The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) - Public Policy Director

27 Mar 2017 10:45 PM | Anonymous

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks a creative and dynamic team player with both campaign and lobbying experience to fill the position of a full-time Public Policy Director. The Public Policy Director shapes and advances the ACLU’s policy agenda with federal, state, and local lawmakers and other agents of power. Founded in 1960, the ACLU-NJ is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with more than 20,000 members and tens of thousands of supporters. It is the state’s leading organization dedicated to advancing and defending civil liberties and civil rights. 

The Public Policy Director will spearhead the organization’s efforts to advance the ACLU’s policy agenda by planning and implementing legislative campaigns; analyzing and drafting policy proposals; lobbying federal, state and local policymakers; preparing and presenting testimony; building coalitions; and activating ACLU supporters to advance our policy priorities. Among our ongoing efforts, the Public Policy Director will oversee the ACLU-NJ’s work on criminal justice policy reform, including campaigns to reform police practices and to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana.

The Public Policy Director will be a part of the organization’s management team, and will work under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with other management staff, including the Legal Director, and the Communications Director. The Public Policy Director currently supervises the Policy Counsel and a law fellow and is responsible for planning for the growth of the department with the Executive Director. The position is based in the ACLU-NJ’s downtown Newark office, which houses 19 full-time staff members and numerous volunteers.  The Public Policy Director is expected to travel throughout the state, including Trenton, on a regular basis.


  • Develop and oversee implementation of public policy campaigns to achieve the ACLU’s goals;
  • Manage a team of public policy staff members and work collaboratively with other staff to plan and implement effective multi-disciplinary and integrated advocacy policy campaigns, involving a combination of legislative, legal, communications, and field strategies;
  • Identify systemic patterns of civil liberties violations, envision changes in policy capable of addressing them, and carry out strategies to secure those changes;
  • Identify ways to proactively advance the ACLU’s civil liberties and civil rights priorities;
  • Oversee the ACLU-NJ’s legislative advocacy program, including tracking and analyzing legislation, drafting and delivering testimony, and drafting legislative proposals;
  • Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, lobbyists and other stakeholders and identify and participate in strategic opportunities to advance priority issues;
  • Lead the growth of  networks of activists and volunteers, to mobilize support for key civil rights issues, building on a current network of ACLU-NJ members and supporters;
  • Prepare advocacy and policy materials in collaboration with the communications department, including policy reports, action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, letters, op-eds, and website materials;
  • Work in partnership with allied organizations and build coalitions to further the ACLU’s public policy priorities;
  • Represent the ACLU in community events, panels, rallies, news conferences, and know-your-rights trainings;
  • Respond to media requests, develop messaging, and organize press conferences in collaboration with communications staff;
  • Work with development staff to identify funding sources, participate in donor meetings, write funding proposals, and draft reports to funders;
  • Work collaboratively with the national office of the ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance nationwide public policy campaigns;
  • Participate in office management, budget planning, and developing organizational priorities;
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, J.D. preferred, and at least three years of experience in public policy work, preferably on ACLU-related issues;
  • Strong commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, and goals, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties and civil rights issues and their implications;
  • Understanding of the legislative process and political strategic planning;
  • Exceptional analytical, research, writing and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to communicate complex legal issues effectively to a variety of audiences;
  • Exceptional initiative, vision and ability to develop and implement short- and long-term integrated policy strategies;
  • Experience in developing successful legislative or public education campaigns;
  • Proven project management and organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize policy issues, attention to detail, and the ability to meet deadlines while under pressure;
  • Ability to prioritize policy issues, work independently and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands;
  • Strong team-building and organizing skills;
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff, coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, and work across the political spectrum;
  • Commitment to the highest ethical standards of lobbying and professionalism;
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects
  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout the state of New Jersey and occasionally out of state;
  • Ability to manage a demanding schedule, including long hours during legislative session;
  • Proficiency in a second language preferred, but not required.


The ACLU-NJ offers a comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU-NJ compensation scale. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, sick time and holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match.


To apply, complete the application form here.

Join Us Today!

We offer a wide range of benefits to our members. Click here to join!

Founded in 1980, the HBA-NJ is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association that is comprised of attorneys, judges, law professors, law students, and other professionals who share a common interest in addressing the issues affecting Hispanics within the legal community.

The purpose of the Association is to serve the public interest: (i) by cultivating the art and science of jurisprudence, (ii) by advancing the standing of the legal profession, and (iii) by preserving high standards of integrity, honor, and professional courtesy among Hispanic lawyers.

Hispanic Bar Association                         of New Jersey

P.O. Box 25562, Newark, NJ 07101

Underwriter & Amigo
Annual Sponsors 

Please click on our annual sponsors’ logos to learn more about them and visit their websites.



Day Pitney LLP

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software