The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont (ACLU-VT) seeks a sophisticated and experienced policy advocate to advance its civil liberties and civil rights agenda. The Policy Director is a member of the ACLU-VT’s senior leadership team and provides vision and direction for its policy and legislative program. The position is primarily responsible for state legislative and executive branch advocacy but also engages with local governmental bodies, administrative agencies, and our Congressional delegation, and collaborates with other staff on integrated advocacy initiatives. The Policy Director works under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with other staff, including the Associate Director and Legal Department.
Founded in 1967 and based in Montpelier, the ACLU-VT is a nonpartisan public interest organization that uses legal, legislative and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms, including free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and more. The ACLU-VT is the state-wide affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights. To learn more about the work of the ACLU-VT, visit our website.
The ACLU of Vermont comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont and the ACLU Foundation of Vermont. 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.
Under the guidance of the Executive Director, the Policy Director works with other senior staff to identify priority issues and to develop and implement strategies to advance the ACLU of VT’s policy interests. Responsibilities include the following:
- Persuasively represent the ACLU-VT’s interest in the state legislative process in Montpelier and advance priority policy issues at the local levels, to lawmakers, executive agencies, and stakeholders.
- Review and analyze legislative proposals, assess their political viability and evaluate whether and how the ACLU-VT should respond. Create strategies and messaging to advance priority issues and identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU issues. Research and draft amendments and provide oral and/or written testimony.
- Participate in legislative interim activity, attend legislative hearings and participate in legislative workgroups and related meetings.
- Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, lobbyists and other stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources.
- Coordinate and collaborate with staff to plan and implement effective multi-disciplinary and integrated advocacy policy initiatives, involving a combination of policy, legal, communication, public education, and organizing strategies.
- Develop strategies and work in partnership with allied organizations and individuals; build and/or work with varied and diverse coalitions at the state and local levels.
- Respond to media requests on policy issues and represent the ACLU-VT at events, forums, and meetings.
- Prepare written materials including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, reports, op-eds, blog posts, and website updates.
- Work collaboratively with the national ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance nationwide policy campaigns.
- Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences.
- Attend various ACLU-VT functions and handle other projects, as assigned.
- Substantial knowledge of and a demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and civil rights.
- At least one year of local, state, and/or national-level legislative or policy advocacy, preferably in Vermont. Law degree strongly preferred.
- Excellent leadership skills to develop allies and facilitate communication and collaboration among them.
- Excellent communication advocacy skills, both written and oral, research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse coalitions, work cooperatively with groups and communities across the political spectrum, and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
- Excellent initiative, vision and ability to develop and implement short and long-term policy strategies utilizing a broad range of tactics.
- Ability to keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
- Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues across departments and functions.
- Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism.
- Ability to work long hours during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the state, as needed.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU of Vermont compensation scale. Benefits include medical and disability insurance, dental assistance, 401(k), and vacation, holiday and sick leave.
To apply, email a letter of application, resume, three professional references (please identify their relationship to you), and a writing sample of no more than 10 pages to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Policy Director. In your letter please indicate where you learned of the posting.
The ACLU of Vermont is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Vermont encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.
The ACLU of Vermont undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.acluvt.org.