The ACLU of New Jersey today announced the appointment of three leaders to newly created positions: Carla Chávez joins the organization as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer; Harold Weaver as the Director of Finance; and Jim Sullivan as the Deputy Policy Director. Their additions bring the ACLU-NJ’s full-time staff to 30 strong, with the majority of the team identifying as people of color, and signal the organization’s growing influence defending and advancing liberty and justice for all New Jerseyans.
Expanding the ACLU-NJ team is an essential step in working toward the organization’s vision of building a just and fair New Jersey. The ACLU-NJ's integrated advocacy in the courts, in the legislature, and in our communities – from leading the way on cannabis legalization to passing the Public Health Emergency Credit Act that resulted in thousands of early releases from prison – have enabled the organization to bring in creative leaders who will be instrumental to future campaigns. The ACLU-NJ continues to protect and expand the rights guaranteed by the U.S. and New Jersey constitutions, furthering the organization’s mission in accordance with its values.
“I’m thrilled to have Carla, Harold, and Jim join the ACLU-NJ team,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha. “Their years of experience in crafting and implementing creative, inclusive policies will be instrumental to our vision of building a fair and equitable New Jersey for all, and their arrival is a testament to the ACLU-NJ’s leadership in advocacy spaces across the state. I am proud to see our organization expand its reach, develop its infrastructure, and amplify its political power in pursuit of justice for all New Jerseyans.”
As the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer for the ACLU-NJ, Carla Chávez oversees day-to-day management of the organization and ensures effective collaboration, systems management, and workflows across departments. Carla has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector, having primarily focused on expanding organizational capacity and strategic planning. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, she moved back to the Island to support recovery and reconstruction efforts at Foundation for Puerto Rico, where she served as Chief of Staff and oversaw the proper usage of federally granted funds. She later joined the Puerto Rico Financial Management and Oversight Board as Chief of Staff, where she oversaw the internal operations of the organization tasked with negotiating Puerto Rico's exit from bankruptcy. Prior to her time in Puerto Rico, she worked as Deputy Director for the Seattle non-profit organization Transportation Choices Coalition.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join the team at the ACLU-NJ who have brought milestone victories to New Jersey since the organization’s founding in 1960,” said ACLU-NJ Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Carla Chávez. “The ACLU-NJ’s mission to preserve and expand rights and liberties for all is as important now as ever, and I know our work will continue moving us toward a fairer, more just New Jersey in 2022.”
Harold Weaver is the Director of Finance for the ACLU-NJ and is responsible for the organization’s financial and strategic management. With nearly 30 years of experience in finance and accounting, Harold has extensive knowledge in providing accounting, budgeting, and financial modeling in the non-profit sector. Providing evaluation and analysis for long-range planning, Harold has helped several organizations to implement measures that support the strategic directions, including Family Intervention Services, Inc, Volunteers of America-Greater New York, Catholic Charities of New Your, and The Salvation Army of Greater New York.
“After 30 years of advising in the non-profit space, I’m excited to bring my experience to the ACLU-NJ,” said ACLU-NJ Director of Finance Harold Weaver. “As the organization continues to grow, it allows for even more work in every corner of the state to bring about meaningful change and cement New Jersey as a national leader in centering racial justice and building an equitable future.”
Jim Sullivan is the Deputy Policy Director for the ACLU-NJ, where he leads the development of campaigns on police and prosecutorial accountability and transparency. Jim joins the ACLU-NJ after serving as the political director for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas – the largest union in Nevada – where he focused on passing policies that advanced workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, and housing justice. He also spearheaded the Union’s criminal justice reform program, which helped pass bills to provide compensation for wrongfully convicted people, and to restore voting rights for people with criminal records. He was previously active in the movement for economic and racial justice in the Philadelphia area. Jim is justice-impacted, having experienced incarceration and probation, parole, and collateral consequences, all of which informs his expertise and passion for reforming the criminal legal system.
“The opportunity to join one of the most influential policy and political teams in the state is one I’m immensely proud of,” said ACLU-NJ Deputy Policy Director Jim Sullivan. “As a formerly incarcerated person, it’s moving to know that our work to reshape the criminal legal system will directly impact the lives of so many, like the Public Health Emergency Credits Law that resulted in the release of more than 6,000 people from New Jersey prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic.”