The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH), the state’s largest and most influential civil rights organization, seeks a committed and proactive Policy Director to engage key legislators, policy makers, and advocacy organizations in advancing local, state, and federal policies as they relate to the ACLU-NH’s overarching civil rights and civil liberties agenda. The Policy Director will join a passionate and highly engaged team that is actively fighting against unprecedented attacks on civil rights and civil liberties to realize the vision of a fair, equitable, and free New Hampshire that welcomes and celebrates diversity of all kinds. This leadership position offers a meaningful opportunity to impact the most pressing issues in civil liberties policy today.
The advancement of civil liberties over the past century represents one of the most significant developments in American history, and nationwide, the American Civil Liberties Union remains at the center of reshaping and expanding the definition of freedom, liberty, equality, and justice in America. The ACLU-NH, founded in 1968 as the statewide affiliate of the national organization, continues its decades-long work to fight discrimination on behalf of all people, and is committed to achieving racial equity and advancing civil rights and liberties for everyone
New Hampshire has long been recognized for its unique political environment. A swing state that features prominently in presidential elections due to its status as the first primary state, New Hampshire wields a substantial amount of political power and influence. The state has voted Democratic in all but one national election since 1992, while control of the state legislature and New Hampshire's congressional seats has switched between Republicans and Democrats since 2006. New Hampshire General Court consists of 400 Representatives and 24 Senators and is the third largest English-speaking legislative body in the world. Its volunteer members are in session from January through June, with a third of its members transitioning every two years. Added to these factors is the growing support for movements such as Black Lives Matter and an ongoing pandemic that has exposed social inequity and injustice, resulting in a dynamic and often contentious environment for civil rights and civil liberties.
In such a climate, the ACLU-NH has been, and must remain, constantly vigilant in identifying and addressing abuses such as voter suppression, law enforcement violations, unjust treatment of immigrants, and sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Through effective integrated advocacy, which combines litigation, legislation, and public education efforts, the ACLU-NH has been at the forefront of statewide issues including criminal justice, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive freedom, data privacy, first amendment, student rights, and voting rights. It has also contributed to shaping federal policy on cannabis legislation and immigration reform.
Reporting into the Executive Director of the ACLU-NH, the Policy Director is a member of the senior leadership team with oversight for the affiliate’s policy agenda and legislative activities. This includes implementing existing policy strategies and advancing identified policy objectives; recommending policy positions, new solutions and approaches to the work; leading and coordinating the organization’s state legislative and executive branch advocacy; and developing priority issue campaigns consistent with organizational priorities.
The Policy Director engages with administrative agencies, local government bodies, and state congressional delegations, and collaborates with other staff on integrated advocacy initiatives and issue campaigns. Working closely with the ACLU-NH Legal Director, Communications Director, Director of Community Outreach, Development Director, and staff at ACLU National, the Policy Director will have a chance to build on collective efforts to challenge laws that infringe on individual freedom, support laws that protect and expand civil liberties, as well as nurture and maintain funder relationships.
“So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy.” — ACLU Founder Roger Baldwin
Leading candidates will be familiar with the legislative process and federal, state, and local public policy issues, preferably those affecting under resourced communities. Specifically, they will be current with political and legislative issues reflective of the ACLU-NH’s civil liberties portfolio and can recommend strategies, tactics, and co-sponsorships on bills and positions. They will possess exceptional storytelling and public speaking skills with the ability to convey ACLU-NH positions with passion and accuracy; and will work in partnership with staff at other organizations on initiatives that benefit the ACLU-NH’s policy agenda. Excellent writing and editing skills are required as well as exceptional detail orientation and accuracy of research and analysis; adeptness in managing to multiple rigorous deadlines; and aptitude in writing for a policy and press audience.
The ideal candidate will possess strong personal initiative, a collaborative work style, and an ability to produce within a fast-paced environment. They will embody a blend of diplomacy, political savvy, and thoughtfulness when seeking to establish common ground for individuals on both sides of an issue and demonstrate the humility needed to fully absorb the history of civil rights and liberties in New Hampshire and the impact on its people and this country.
- Oversee the ACLU-NH's policy program, including developing priority issue campaigns consistent with organizational priorities, and develop and oversee the advocacy budget.
