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About the ACLU of Nebraska

For over 50 years in Nebraska, the ACLU has worked in courts, the legislature, and communities to protect the constitutional and individual rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, including an ever-growing presence in Nebraska, it takes up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, one party, or one side — we the people dare to create a more perfect union.

The ACLU of Nebraska (ACLU NE) is both a 501c3 and 501c4 and home to an eleven-person team, Board of Directors, and dozens of volunteer lawyers, activists, clerks and interns. With a budget of $2 million, ACLU NE is freedom’s watchdog working daily to advance their mission in the issue areas of criminal justice, freedom of expression and religion, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ+ rights, open government, police practices, privacy, racial justice, reproductive freedom, voting rights, and youth and schools.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to their work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. ACLU NE is a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. It believes in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within the organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers its colleagues to do the best work possible. ACLU NE is committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as it is externally, because whether it’s in the courts or in the office, ACLU NE believes ‘We the People’ means all of us.

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Nebraska seeks a dynamic, experienced, and thoughtful Executive Director who will be responsible for the strategic orientation of the organization. They will lead staff and Board through big-picture thinking about the trajectory of the organization, and lead ACLU NE to operationalize strategic goals.

The Executive Director will have a working knowledge of and a deep commitment to civil liberties and racial justice. They will be a leader who is adept at building relationships and balancing internal management with external impact and visibility. They will be an outstanding communicator who is able to effectively convey the mission and activities of ACLU NE to a variety of constituencies and stakeholders.

Strategy and Vision

  • Establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of ACLU NE providing direction to guide programs that align with the organization’s vision for the state of Nebraska;
  • Build on past successes by inspiring the creation and implementation of new state-wide strategies to advance the work of ACLU NE;
  • Operate strategically in a political and social environment where success on civil liberties issues depends on the ability to work effectively with individuals and organizations across the political spectrum and in the context of a unicameral legislative system;
  • Exhibit courage and clarity when addressing highly controversial and complex issues and lead the staff and Board through thoughtful consideration of conflicting positions on those issues.

Organizational Management

  • Ensure by effective management and leadership that the day-to-day operations are efficiently organized and administered;
  • Manage the organization’s financial operations including the budgetary process and ensure that sound and transparent financial controls are maintained;
  • Work with development staff and Board in furthering a robust fundraising program that ensures the financial viability of ACLU NE by cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting diversified donors;
  • Anticipate funding needs and engage program staff as needed to ensure that staff have the resources they need to be successful and have a firm understanding of the finances related to their work;
  • Regularly assess how ACLU NE is incorporating the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging into internal and external work.

Staff Leadership

  • Inspire, motivate, and build rapport to cultivate a cohesive staff, ensuring that there is transparent internal communication, participation, and coordination;
  • Work with staff to establish goals for their respective departments with clarity and accountability to specific metrics and goals; ensure staff have the resources needed to accomplish their goals;
  • Attract, recruit, lead, and mentor a diverse staff that works to further the mission of ACLU NE with enthusiasm and a personal understanding of the work;
  • Champion and value equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in working relationships with the Board and all staff;
  • Provide staff with regular professional development opportunities.

External Relations

  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to ACLU NE’s mission and purpose – including staff at ACLU National when appropriate;
  • Work with the communications staff to represent ACLU NE to the media and public, clearly articulating the organization’s positions and communicating its work on a broad array of complex issues to audiences with different levels of knowledge;
  • Maintain and encourage relationships with local policymakers and legislators in order to advocate for and advance the mission and work of ACLU NE; 
  • Communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, including within the organization, with empathy, emotional intelligence, and respect; work effectively in cross-cultural settings.

Board Relations

  • Collaborate with the Board on regular and periodic audit, oversight, and governance issues through consistent and thorough communications;
  • Work with the Board to identify and help recruit new Board members who add diversity to the Board and whose talents, interests, and commitments help to advance ACLU NE’s mission;
  • Engage the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals including by fostering appropriate relationships between Board and staff.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, creatively problem solve and lead change; ability to execute good judgment, who can act decisively on events which may create opportunities or challenges for the ACLU; a working knowledge of Nebraska politics, judicial and legislative system, and social justice nonprofit landscape or willingness and demonstrated ability to learn;
  • Managerial experience required, preferably with a demonstrated ability to manage in a mission-driven organization of similar size and complexity; ability to translate vision into action and lead staff to execute; approach to staff leadership that emphasizes communication, collaboration, and transparency; welcomes staff input and prioritizes staff’s professional development;
  • Commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences regarding race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstance, immigration status, and record of arrest or conviction;
  • Compassionate leadership style with the ability to listen to Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners and the public with respect and genuine openness to constructive input;
  • Experience connecting issue-based organizations to resources and opportunities outside of the organization; a successful track record of raising and managing funds from a variety of sources;
  • High emotional intelligence and a record of success working in partnership with a Board and staff of diverse personalities, talents, and lived experiences;
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team, and to have excellent problem solving and decision-making skills in a high-pressure environment that often requires multi-tasking.

Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this position is $135,000 – $150,000. Excellent benefits include generous vacation, sick leave, family leave, paid life insurance, generous health and dental insurance with premiums paid 100% by the employer including family coverage, a 401k match, cell phone reimbursement, remote work options, and paid parking. The ACLU Nebraska offices are located in the heart of Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln which is the state capitol known as a political hub, for its historical attractions, and as a vibrant culture and food scene. 

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. It values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified and eligible individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or any other characteristic protected by law.

Civil rights and civil liberties violations disproportionately hurt the most marginalized people in society – including Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ+ people. These communities must be centered in the work that the ACLU of Nebraska does. Hence, ACLU Nebraska strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or those who are members of other marginalized communities. 

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Trisha and Amber directly at tsutrisno@koyapartners.com and agomes@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of 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.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.