Southern Regional Director [CSJ-13], Campaign for Smart Justice, Southern States of the US

October 16, 2017

Career Opportunity

Southern Regional Director [CSJ-13]

American Civil Liberties Union

Campaign for Smart Justice (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas)

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. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than a million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin or record of arrest or conviction.


With 2.3 million people behind bars in this country, the United States has earned the disgraceful distinction of being the world’s largest jailer. The nation’s machine of mass incarceration severely limits the ability of people, disproportionately people of color, from participating in the social, political and economic life of this country.

The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is committed to realizing a new criminal justice system – one that is substantially smaller than its current size while also keeping communities safe, advancing racial justice, treating people fairly, and using fiscal resources wisely. The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice works with partners to build a movement for social change and win state-based reforms needed to cut the size of our nation’s incarcerated population by 50 percent. The Campaign is committed to advancing both decarceration and racial justice.  The issue of mass incarceration is ripe for bipartisan involvement, and the ACLU works collaboratively with groups across the political spectrum to achieve our goal of ending mass incarceration.

The Campaign is focused on ending mass incarceration in the South, where high rates of incarceration and the disproportionate incarceration of Black people represent an urgent civil and human rights crisis. The Campaign actively works with ACLU offices and partners from across the political spectrum in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas to secure victories that will help end this crisis.

The Southern Regional Director is a key part of the ACLU’s national Campaign for Smart Justice leadership team and is responsible for managing the Campaign’s efforts in seven priority Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

In collaboration with other Campaign leaders, the Southern Regional Director is responsible for developing campaign plans and devising and executing campaign strategies and tactics in the Southern region. The Director will supervise other southern regional campaign staff, including the Southern Regional Policy Counsel, and coordinate with ACLU affiliate staff, coalition partners, state policymakers, lobbyists, litigators, communications staff, policy experts, and organizers to secure decarceration and racial justice victories.

The Southern Regional Director must possess experience in advocacy work in the South. The work will include overseeing campaign planning and execution, coalition-building and management, budgeting, staff hiring and supervision, maintenance of contracts with vendors and consultants, serving as a spokesperson in the media, lobbying and legislative strategy, political engagement, criminal justice policy development and analysis, research, and strategic partnerships.

The position will be based in one of the target Southern states.


  • In close collaboration with ACLU affiliates and other national staff, devise the strategy to end mass incarceration in the South.
  • Devise and implement strategic state-based campaign plans involving policy, legislative, communications, organizing, and political strategies to secure Campaign victories.
  • Manage the Southern regional campaign team’s work on executing the strategies
  • Work in close cooperation with ACLU affiliate staff and leadership to support affiliate growth in campaign capacity, political power, and expertise on Smart Justice priorities.
  • Oversee the ACLU’s coalition and organizing work, including but not limited to ACLU members and supporters, formerly incarcerated people, and communities most impacted by the criminal justice system, to build a movement to end mass incarceration.
  • Develop strategic partnerships with local advocates, community and faith leaders, academics, law enforcement leaders, and other key allies from across the political spectrum.
  • Manage relationships with state and local legislators and policymakers, as well as contracts with vendors, lobbyists, and consultants to impact public policy outcomes.
  • Oversee hiring and supervision of Southern regional campaign staff.
  • Devise and manage campaign budgets and related administrative requirements for work in the Southern region.
  • Ensure compliance with state-based lobbying and disclosure rules, in collaboration with other national ACLU staff.
  • Coordinate with ACLU and affiliate legal staff to identify potential Smart Justice litigation opportunities.
  • Represent the Campaign for Smart Justice at national or regional conferences, convenings, and coalitions.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, record of arrest or conviction.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.


  • A  minimum of five years of experience and demonstrated success in developing and leading legislative advocacy, political, electoral, and/or issue campaigns, or related work in political, policy, legal, or governmental settings.
  • Personal experience being incarcerated or in other ways entangled with the criminal justice system, preferred.
  • Strong familiarity with the criminal justice system and with public policy and legislative processes, preferred.
  • Experience in the creative and strategic use of an expansive toolbox of advocacy strategies and tactics, including campaign planning, organizing, coalition building, digital activism, message development and media, lobbying, and direct action.
  • Experience and demonstrated success in hiring and supervising staff, and managing and motivating a team to achieve short-term and long-term goals.
  • Excellent research, writing, analytic, and communication skills, including public presentation skills, meeting facilitation skills, and media skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex criminal justice issues to the general public.
  • Experience and success in working collaboratively with colleagues across departments and functions.
  • Ability to simultaneously handle multiple tasks, work efficiently and quickly, and meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Willingness to travel, as needed.
  • Passion for and demonstrated commitment to ending mass incarceration and advancing racial justice.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter, resume and a relevant writing sample to: - reference CSJ-13/ACLU in the subject line.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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.

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, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with 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. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”

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