October 25, 2012
American Civil Liberties Union
St. Louis, Missouri
The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri (ACLU-EM) seeks a dynamic and collaborative chief executive to lead a strategic and effective civil liberties agenda throughout the state of Missouri. The ACLU-EM is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization, which uses legal, legislative and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues including individual rights and freedoms, free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and more.
The ACLU-EM is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights. The national ACLU implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLU-EM. To that end, the national ACLU has recently committed substantial monetary and other resources to the ACLU-EM through a program called the Strategic Affiliate Initiative (SAI), enabling the affiliate to expand its staff (to the current level of nine full-time employees), budget (to over $1 million annually), and programs. SAI will continue for the next three to five years during which both the ACLU-EM’s staff and programs will see further growth.
The ACLU plays an important role in the national discussion on civil liberties and is one of the state’s premier public advocacy organizations. The St. Louis-based Eastern Missouri (ACLU-EM) and the Kansas City-based Western Missouri (ACLU-KSWMO) affiliates are currently in merger discussions, anticipated to result in the formation of a single Missouri affiliate sometime in 2013. The ACLU for Missouri will serve as the new statewide affiliate taking the national spotlight due to the state’s history as a battle ground for civil rights and its continuing challenges to protect civil liberties for all Missourians. Leading up to the completion of the merger, the ACLU-EM will continue maximizing the opportunity and the responsibility to further education about civil liberties and to advocate for individual and community rights in Missouri. The ACLU-EM is led by a Board of Directors and a staff of nine, and is additionally supported by the staff and resources of the ACLU’s national organization.
The Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the ACLU-EM affiliate, with primary responsibility for strategically managing the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations, leading the organization’s fundraising efforts, directing the work and development of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its internal and external communications, fund development, and programs are meeting the current and emergent needs and interests of its constituents. S/he will establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of the ACLU, including the immediate management of the merger between the Eastern and Western Missouri affiliates to establish a state-wide presence, provide direction to guide programs that align with the organization’s vision, and initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are aligned with the ACLU’s mission and purpose.
The Executive Director will spearhead the organization’s critical fundraising efforts that must ensure the ACLU-EM is self-sustaining when SAI is completed in several years. The Executive Director will also oversee the substantive programmatic and advocacy efforts serving as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU in the state with responsibility for articulating the organization’s goals and vision and initiating and strengthening relationships and coalitions with organizations and leaders whose activities are aligned with these goals and vision.
Candidates for the position of Executive Director should be strategic and determined with a profound commitment to social justice and a passion for protecting civil liberties. They should embody and promote a culture of integrity and be adept at balancing internal management needs with external impact and visibility. The ideal candidate will be an outstanding communicator who isable to convey effectively the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.
The ideal candidate will have ten years of professional experience including a track record of successfully leading an organization; proven managerial, fund development and financial management experience in the private, not-for-profit, and/or public sectors; an exceptional talent for creative strategic thinking; an ability to inspire and mobilize individuals around strategic initiatives; an entrepreneurial spirit; the credibility and experience to connect the ACLU to resources and opportunities outside the organization; a successful track record of raising money from a variety of sources; and a history of communicating effectively in writing and verbally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations. A Bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement and an advanced degree in law or another related field is preferred.
Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
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.