[CLOSED] Director, Policy Advocacy Group

Application Deadline: November 17, 2021
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking an experienced leader and policy advocate for the role of Director, Policy Advocacy Group (Director, PAG). The Director, PAG has two primary roles: management of the Policy Advocacy Group (approximately 60% of the work), and substantive policy advocacy as a generalist (approximately 40%).
The ACLU-WA has increased its level of operations during the previous federal administration to fight broad attacks on civil liberties while continuing to vigorously move forward the work of our existing projects. While we will continue to hold the new administration accountable, we are also excited to move ahead on our agenda to protect the rights of immigrants; implement policing and criminal justice changes; end the school to prison pipeline; fight technological invasions of privacy; protect rights to health and reproductive freedom; protect free speech and promote race equity; and expand and protect the civil and human rights of all.
The Director, PAG will give us the capacity to push forward our affirmative agenda as well as lead the department.


The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness, and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan. We have a staff of 40+ and are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.
The Policy Advocacy Group (PAG) works to effectuate change through state and local legislation, rulemaking, institutional policy change, community-driven advocacy, public education, coalition building, and media work. Through our engagement with community stakeholders we strive to center and amplify the voices, perspectives, and experiences of directly impacted communities and individuals. Within the ACLU-WA, PAG uses an integrated advocacy approach, working collaboratively with the Legal, Political Strategies, and Communications teams to further its goals.
The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. This includes how we work with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. We are committed to bringing anti-racism to all aspects of ACLU-WA's internal and external functions, including but not limited to recruitment; hiring and human resources; strategic planning; ally, donor, and volunteer relations; Board and committee processes; and deciding what cases to litigate and what legislation to support and oppose. We are looking for candidates who share this commitment to advancing racial justice, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.
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, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


  • The Director, PAG will actively participate in ACLU-WA’s race equity work. This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc.
  • The Director, PAG ensures that the policy work of the ACLU-WA is strategic, collaborative, consistent with ACLU policy, and undertaken in conformity with ACLU-WA race equity values and practices.
  • The Director, PAG supports and supervises staff in the Policy Advocacy Group. Works with PAG staff to develop long and short-term individual work plans and goals consistent with established priorities and ensures progress toward goals. Oversees recruitment and mentoring of PAG interns and volunteers but does not necessarily supervise those roles.
  • The Director, PAG manages the 6-7 substantive policy leads in the areas of criminal justice, immigration, policing, health care access, technology, and youth/education.
  • The Director, PAG works with and supports PAG staff, and reporting to the Integrated Advocacy Director, the Director, PAG helps to further the goals of PAG, to coordinate work across ACLU-WA legal, lobbying, communications, field, and policy teams. 
  • The Director, PAG collaborates with other directors in legal, political, and communications departments, with consultation and engagement from policy leads, on integrated advocacy strategies to advance our mission.
  • The Director, PAG helps develop long-term priorities, oversees implementation of work plans, and ensures success of cross-departmental campaigns.
  • The Director, PAG helps set and manage the annual budget for PAG work.
  • It is often necessary for us to identify policy priorities outside of the issue areas led by current PAG staff. In the absence of a policy expert on an issue area the Director, PAG will engage in substantive policy work to fill gaps in our policy advocacy. In this role the Director, PAG will work with PAG staff, the Integrated Advocacy Director, and any other relevant staff, community partners, etc., to identify priority issues, do the primary research, and be the advocate or spokesperson as appropriate.
  • The Director, PAG works with the Communications Director and other staff members to develop talking points on key issues, and speak to the media as needed, on the areas in their purview. 
  • Travel, as well as some work on nights and weekends, may be necessary. Along with all employees, the Director, PAG is expected to help maintain a positive, respectful, welcoming, and professional work environment for employees and volunteers.


  • Must 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. Must have ability to work with and have work driven or directed by communities impacted by systems of oppression. Established relationships with Washington communities preferred.
  • Approximately ten years of experience in policy advocacy.
  • Minimum 5-years’ experience managing other people.
  • Experience working in a senior policy position that required significant political acumen and management finesse.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and implement effective strategies based on realistic objectives, maintain momentum, and evaluate progress.
  • Ability and willingness to speak to media as needed.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills to manage one’s own work as well as the work of others, and to assure completion of assignments and projects.
  • Excellent analytical, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Competence in the use of office computer applications, electronic databases, and electronic legal research.
  • The ideal candidate for this position will have a commitment to the goals and mission of the ACLU; a commitment to racial equity, inclusion and belonging; a track record of successful leadership that includes strong communication, collaboration, and relationship-building; the ability and flexibility to work in both service and leadership roles with many diverse players and constituencies; experience driving strategies toward long-term goals; excellent skills in diplomacy, active listening, and the ability to  negotiate, resolve disputes and maintain constructive working relationships with people at all levels, both within and outside of the organization.
  • Must be a member of the Washington State Bar (or willing to take the next bar examination or be admitted by motion).


This role requires working closely and collaboratively with ACLU-WA and national ACLU staff, volunteer lawyers, other professionals, and interns. This position will supervise 6-7 staff. The number of direct reports is subject to change as the team expands/contracts.


The ACLU-WA office is generally open between the hours of 9am and 5pm and is located in downtown Seattle. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Able to input information into a computer for long periods of time.
  • Able to assess information communicated through a computer.
  • Able to travel locally/regionally/across the state as needed.
  • Able to work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Able to periodically work long and extended hours.
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.
*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and continues to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations. Currently, our office is closed and staff is working remotely until further notice.
As an organization, we value working together and look forward to the time when working in the same space is a safe option. Candidates outside of Seattle and/or Washington State will be considered for this position with the understanding that relocation to the Puget Sound region will be ultimately required.
To aid remote work, we provide laptops, home office supplies, certain equipment, and technology support. You will need an effective WiFi connection and a way to reach you by phone. This position is eligible for either a work phone or phone stipend, as well as an additional $100 stipend each month to help cover any additional costs while working from home.


The ACLU of WA is dedicated to centering equity in all aspects of the organization and, as such, has adopted a salary scale for measuring how to best compensate its employees. The salary for this position will be between $145,000 and $160,000. The range indicates the intention to accommodate those with varying years of relevant experience, as determined by the salary scale.
Benefits include three weeks of vacation, thirteen sick days, fifteen holidays, fully paid employee medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, a generous retirement plan, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.


To apply, email a cover letter, writing sample, and resume to “Hiring Team” at [email protected] and include in the subject line of the email: your name and Director, Policy Advocacy Group. In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until November 17, 2021, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.aclu-wa.org/careers.
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”.