- Develop and implement the ACLU-NH's legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics including lobbying members of the legislature and the Governor's office; analyzing and tracking legislation; drafting amendments; and preparing and delivering both written and oral testimony.
- Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, the Governor's office, lobbyists, and other stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources; identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU issues.
- Develop strategies, work in partnership with allied organizations and individuals, and build and lead diverse coalitions.
- 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.
- Participate in legislative interim activity, attend legislative hearings, and participate in policy-related workgroups, coalitions, and meetings.
- Work collaboratively with other ACLU affiliates to advance national or regional policy priorities.
- Engage with local, state, and national elected officials and candidates on issues pertaining to civil rights and to elevate civil rights in the electoral narrative.
- Respond to media requests on policy or election issues, in coordination with the Communications Director, and represent the ACLU-NH at events, forums, and meetings.
- Prepare written materials in collaboration with the Communications Director including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, reports, op-eds and website updates.
- Participate in and support equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging work and initiatives.
- Collaborate with Development on the cultivation of key major donors, including participation in certain donor cultivation activities.
- Attend various ACLU functions and handle other projects, as assigned.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS & CHARACTERISTICS
- Understanding of the legislative process, political strategic planning and the ability to build respectful relationships across the political spectrum.
- Demonstrated ability to quickly acquire issue-based expertise as advocacy opportunities present themselves.
- Knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights issues and a commitment to advancing the ACLU's values, mission, and goals.
- Excellent communication advocacy skills, both written and oral, research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues effectively to a variety of audiences.
- Ability to develop allies and work collaboratively in coalitions; ability to navigate internal political dynamics among partners groups.
- Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse groups, work cooperatively with communities across the political spectrum.
- A personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
- Initiative, vision, and ability to develop and implement short and long-term policy strategies utilizing a broad range of political and lobbying tactics.
- Ability to work independently when necessary and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
- Understanding of how to work collaboratively with colleagues across departments and functions; experience in integrated advocacy strongly preferred.
- Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism.
- Ability to manage extended work hours as needed during the legislative session (January-June) and commuting to meetings and events throughout the state. (Mileage reimbursement provided.)
- Commitment to equity and inclusion, and respect for differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance and class.
POSITION AND BENEFITS
The Policy Director will be based in Concord, NH. The position will be remote until the office re-opens after the COVID-19 pandemic. This position is full-time, exempt, and will pay an annual salary of $70,000-$80,000 depending on experience. Excellent benefits offered, including health insurance, long-term disability insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, and generous vacation, holiday, family, and medical leave policies. Relocation stipend for moving expenses available up to $4,000, depending on distance and number of family members, contingent on two years’ employment.
Pearl Street Collective, a national, women-owned search firm, has been retained to assist the ACLU-NH in this recruitment. Please submit your letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. All application materials will be held in confidence. The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Prior to advancing to the interview process, candidates will be asked to provide two relevant professional writing samples of no more than 10 pages in total.
The ACLU-NH is an equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-NH 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, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction.
ABOUT THE ACLU-NH
The ACLU-NH, the statewide affiliate of the National ACLU, is a nonpartisan public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion civil liberties and civil rights through litigation, policy advocacy and public education. The ACLU is a highly rewarding place to work for those interested in protecting our fundamental civil rights, including criminal justice, racial justice, free speech, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and privacy. Offices are located in Concord. Learn more at aclu-nh.org.
WELCOME TO THE GRANITE STATE
Stretching from the Atlantic coastline to the White Mountains, New Hampshire offers stunning terrain and plenty of opportunity for year-round recreation and adventure. Enjoy the many trails of Mount Monadnock, one of the world’s most-climbed mountains, and Lake Winnipesaukee, its best-known inland resort and the state’s largest lake. Explore New Hampshire’s 13 miles of coastline where you’ll find beautiful beaches and fresh seafood. Venture to the state’s enticing borders—Canada in the north, Maine in the east, Massachusetts in the south, and Vermont in the west—and don’t forget to hit New Hampshire’s Original Ice Cream Trail.
Cities like Manchester, Portsmouth, and Nashua have emerged as technology hubs and the state is ranked #2 for entrepreneurship growth among small states. It helps that there is no state income tax. Home to some of today’s top companies like Oracle and Autodesk, the Granite State has built a reputation for attracting innovative companies and employees. Learn more at visitnh.gov.