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Job Title: Executive Director, ACLU of Kansas
Job Category: NON PROFIT
Job Reference: ACLU of KS
Job description:  
Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas

Overland Park, KS

Organizational Background

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of Kansas, an affiliate of the ACLU, is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with a mission to protect and defend the constitutional rights and civil liberties of every individual in Kansas regardless of creed, race, gender, gender identification or class. Our efforts are focused on serving and defending reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBT rights, First Amendment rights, immigrant rights, voting rights, criminal justice reform and privacy rights.

We protect the civil rights of segments of our population that have traditionally been marginalized, including women, people of color, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, prisoners, people with disabilities, immigrants, and the poor. We defend the freedoms of all residents of Kansas without consideration of political partisanship.

The ACLU of Kansas is an affiliate of the national ACLU and has had a presence in Kansas for more than 50 years. The ACLU of Kansas is one of this area’s premier public advocacy organizations. Based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the organization is led by a Board of Directors and a growing staff of 14. Since 2015, the ACLU of Kansas has adopted a “campaign” approach for its work. This approach has been highly effective and has become a national model for other ACLU affiliates. At the ACLU of Kansas, work is focused on targeted campaigns to achieve measurable goals that expand civil liberties. Campaign work represents the majority of every staff person’s workload.

The ACLU of Kansas comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the ACLU Foundation of Kansas. Both entities have the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. To learn more about the work of the ACLU in Kansas please visit: www.aclukansas.org.

Position Summary

The next Executive Director will join a strong organization that has experienced considerable growth and expansion under its previous leader. This position will lead and manage the operations and activities of the ACLU of Kansas, direct the work of the staff, and serve as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will ensure that fundraising, communications, and its programs are meeting the needs and interests of its constituents. The Executive Director will understand civil liberties issues and be a leader who is adept at balancing internal management with external impact and visibility. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to convey effectively the mission of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, including funders, media and the general public.


Leadership and Vision

• Establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of the ACLU in Kansas. Provide direction to guide programs that align with the organization’s vision and prioritized campaign approach.
• Work in partnership with the board and staff to carry out policies approved by the Board of Directors.
• Initiate and strengthen relationships, funding partnerships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU’s mission and purpose.
• Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU, effectively articulating the organization’s’ history, programs, and mission.
• Represent the organization in the media, increase public awareness and broaden the organization’s reputation to strategic constituents.

General Management, Finance and Administration and Program

• Ensure by effective management and leadership that the day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered.
• Provide direct supervision for 6 senior level staff, including Director of Finance and Administration, Development Director, Field Director, Legal Director, Director of Strategic Communications and Policy Director.
• Responsible for fundraising and developing other resources necessary to support ACLU’s mission.
• Ensure that the organization has strong financial operations, an approved budgetary process and sound financial controls.
• Motivate and maintain a cohesive statewide staff of 14, ensuring that there is strong internal communication and coordination; recruit new staff when appropriate and evaluate performance.
• Use technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, public education and lobbying.

Board Relations

• Implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives as established by the board
• Engage the board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals.
• Work with the board to identify and help recruit new board members who will add diversity to the board and whose talents, interests and commitment will help to further the ACLU’s mission.
• Regularly brief the board on the status of the organization.

Professional Qualifications and Experience

The Executive Director should have the following experience and qualifications:

• Knowledge and background in legal issues and policies surrounding civil rights and liberties.
• Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future and growth to staff, board, volunteers and donors.
• Proven successful leadership, managerial, team building and financial management experience at an executive level within the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors.
• A record of success working in partnership with a board and staff of diverse personalities and talents,
• Strong written and oral communication skills and an effective public image. Experience listening to and communicating with diverse groups and demonstrated success in communicating effectively in writing and verbally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations to a variety of audiences.
• A successful track record of fundraising from a variety of sources. Major donor experience is preferred.
• Ability to prioritize the multiple pressing civil rights issues facing Kansas while focusing on the campaigns outlined in the strategic plan.
• Proven and successful track record in creating and implementing programs;
• Experience creating partnerships and collaborations with other organizations.
• Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
• Five years of professional experience and a Bachelor’s degree are minimum requirements; an advanced degree is preferred.

Personal Characteristics or Attributes

Ideally, the successful candidate will be:

• Personally committed and passionate about advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs in Kansas, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications.
• A dedicated leader and representative who can translate vision into action; someone who is passionate about networking and representing the organization to critical constituencies including ACLU members, funders, the public, government, and the media.
• A person who is intelligent and inspiring; able to conceptualize, express ideas and anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities for the ACLU.
• An innovative leader who is creative, strategic, resourceful and politically astute; someone who understands the value of creating partnerships with other organizations as a way of accomplishing the ACLU’s goals.
• An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter who is eager to explore opportunities throughout Kansas –traveling often to meet with members, partners and funders.
• A team player who inspires collaboration; flexible and well-organized.
• A straightforward leader; one who shares information easily; listens as well as gives advice; respects the abilities of others.


Compensation for this position is competitive with sector norms. Benefits include health, dental, disability and life insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation, holidays, educational and sick leave.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Application Process

Submit cover letter and resume to Mary Ontko, The Moran Company by March 23, 2019. To apply online, copy and paste this link into your web browser https://tinyurl.com/ACLUKS19

Or apply by mail to:

Mary Ontko
The Moran Company
PO Box 863
Baldwin City, KS 66006
Employment type:
  • Full Time
Salary Range: Unspecified
Job Link: You must first register to view this information.
Other Information
Degree: Bachelors
Experience (year): 5
Job Location: Overland Park - Kansas - USA
Zipcode: 66202
Post Date: 01/25/2019
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