About ACLU of Arkansas

ACLU of Arkansas (ACLU of AR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses legal, legislative and public education methods to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional rights including free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, economic rights, and more.

The ACLU of AR is a local affiliate of the National ACLU. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, the ACLU of AR has not only the opportunity, but also the responsibility, to further education about civil liberties and to advocate for individual and community rights in Arkansas. The affiliate maintains an operating budget of approximately $1 million, is led by a Board of Directors and a staff of six, and is additionally supported by the ACLU’s national Strategic Affiliate Initiative (SAI), which deploys significant resources to build the infrastructure and programs of the ACLU of AR.

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Arkansas seeks an experienced and visionary Executive Director to lead a strategic and effective civil liberties agenda throughout Arkansas.

The Executive Director will have primary responsibility for managing the organization’s day-to-day operations, leading fundraising efforts, directing the work and development of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the organization. The Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its internal and external communications, fund development, and programs are meeting the current needs and interests of its constituents.

The Executive Director’s essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Leadership and Operational Management

  • Provide coordination and oversight of programmatic activities to include legal, legislative, communications, and advocacy programs to preserve and extend civil liberties in accordance with strategic goals;
  • Oversee fiscal planning, budgetary planning, and ensure the affiliate maintains compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations regarding nonprofit organizations;
  • Foster the organization’s relationships with local communities and grassroots organizations, as well as with federal, state, and local agencies (such as DOJ, FBI, State Attorney General, Legislature, EEOC, and local offices of human rights), and with other civil rights advocacy organizations;
  • Establish a clear vision for the continued growth and expansion of the ACLU of AR; provide direction to guide programs in new areas and with new and expanding populations within the state.


  • Lead the organization’s development efforts – use a staff-driven program model that focuses on increasing the number and capacity of major donors;
  • Ensure continuity of funding and pursue new funding sources.

External Relations

  • Represent the priorities of the ACLU of AR as the lead official representative of the organization to the press and public, articulating the organization’s positions and communicating its mission to increase the organization’s visibility and public’s understanding of the work;
  • Maintain and encourage relationships with legal and social science scholars, educators, activists, civil liberties/civil rights and social change advocates so that the Board and staff have the expertise and knowledge they need to confront a wide range of policies and challenges;
  • Lead a communications strategy that values a diverse set of voices to represent the organization’s positions on its work.

Board Relations

  • Recommend new policies, programs, goals, and objectives to the Board;
  • Work with the Board to identify and help recruit new Board members who will add diversity to the Board and whose talents, interests, and commitment will help to further the ACLU’s mission;
  • Regularly brief the Board on the status of the organization;
  • Engage the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals.

Candidate Profile

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

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, and goals, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
  • Ten years of professional experience preferred, with proven managerial experience in the private, not-for-profit, and/or public sectors; nonprofit experience is preferred;
  • Ability to think strategically, creatively problem solve, exercise good judgment and lead change; 
  • Experience connecting to resources and opportunities offered by external entities and a successful track record of raising funds from a variety of sources;
  • Facilitative and collaborative leadership style, proven ability to work in a dynamic team and build working partnerships;
  • Success supervising and mentoring staff and supporting professional and leadership development; experience developing staff work plans and maintaining oversight of staff and volunteers to implement strategic priority initiatives;
  • Experience identifying areas for potential growth and creating a collaborative strategy that leverages staff, volunteer, and board talents to capitalize on new opportunities to further the mission of the ACLU of AR across the state;
  • Excellent communicator and writer with experience as a spokesperson who can articulate messages to different audiences including, but not limited to, state and local forums and conferences; ability to inspire and mobilize individuals, as well as print journalists and broadcast media;
  • Possessing maturity, professionalism, excellent interpersonal skills, and an ability to exercise diplomacy are critical; ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff including remote colleagues, coalitions and community groups, motivate volunteers, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances.

Compensation and Benefits

ACLU of AR offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU of AR’s compensation scale.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email tsutrisno@koyapartners.com or agomes@koyapartners.com. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Arkansas encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to arrest or conviction, race, colors, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.