manage the ACLU-CT’s policy and organizing staff and a cohort of ACLU-CT policy/campaign staff, lobbyists, including developing individual staff work plans and professional development plans, ensuring recognition of staff, managing personnel situations as they arise.
  • Establish proper management tools that ensure equity and inclusion, mitigate bias, establish clear metrics and goals, define clear roles and expectations;
  • Coordinate with the legal program to ensure that advocacy strategies support, and in turn are supported by, legal strategies;
  • Serve as a major ACLU-CT spokesperson and persuasive advocate in public; and
  • Grow and oversee a policy internship program that focuses on providing opportunities to first generation college students or students who represent a community directly impacted by injustice;

Campaign Program

  • Guide the development of the organization's advocacy infrastructure including the organization’s membership engagement program, volunteers, and strategic partnerships to bolster support for the organization’s municipal and state legislative campaigns, seeking to engage policy-makers of all political parties;
  • Design strong, well-defined campaigns that bring together legislative, organizing, communications, and legal strategy to meet strategic policy and organizational capacity goals outlined in our strategic and annual plans;
  • Review and edit campaign-related materials including op-eds, blog posts, direct mail, email messages and background documents; and
  • Collaborate with ACLU National staff and consultants on national and statewide issues and campaigns.

Political Strategy

  • Develop a political strategy in collaboration with the Communications Director to leverage traditional and new media to advance policy changes; oversee the alignment of field and digital advocacy;
  • Oversee the maintenance of political assets (including voter lists, grass-tops lists, grassroots lists, coalition partners, past messaging and campaign materials) to build a political infrastructure.
  • Participate and oversee department assignments to coalitions and legislative task forces.
  • Manage the organization’s political activities within the 501(c)4 or other political action committee ensuring the organization is adhering to guidelines set by the Executive Director.

Legislative Program

  • Oversee the ACLU-CT’s legislative program, including developing legislative agendas and strategies to engage policymakers from both sides of the political aisle;
  • Give direction to ACLU-CT policy staff relevant to the organization's political strategy and campaigns;
  • Develop productive working relationships with key public officials at the federal, state, and local levels; and
  • Oversee all lobbying efforts at the state level providing direction to our interim senior policy counsel, interim campaign manager, and field organizers.


Additional Responsibilities:

  • Participate in senior staff management and planning and assist staff with budgeting;
  • Facilitate resource allocation – both financial and human – while balancing and mediating amid the range of priorities;
  • Coordinate with the Director of Philanthropy to implement strategies for programs to engage donors as grass-tops in campaign activities and participate in donor meetings as assigned;
  • In collaboration with the operations department and the development department apply/edit/or secure grants applications and corresponding reports;
  • Other responsibilities as may be assigned by the Executive Director


Qualifications/Skill Sets:

  • At least five years of local, state, and/or national level legislative, political or policy advocacy work preferred.;
  • Past success implementing organizing campaigns to advance state and/or federal legislation and local policy change;
  • A sophisticated understanding of how to be effective in the public policy arena, and experience formulating strategies that tie together research, legal analysis and litigation, lobbying, communications, and organizing strategies;
  • Understanding of different organizing models and the ability to adapt standard organizing approaches to the unique needs of the ACLU;
  • Knowledge of current political alignments and opportunities for collaboration with a broad range of groups;
  • Experience recruiting, developing, and managing a team comprised of a highly talented and diverse staff;
  • Ability to manage multiple projects at once that involve a variety of people, stakeholders, and goals;
  • Experience working closely and effectively with all media platforms and familiarity with social media as a communications and organizing tactic;
  • Extremely strong project and time management skills, including developing and adhering to a timeline and goalposts, problem-solving, and capacity to manage and prioritize competing projects to complete assignments under deadline;
  • High-adaptability to shifting factors and the need to change course or develop new ideas or solutions quickly;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to develop strong partnerships with a variety of organizational stakeholders and when working with people with different backgrounds and life experiences;
  • Demonstrates comfort in implementing both standard and innovative equity and inclusion practices, group facilitation and use of language;
  • Flexibility and stamina to work evening and weekend hours as needed;
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills;
  • Experience and facility with standard office software such as Word and Excel.


Compensation and Benefits:

The PPAD Director will receive a salary of between $100,000 - $110,000 annually. The ACLU-CT also offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package starting with four weeks paid vacation; 100%-employer premium paid medical, dental, and vision insurance, a supplemental wellness benefit; 401(k) Plan including up to 5.5% employer contribution; and 13 paid holidays.  (The ACLU-CT reserves the right to alter or eliminate its current employee benefit plans and programs). This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable Connecticut law.


Application Procedure:

To be considered for this position please submit a cover letter and resume. Send electronic materials to: search@acluct.org and please include your last name and “PPAD Director” in the email subject line.  You may submit hard copies to ACLU-CT, Re: PPAD Director, 765 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105. No phone calls or walk-ins, please. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to include this information in your cover letter/initial email, or to call 860-523-9146 to discuss your needs. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  The position will remain posted until filled, at which time this announcement will be removed.

The ACLU-CT is proud to be an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages immigrants, people of color, indigenous people, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, women, and formerly incarcerated and justice-impacted people to apply. We accept all applicants regardless of race, sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU-CT undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that all persons – including but not limited to persons with disabilities – have full opportunities for employment in all positions.


Interview Process:

The interview process for the PPAD Director will consist of the following steps:

  • An initial phone screen with the Executive Director
  • A candidate exercise
  • An interview with the members of the PPAD Department
  • An interview with the other Directors at the affiliate
  • A conversation with the President of the Board of Directors
  • Reference checks


About the ACLU:

With affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam, the ACLU fights tirelessly in the courts, legislatures, and through community engagement to ensure that all individuals’ rights are protected.

The ACLU-CT is comprised of three nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations: the ACLU of Connecticut, a 501(c)(4) organization which does legislative and organizing advocacy work; the ACLU Foundation of Connecticut, a 501(c)(3) which does litigation and public education work; and the ACLU of Connecticut Rise PAC, a 527 organization which builds the necessary relationships, public awareness, public narratives, and pressure felt by politicians in order to build the political power of people directly impacted by civil rights and liberties issues.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU, both in Connecticut and nationally, please visit www.acluct.org and www.aclu.org.