Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma (ACLU-OK) seeks a dynamic and experienced Executive Director to lead and significantly expand a civil liberties agenda throughout Oklahoma. The ACLU-OK is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization (comprised of two separate corporate entities, the ACLU of Oklahoma and the ACLU of Oklahoma Foundation) which uses legal, legislative and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues involving individual rights and freedoms including free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, prison conditions, and more. The ACLU-OK is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights.
For over fifty years, the ACLU-OK has been one of the area’s premier public advocacy organizations. Based in Oklahoma City, the ACLU-OK has an operating budget of over $1.2 million. The organization is led by a 22-member Board of Directors and a professional staff of six.

The Opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity to lead an organization committed to civil liberties and social justice throughout Oklahoma. The Executive Director will have primary responsibility for managing the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations, leading the organization’s fund development efforts, directing the work of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU-OK. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its internal and external communications, fund development, and programs are meeting the current and emergent needs and interests of its constituents.

The Executive Director will have a working knowledge of civil liberties issues and policies and be a leader and manager who is adept at balancing internal management with external impact and visibility. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to convey effectively the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

Job Responsibilities

Leadership and Vision

  • Establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of the ACLU-OK; provide direction to guide programs that align with the organization’s vision and advance civil rights and liberties in Oklahoma;
  • Work with the board to identify and help recruit new board members who will add diversity to the board and whose talents, interests and commitment will help to further the mission of the ACLU-OK;
  • Lead the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout organizational policies, practices, management, and culture with a strong DEI analysis;
  • Work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff including remote colleagues, coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.

Management and Fundraising

  • Ensure by effective management and leadership that the day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered; direct legal, policy, and communications programs;
  • Oversee the organization’s financial operations; oversee the budgetary process and ensure that sound financial controls are in place;
  • Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff ensuring that there is strong internal communication and coordination; recruit new staff when appropriate and evaluate performance;
  • Lead the organization’s fund development efforts; connect the ACLU-OK to resources and opportunities outside the organization.

External Relations and Communications

  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU-OK, articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission to a broad public;
  • Represent the organization in the media, increase public awareness and broaden the organization’s reputation to strategic constituents;
  • Maintain and encourage relationships with legal and social science scholars, educators, activists, and civil liberties/civil rights and social change advocates, so that the Board and staff have the expertise and knowledge they need to confront a wide range of policies and challenges;
  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU-OK’s mission and purpose.

Candidate Profile

Ideally, the successful candidate will have many, if not all, of the following characteristics:

  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU-OK’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
  • A commitment to racial diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • A working knowledge of Oklahoma politics, judicial system, and social justice nonprofit landscape preferred;
  • Experience in community-led, community-driven, grassroots organizing, preferred;
  • A dedicated leader and representative who can translate vision into action; someone who is passionate about networking and representing the organization to critical constituencies including ACLU-OK members, the public, government, and the media;
  • A person who is intelligent and inspiring; able to conceptualize, express ideas, and anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities for the ACLU-OK;
  • An entrepreneur who is creative, strategic, resourceful and politically astute; someone who understands the values of creating partnerships with other organizations as a way of accomplishing the ACLU-OK’s goals;
  • A team player who inspires collaboration and functions decisively; flexible and well-organized;
  • Outgoing and straightforward, one who shares information easily, listens as well as gives advice, respects the abilities of others;
  • Ten years of professional experience and a Bachelor’s degree are minimum requirements.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary based on experience. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, 401(k), life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email tsutrisno@koyapartners.com or agomes@koyapartners.com. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The ACLU of Oklahoma is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer and provides equal opportunity for all qualified people who desire to use their skills and abilities in their workplace, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, age, religion, disability or records of arrest or conviction.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.