The ACLU of Michigan is pleased to seek nominations and applications for the position of Political Director.


For over one hundred years, the ACLU national network has been fighting to protect civil liberties across the United States. The ACLU of Michigan, founded in 1959, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights in Michigan. Whether it’s reducing the prison and jail population, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, reducing immigration detention, or ending unjust laws that strip people of their fundamental right to vote, we take up the toughest civil liberties issues to defend individuals from government abuse and overreach. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, community organizers, communicators, and fundraisers. As an organization, we believe that our work in becoming a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace that centers a sense of belonging is a perpetual journey rather than a destination.

Building on exciting successes and at a pivotal point in the future of Michigan’s political and policy landscape, the next Political Director will lead the affiliate in maximizing our political influence and leadership in pursuit of change aligned with our priority areas. The Political Director will build upon successes and campaigns in areas related to democracy and voting rights, criminal legal system reform and public safety, immigrants’ rights, reproductive freedoms, and LGBTQ+ rights, among others. A full list of our current issue areas can be found here.


Reporting to the Executive Director and joining the leadership team, the Political Director will oversee a talented and dedicated team of organizing and legislative advocacy professionals in continuing to grow the affiliate as a formidable political force in the state. The Political Director will look ahead to future opportunities while understanding current political reality and guiding the team in pursuit of its political goals.

The Political Director will lead the team in implementing and supporting multi-disciplinary, high-impact campaigns and programs that use a combination of legal, legislative, public education, and organizing tactics to achieve ACLU policy priorities in state and local government and through electoral engagements such as ballot initiatives. The Director will supervise the strategy, organization, and mobilization of the legislative and organizing staff and guide the team using honed policy and political analyses, outreach to strategic allies, persuasive lobbying, and thoughtful coalition management to enhance the ACLU of Michigan’s political influence and impact on the state’s political landscape. The Political Director will work in concert with the leadership team and contribute to organization-wide initiatives, including continuous efforts to identify and work towards next steps in embedding Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) in our organization, embracing our journey as an ongoing opportunity for growth.

Specifically, the Political Director can expect to lead in the following areas:

Lead political strategy for the ACLU of Michigan.
- Grounded in the ACLU of Michigan’s mission, priorities, and integrated advocacy model, work with the leadership team to develop comprehensive strategies to achieve the ACLU’s public policy goals at state and local levels.
- Develop long-, mid-, and short-term strategic political analyses to inform strategy and resource allocation to ensure we effectively respond to opportunities.
- Lead the development and ongoing assessment and adaptation of strategies, campaigns, and tactics of the political team to support our goals. Create and track metrics to evaluate the progress of campaigns and political programs and provide key feedback or interventions to ensure effective execution.
- Work with affiliate colleagues to execute tactics, including field, communications, lobbying, and legal opportunities to further strategic campaigns.

Manage and support a talented and committed political team.
- Directly manage the Field Director and Legislative Director and oversee a team that expands and contracts to match the capacity and skills required for impact. Provide feedback and guidance to support the leadership and development of team members.
- Facilitate collaboration and continued communication within the Political Team and across departments, including the Legal, Communications, and Development teams to continually strengthen understanding and coordinate integration of efforts.
- Continue to build towards a team culture in which all staff experience a strong sense of belonging, where every staff member understands the spectrum of decision-making processes and feels empowered to make decisions within the scope of their position.
- Consult with the Chief Operating Officer to develop and oversee campaign, grant, and team budgets.

Build relationships with external partners and represent the ACLU of Michigan publicly to various audiences, including legislators and their staff, coalition partners, Board members, and press.
- Publicly represent the political work on behalf of ACLU of Michigan at national, state, and local forums, conferences, meetings and press.
- Build respectful and mutually helpful relationships with organizations and partners in pursuit of our program goals, strategies, and campaigns.
- Support the team in thoughtfully defining the best role for the ACLU of Michigan in coalitions and partnerships.
- Proactively coordinate with Leadership and the Development and Communications Teams to provide insights, updates, and information to our members, donors, Board members, and others.
- Work with the Director of Philanthropy to help build and steward relationships with donors who can support the ACLU of Michigan's political work.

Contribute to our ongoing efforts to be a caring and effective organization.
- As a leadership team member, contribute to organizational decisions and the implementation of those decisions across the team, recognizing the mission and complexity of our work and serving as a thoughtful supporter of a healthy, caring, equitable, and collaborative team environment.
- Continually champion and embed values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging into practices, systems, and processes at every level of the organization, listening with openness to feedback and learning, understanding mistakes are a part of our human condition, and pursuing practices of restorative justice to address conflict and harm, where appropriate.


While we expect any candidate to have learning curves in the role, we are excited to consider candidates who bring strengths, abilities, and alignment with the ACLU of Michigan’s values in the following areas:

Strategic political analyst, planner, and campaign executor: The Political Director will need experience assessing a political landscape and setting political (legislative, electoral, issue or ballot campaign) strategy to help achieve goals. They will be familiar with the legislative process and have experience with tactics to move decision-makers, including political communications, organizing, online activism, and constituent engagement, while also centering and bringing deep respect for the agency and authority of those most impacted by public policies and systems. They will be a persuasive communicator, including through writing and public speaking. They will be a thoughtful relationship-builder with experience working in and leading coalitions.

Collaborative and developmentally-focused manager and team member: The Political Director will have experience managing others and supporting thoughtful communication across a diverse team. They will have the ability to develop a team of leaders by providing practices for team-wide transparency and clear decision-making protocols, as well as individually appropriate support and thought-partnership to enable personal and professional growth. They will be emotionally mature and self-confident and have a sense of humor to maintain balance and perspective. They will be open and excited to learn and grow, including in practices of restorative justice, to ensure all team members have space to belong, thrive, and make and address mistakes.

Values-aligned leader: As a member of the leadership team, the Political Director will be committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range and complexity of civil liberties issues and their implications. They will bring a commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance. They will be a team player that inspires collaboration and functions decisively, is flexible and well-organized, and is able to work collaboratively across an organization.

• The Political Director will need to be available for some work outside of a typical 9-5 schedule and for occasional travel.

Note to Potential Candidates: We know that not all strong candidates will have every skill we list. That’s OK. We still want to hear from you. Research shows that women, non-binary people, and people of color are less likely to apply for a position if they don’t meet every skill listed. At the ACLU of Michigan, we believe our collective differences enable us to make better decisions, drive innovation, and deliver better programmatic results. We are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable state and nation, and we know that begins with us doing the work ourselves.

Compensation and Benefits:
The ACLU values equity, transparency, and clarity in pay. Consistent with the ACLU’s compensation philosophy, there is a set salary for this role. The annual salary for this position is $120,000 (Job Level 1). Excellent benefits, including health, vision, and dental insurance and a 401(k)-retirement plan with matching contributions, an individual professional development budget, and an employee assistance program are provided. The ACLU also facilitates a wide range of nationwide employee resource groups.

How to Apply:
This search is being supported by Callie Carroll of CLC Endeavors. Please send application materials to Applications should include a resume and cover letter that communicates your interest and qualifications for the role. Priority will be given to applications received by November 24th, though applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

Equal Opportunity Employer:
The 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, or record of arrest or conviction. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please call 313-578-6800 or mail a letter to 2966 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI, 48201. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request accommodation for the interview process.