American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the nation’s foremost defender of constitutional rights and civil liberties. ACLU of Colorado (ACLU-CO) is an affiliate of the national ACLU, and it is the state’s guardian of freedom, working in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities across the state to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all. Founded in 1952, ACLU of Colorado is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the promise of equal justice under the law for all Coloradans. For more information about the work of the ACLU of Colorado and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit our website at www.aclu-co.org.

Commitment To Equity, Diversity, Belonging, and Inclusion

ACLU of Colorado is an equitable opportunity employer. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all community members can thrive. We strongly encourage applications from all qualified persons, including people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented and marginalized groups. 

ACLU of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of 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. We are committed to providing a work environment that practices equitable and inclusive treatment and is quick to act to prevent and address harassment or discrimination of any kind. 

Advocacy and Strategic Alliances

ACLU of Colorado’s new Department of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances (“ASA”) focuses on achieving transformational and systemic change for civil rights and civil liberties. ASA accomplishes this goal through multi-year, issue-based integrated campaigns, building powerful coalitions and networks working together to achieve shared goals, and empowering the next generation of civil rights and civil liberties champions. The ASA team includes policy experts, campaigners, organizers, data analysts and researchers who work in integrated teams alongside the ACLU-CO’s litigators and communications experts. These integrated teams combine policy advocacy, organizing and public education, litigation, electoral and political strategies, corporate campaigns, and communications strategies to achieve audacious goals.

Job Description

ACLU of Colorado’s Senior Policy Strategist will be charged with building and leading one of the most dynamic and impactful policy teams in the state. The Senior Policy Strategist sits in the affiliate’s Department of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, and works on integrated campaigns with colleagues in organizing, legal, communications, campaigns, and research and analytics to develop and execute audacious multi-year policy campaigns alongside community and coalitions. The Senior Policy Strategist is also responsible for coordinating the affiliate’s lobbying at the state capitol during the legislative session. The Senior Policy Strategist oversees a team that includes policy staff, policy fellows and interns, and contract lobbyist support.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Help co-create the ACLU-CO’s policy team, which is being reimagined within the affiliate’s new integrated Department of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances. 
  • Act as the ACLU-CO’s chief state legislative lobbyist and coordinate all state lobbying activity 
  • Determine near- and long-term policy objectives for the ACLU-CO’s core campaigns based on community needs, impact, pathway to victory, and other key criteria
  • Draft or supervise drafting of model policies, and mark-up and amend policies to maximize impact or achieve other strategic goals
  • Work collaboratively with an inter-disciplinary team to design policy strategies that are aligned with and supported by strategic communications, organizing, litigation, electoral programs, and other strategies and tactics
  • Supervise, edit, and draft white papers, reports, or other policy-orientated assets
  • Cultivate an innovative and learning-oriented culture, and lead debriefs to identify learnings from policy strategies or other projects
  • Implement evidence-based strategies or tactics throughout the policy team
  • Cultivate key strategic relationships with elected officials, stakeholders, and peers at other organizations
  • Lead or be the principal of coalitions or policy tables 

Qualifications: 

  • Dedicated to carrying out the mission and goals of the American Civil Liberties Union in protecting and furthering civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Ability to apply the work of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (EDIB) to the Department
  • Excellent supervision and mentoring skills
  • Deep understanding of political dynamics within the state legislature and other priority legislative and policy environments
  • Comfortable working in values-based alliances, as well as strategic alliances across the political spectrum
  • Substantial experience with policy work and strategy at the municipal, county, or state level
  • Can design and execute complex lobbying strategies, including multi-year or multi-jurisdictional strategic policy projects
  • Can create workplans and campaign plans that clearly identify measurable goals, strategies, and tactics. Fluency with project management software a plus.
  • Effectively anticipate complex and distant contingencies and both near-term and long-term opposition 
  • Substantial subject matter expertise in one of the ACLU-CO of Colorado’s core issue areas, including economic justice, housing, voting, immigration, or criminal legal reform
  • Can create high-functioning project management structures, communication channels, and processes
  • Capable of managing complex project management, including multi-disciplinary teams that may include external partners and vendors
  • Comfortable giving direction to personnel in other departments or organizations, including holding them accountable, may need supervisory back-up or assistance in difficult situations
  • Can execute policy or project within a defined budget, moves proactively to prioritize spending as circumstances change over policy
  • Public speaking and writing experience 
  • Willingness to work long hours, especially during state legislative session, and statewide travel as required
  • Juris doctor, master’s in public policy, or similar graduate degree or other comparable lived or professional experience.

Work Accommodations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

To ensure the safety of our employees, the ACLU-CO of Colorado implemented a mandatory work-from-home policy. While the policy stays in effect, we acknowledge that there are special circumstances when working at the office is necessary. For these situations, we ask staff to send notifications of their time in the office and to follow CDC precautionary measures to ensure staff safety. We are preparing a hybrid work accommodation in June 2022. It is mandatory to send a vaccination record or request a medical or religious exemption to return to the office. 

Compensation and Benefits

This position is full-time; the approximate salary range is $85,000 to $95,000 and within the pay scale parameters of ACLU-CO of Colorado. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, paid vacation, and holidays. In addition, ACLU-CO provides mental health services to its employees. A relocation stipend is available for new hires to move to Colorado.


To Apply

Send a cover letter, resume, and references in an e-mail with “ACLU-CO Senior Policy Strategist” in the subject line to jobs@aclu-co.org. Also, complete the ACLU-CO Job Application Pre-Screening Form for your application to be fully considered. Please no phone calls or direct e-mails. If you have questions about this process, e-mail jobs@aclu-co.org