Company Description

The ACLU-DC is an affiliate office of the American Civil Liberties Union, a national nonprofit organization devoted to the protection of civil liberties and civil rights through litigation, legislation, and public education. The ACLU-DC works primarily on issues that directly impact people who live in, work in, and visit the District of Columbia, and also on challenges to certain federal government policies and practices where they fall within the jurisdiction of the D.C. federal courts.

Job Description

The Strategic Communications Director helps the ACLU-DC articulate its mission to the public and plays a key role in executing the organization's strategic priorities. The Strategic Communications Director is part of the organization's senior leadership team, working under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with other senior staff members, including the Deputy Director, Policy Director, Legal Director, and Director of Philanthropy.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Strategy: Conceive a broad vision for using communications to further the goals of the ACLU-DC, and develop plans and strategies — long- and short-term — to carry out that vision. Determine ideal communications channels and tactics for distributing ACLU news, promoting advocacy campaigns, publicizing events, broadening ACLU audiences, and making civil liberties accessible and relevant to all District residents.
  • Messaging: Carefully shape the language, images, and multimedia that represent the ACLU-DC and its positions compellingly and convincingly. Ensure that consistent, clear messaging follows through all modes of communications for a range of audiences and across ACLU-DC departments.
  • Supervisory: Direct, manage, and supportively mentor Digital Communications Strategist, Campaign Communications Strategist, communications interns, and volunteers. Build organizational relationships with vendors, such as consultants and graphic designers.
  • Writing & Editing: Draft and review a range of documents and resources — both print and online — for public education, fundraising, community outreach, lobbying, and other purposes.
  • Media Relations: Manage media relations, including story development, media targeting, op-ed pitching, and relationship management. Plan proactive media campaigns and outreach, as well as rapid-response work in reaction to breaking news. Monitor the media and social media for opportunities to engage.
  • Campaigns & Project Management: In collaboration with the Policy and Advocacy Department, advance the affiliate’s legislative and advocacy priorities in cooperation with coalition partners and campaigns.
  • Event Management: Conceptualize, organize, and execute events such as candidate forums, town halls, and other community events that promote the ACLU-DC’s knowledge and expertise.
  • Newsletter & Publications: Oversee production of the Civil Liberties Reporter as well as other reports, educational materials, brochures, fact sheets, and other printed materials.
  • Internal Communications & Adminstrative Tasks: Create and maintain administrative resources and protocols that strengthen the department such as style and brand guides. Develop and manage the Communications Department budget.
  • Branding: Oversee branding and design of ACLU-DC promotional materials.


  • Minimum of four years of experience and demonstrated success in communications or related field, preferably in the nonprofit or government sector.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with members of the media. Knowledge of District of Columbia media, including digital outlets, a plus.
  • Ability to understand and grasp fast-changing media markets and platforms.
  • Ability to manage projects, such as reports and website creation, from inception through execution.
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to the ACLU's mission; a deep understanding of the range and implications of civil liberties and civil rights issues.
  • Ability to work independently and stay organized in a fast-paced environment, while managing several projects simultaneously and adjusting to frequently shifting, immediate demands.
  • Strong team-building and organizing skills.
  • A diplomatic touch and a sense of humor.
  • Bachelor's degree, preferably in journalism, public relations, marketing, or English, or comparable experience.

Additional Information


Salary is $90,000-120,000 per year depending on experience and qualifications. Excellent benefits offered, including health insurance plan, life and long-term disability insurance; 401(k); sick, vacation and holiday leave; public transit assistance.

The ACLU of the District of Columbia is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU -DC encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to arrest or conviction, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

Individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applying is 11:59pm Eastern time on Friday, May 14, 2021. If you have a disability/ies and need a reasonable accommodation regarding any part of the application process, please contact us. To complete the application, you will need to upload:

  1. A copy of your resume that lists relevant experience.
  2. A cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications.
  3. A (2-5 pages) writing sample.
  4. Three professional references, including their relationship to you and contact information.

To apply: