Deputy Policy Director

Be Part of a Pivotal Moment in History

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks a Deputy Policy Director. This is a new role, designed for a professional looking for a meaningful opportunity in a proven, growing, and vibrant organization that makes profound differences in the lives of people across our state. The ACLU-NJ takes pride in our reputation of over 60 years of fighting for the rights of all New Jerseyans. And now – with ongoing challenges to civil liberties at the national level, the increased need to develop good policy at the local level, the still-evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on civil rights, and the 400-years overdue increased awareness of the impacts of systemic racism on every element of our society— is a vital time to join us and make a meaningful, positive, long-term impact on the future of New Jersey and the United States.

The Deputy Policy Director partners with the Policy Director and the Policy team in realizing their vision for creating systemic policy change. Policy decisions will be developed in consultation with the Policy Director, Executive Director, and additional cross-departmental team members. This position will spearhead and champion major policy initiatives prioritized by the organization using our model of integrated advocacy, where our programmatic departments collaborate closely with each other to achieve our goals. This role will be based in Newark but will work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic with an expectation of returning to the office sometime this Fall. This position will report the Policy Director.

What You’ll Do

Leadership and Management

  • Serve as a strategic leadership partner with the Policy Director on issue priorities, management, and strategy.
  • Supervise staff assigned to different projects to manage day-to-day movement on ongoing campaigns.
  • Serve as a thought leader for policy messaging, including public speaking and media interviews, as well as working with colleagues on public facing products, including but not limited to op-eds and reports.
  • Collaborate with other departments to provide logistical support for advocacy strategy initiatives and ensure the organization is working together moving forward.
  • Stay aware and implement best practices about equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) in policy and strategic campaign decisions.

Policy Portfolio/Advancing Campaigns

  • Spearhead ACLU-NJ’s policy campaigns on police and prosecutorial reform.
  • Manage staff and interns, and partner with community leaders and organizations to achieve policy change.
  • Serve as a policy expert and advocate on issues in support of legislation and other campaigns, with a focus on police and prosecutorial reform.
  • Organize and attend lobbying events with state and local officials, deliver testimony before legislative and regulatory bodies, and develop and cultivate relationships with lawmakers and decision makers to advance ACLU-NJ objectives.
  • Work with policy team members to forge and maintain relationships with people impacted by the criminal legal system, community partners, decision-makers, government officials, allied organizations, and academics to implement collaborative projects and foster positive, effective working relationships.
  • Conduct outreach, advocacy, and provide technical assistance to public officials and government bodies.
  • Meaningfully incorporate people who have been impacted by the legal system into all aspects of our campaigns, helping to elevate and center their expertise and leadership whenever possible.

Community Education

  • Establish, cultivate, and support collaborative relationships to community groups, coalitions, stakeholders, and ACLU members.
  • Organize, lead, and participate in events that may include evenings and weekends.
  • Build and facilitate coalitions and represent the ACLU-NJ in community spaces and coalition meetings that focus on our priority issues.

• Other duties as assigned.

What you’ll need

  • Significant experience in leading policy change campaigns, organizing, social justice advocacy, or other relevant civil liberties work.
  • Demonstrated experience leading police and/or prosecutorial reform or closely related campaigns required.
  • Ability to provide strategic, thoughtful leadership with the Policy Director to move ACLU-NJ’s work forward.
  • Demonstrated project management experience supervising issue campaigns, managing campaign budgets, and effectively handling multiple priorities and projects.
  • Experience in managing in a multi-layered team including campaign strategists and interns.
  • Significant experience and/or a combination of experience and an advanced degree in public policy, law, advocacy, or criminal justice.
  • Sharp political instincts; familiarity with NJ’s legislative processes and knowledge of New Jersey’s legislative and advocacy landscape is strongly preferred.
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU-NJ.
  • Commitment to racial equity, dismantling white supremacy, structural power analysis, with knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, language, immigration status, national origin, and socio-economic status.
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse coalitions and community groups, including communicating with and navigating coalition spaces.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage simultaneous projects, and adjust strategy to changing demands.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with colleagues across departments.
  • Ability to travel as needed both within the state and occasionally nationally.
  • Ability to attend evening or weekend events and meetings as necessary.
  • Demonstrated research, writing and oral communication skills, including public communication skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships with colleagues inside and outside the ACLU-NJ.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, with particular attention to detail.
  • Ability to maintain balance and perspective even when encountering interpersonal or strategic challenges.

About our Culture

We are a diverse workforce and take pride in our ability to attract and retain employees with a huge array of backgrounds and experiences. We work hard but also like to celebrate our successes.

Our Policy department is currently a team of four who care deeply about the work of the ACLU. We view our policy work as not just advancing legislation but also how this legislation impacts our advocacy and legal efforts. We work to achieve justice and equity through our approach and practices. We enjoy working together and stay easily inspired by the remarkable work of our amazing local and national colleagues.

Are You Ready to Help Lead Us into the Future?

To Apply

If you’re excited about bringing your talents and skills to the ACLU-NJ, complete the application below and upload a resume and detailed letter of interest. Your letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work.

Application materials will also be accepted via postal mail (P.O. Box 32159, Newark, NJ 07102), but electronic filing is strongly preferred. Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately. We will accept applications until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website. We hope that one of those applications is yours.

The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


The salary range for this position starts at a minimum of $84,000 and is negotiable, commensurate with experience. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package which currently includes 16 days paid time off, 11 office holidays and 12 health care leave days; medical, vision, and dental insurance; life and long-term disability insurance; pre-tax transit benefits; and a 401(k) plan with employer match. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The ACLU-NJ is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing civil rights and civil liberties through litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education. 

The ACLU-NJ is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture of belonging. It is our policy to employ qualified people without regard to race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; disability; sexual orientation; veteran’s status; marital status; civil union status; arrest or court record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law. The more inclusive we are, the better we are.


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