Emily Tynes was Communications Director of the national American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. Tynes left the organization in 2015 after returning to the ACLU in 2009, resuming her role as the organization’s Communications Director, which she previously held from 2002 to 2006. During her time at the ACLU, Tynes supervised a 32-person department that includes media relations, digital communications, and marketing.
Tynes has over 30 years of experience in communications regarding strategies for achieving policy and social change. She began her communications career as a news reporter with several Gannett Company newspapers, followed by four years as an account executive in the Washington, D.C., office of Ruder & Finn public relations.
In 1983, Tynes became the first communications director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) — now NARAL Pro-Choice — where she guided the organization’s communications program during a highly volatile era of historic abortion rights battles. After that, she co-founded the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC), where she designed and implemented strategic communications campaigns on women’s rights, racial equality, national energy policy and immigrants’ rights. She has conducted strategic communications workshops for social justice advocates in the United States, Senegal, Jordan and Argentina.
Tynes initially joined the ACLU as Communications Director in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorists attacks — a period of unprecedented assaults on civil liberties. As Communications Director, Tynes managed all communications functions of the organization and its state affiliates, including brand development, paid advertising, media relations and the development of multifaceted campaign strategies. She was responsible for several successful communications efforts and was the lead architect of the Safe & Free campaign, the organization’s communications strategy on civil liberties post 9/11.
Tynes rejoined the Communications Consortium Media Center as Executive Vice President in November 2006, and returned to the ACLU in 2009. Currently, she is spearheading all communications efforts for the organization’s Centennial anniversary in 2020.
Tynes is the editor of two reference books for journalists, The Newsroom Guide to Civil Rights and The Newsroom Guide to Abortion and Family Planning, and co-author of the Jossey Bass Guide to Strategic Communications, a reference book for nonprofit communication professionals. She is a member of the board of the national YWCA.