Policy and Advocacy

This position is based in Oklahoma. While the office is remote for the time being, there will be times when it is necessary to be able to access the Oklahoma City office.

Compensation for this position is $70,000 with benefits that include paid vacation, medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k), life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.

All staff are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine unless an employee has a medical or religious exemption that makes them unable to receive the vaccine. Reasonable accommodations will be made with staff and their direct supervisor with final determination made by the Executive Director.

The Work of the ACLU of Oklahoma

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is a nonprofit, non-partisan, privately funded organization devoted exclusively to the defense and promotion of the individual rights secured by the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.

The ACLU-OK comprises of two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, Inc, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. The job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Oklahoma.”

The ACLU-OK is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a national not-for-profit, non-partisan, organization founded in 1920. The ACLU is a nationwide network of staffed offices in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Its purpose is to protect those rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Oklahoma affiliate was established in 1964 and opened its first headquarters in 1973.

The ACLU-OK has a proud history of advocating in Oklahoma for the rights of institutionalized persons; educators; students; persons who speak out against governmental abuse; women; and minorities of religious, ethnic, or racial character.

The ACLU-OK is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

The ACLU-OK encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio- economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates.

Position Overview

The Director of Public Policy is a senior position that leads the development and implementation of strategic, multi-faceted campaigns in Oklahoma to ensure decision makers in state and local legislative and executive bodies pass laws and adopt policies that advance and defend civil liberties and civil rights and oppose laws, rules and policies that would compromise those freedoms. The Director of Public Policy is a member of the ACLU of Oklahoma’s senior leadership team. An expectation of leadership is to take an active role in advancing organizational equity and support building an organizational culture of belonging that goes beyond diversity and inclusion.

The Director works with a broad range of stakeholders in advocating on shared policy priorities and goals and in engaging, training, and mobilizing ACLU members and other constituents to carry out activism in support of campaign objectives.

The position reports to the Executive Director.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Develop overarching vision for the Public Policy program and campaign plans centered in equity to achieve strategic policy goal.
  • Build trust and strong relationships with community leaders and grassroots organizations led by and centering the voices of directly impacted individuals and communities disproportionately impacted by violations of civil liberties and civil rights; seek their input to help shape ACLU’s priorities.
  • Lead lobbyist at state legislature, includes analyzing and tracking legislation; drafting amendments and delivering both written and oral testimony; educating and lobbying interim legislative committees and diverse, inclusive working groups.
  • Develop and execute plan to build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision- makers, staff, lobbyists and other stakeholders by providing clear, persuasive, fact-based analysis and resources; identify opportunities for bipartisan support on ACLU issues.
  • Direct the ACLU-OK’s advocacy efforts before local decision-making bodies and agencies such as city councils and county commissions.
  • Create platforms for generating authentic input from people with direct experience with the systems and policies we seek to change and create opportunities for leadership development in our campaigns.
  • Develop strategies to work in coalition or other partnerships with allied organizations and individuals.
  • Collaborate with national ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance national public policy campaigns and enlist support for local initiatives.
  • Research policy questions and advise Executive Director in staking out policy positions.
  • Develop and implement public education strategies (including materials development and the organization of public events) to promote the ACLU’s public policy goals.
  • Collaborate on grant management and donor stewardship.
  • In coordination with the Communications Director, represent the ACLU-OK in the media; collaborate with communications staff in the development of effective messaging strategies.

Essential Qualifications and Experience:

  • An understanding of and enthusiasm for civil liberties and civil rights and personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs.
  • Commitment to race and other forms of equity, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.
  • Awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
  • Ability to participate in, create and sustain inclusive and engaging spaces for all races/ethnicities, genders, ages, classes, and geographies.
  • Experience in either government service or the non-profit sector with policy or advocacy experience, or as a legislative lobbyist.
  • Excellent research, writing and oral communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging and working with and/or on behalf of underrepresented communities is a plus.
  • Excellent leadership skills. Vision, initiative, and ability to design new programs and policy strategies utilizing a broad range of tactics, and guide others in their implementation.
  • Ability to gather, analyze, and synthesize information and prepare compelling educational materials.
  • A demonstrated ability to work respectfully and effectively with coalitions and community groups.
  • Demonstrated supervisory and management skills.
  • A capacity for self-reflection.
  • Ability to have courageous conversations internally with colleagues and externally with allies when overcoming differences in opinion.
  • Ability to work independently and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
  • Ability to work evenings or weekends when needed.
  • Ability to travel when needed.

Application Procedure:

To apply, email a cover letter, resume to tcox-toure@acluok.org and include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Director of Public Policy.

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis.