CEO/President/Executive Director/Head of School, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Politics/Policy, Social Justice and Advocacy

Executive Director

  • ACLU of South Carolina
  • Columbia, SC

This position has been filled.

About ACLU of South Carolina

For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, preserving the right to vote, the right to have an abortion, the rights protected by the First Amendment and due process of law, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.  The ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, economic status, national origin, immigration status, incarceration or record of arrest or conviction.  They are nonprofit and nonpartisan and have grown from a roomful of civil liberties activists to an organization of more than 1.6 million members and supporters.

The ACLU of South Carolina (ACLU of SC) works daily in communities, courts, and the South Carolina Legislature to defend and advance the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions. The ACLU of SC is a highly rewarding place to work for those interested in protecting our fundamental civil rights and civil liberties. Founded in 1968, the ACLU of SC has a compliment of full-time, part-time staff, contingent partners, and volunteers.

For more information on ACLU of South Carolina, please visit

The Opportunity

The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer of the ACLU of South Carolina (ACLU of SC) and is responsible for giving direction and leadership to the organization as it seeks to achieve its philosophy, mission, strategies and annual goals and objectives.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director brings clear vision and leadership to execute on the mission of the organization, possesses excellent organizational acumen and outstanding communication skills, expertise in fund development, and the ability to ensure financial health and stability.

The ACLU of SC has an annual budget of $1.9 million and a currently authorized full-time staff of thirteen, of which four report directly to the Executive Director.  The staff manages the legal, fund raising, communications, policy development, community organizing, and daily operations of the office.

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

Leadership and Vision

  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU of SC, clearly articulating the organization’s nonpartisan history, programs, and mission;
  • Represent the organization in the media, increase public awareness, and broaden the organization’s reputation as a credible and strategic civic actor driven by its principles;
  • Establish a clear vision for effectively advancing the ACLU of SC’s mission and strategic plan, including the development and expansion of staff, programs, and services;
  • Lead the organization’s fund-raising efforts — utilize a staff-driven program model that focuses on increasing the number and capacity of major donors;
  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU of SC’s mission and purpose;
  • Serve as the primary liaison between the ACLU of SC and the National ACLU to assure that the affiliate maintains national standards, has opportunities to participate in national initiatives, and benefits from national resources;
  • Work in partnership with the Board, Staff, and volunteers to carry out policies approved by the Board of Directors.

General Management, Finance and Administration and Program

  • Ensure effective management and that the day-to-day operations are professionally, efficiently, ethically, and equitably organized and administered;
  • Direct legal, legislative, and communications programs;
  • Oversee the ACLU of SC’s financial operations as it manages separate and distinct 501 (c) 3 and a 501 (c) 4 non—profit entities; oversee the budgetary process and ensure that sound financial controls are in place; oversee the production of transparent and clear fiscal reports;
  • Motivate and maintain a diverse and cohesive staff, ensuring strong internal communication, coordination of effort, setting clear expectations of performance and conducting meaningful and effective annual reviews, recruiting new staff when appropriate, cultivating a welcoming work environment that grows the leadership and professional capabilities of its staff;
  • Champion and value equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) with a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences; regularly assess how the ACLU of SC is incorporating EDIB principles and best practices internally and externally;
  • Use technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, public education, and lobbying.

Board Relations

  • Facilitate staff involvement as appropriate while working closely with the board to develop and periodically update the organization’s priorities, strategies and policies, and to design and implement campaigns that support the successful achievement of strategic goals;
  • Lead the execution of the strategy established by the Board by implementing the programs, goals, objectives, and policies that result;
  • 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 work and initiatives and engage the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals.
Competencies and Qualifications

It is anticipated that the successful applicant would have six to ten years of relevant experience in the functions described above and an undergraduate academic degree or more. If applicants do not have direct experience in specific functional areas, they should have comparable experience that would be transferable to the responsibilities of Executive Director. It is understood that applicants may not have experience in all functional areas, but they need to demonstrate that they can develop all needed skills.

The Executive Director of the ACLU of SC will also possess most if not all of the following competencies and qualifications:

  • Passion for and a demonstrated history of embracing the values and principles embodied in the ACLU mission;
  • Knowledge and background in legal issues and policies surrounding civil rights and liberties; experience leading or directing policy initiatives with state legislature preferred but not required;
  • Proven successful leadership, managerial, team-building, and financial management experience at an executive level; prior non-profit experience preferred but not required;
  • A record of success working in partnership with a Board and staff with the ability to listen to Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners, and the public with respect and genuine openness to constructive input;
  • Strong diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging commitments, as well as experience successfully leading and integrating diversity into organizational policies, practices, management, and culture;
  • Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future and growth to staff, board, volunteers, and donors;
  • Experience listening to and communicating with diverse groups and demonstrated success in communicating effectively in writing and verbally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations to a variety of audiences.

Ideally the successful candidate will possess most if not all of the following characteristics:

  • Strategic thinking experience with the ability to build cross-functional leadership and dynamic communications;
  • Team management skills including delegation and managing the leadership team, giving and receiving feedback creating a culture of openness and transparency, developing others and creating a learning culture;
  • Adept at self-management including a keen understanding of roles and decision-making, conflict management, communication, and influence without authority;
  • Well versed in operational management with financial acumen, and substantive practical experience in administration and HR management;
  • A communication style that includes being straightforward, sharing information easily, the ability to listen as well as give advice, and a respect for the abilities of others.

Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email and directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. If you require reasonable accommodation during your application process, please let the team at Koya know.


The ACLU of South Carolina is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of SC encourages applications from all qualified 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 conviction. The ACLU of SC undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the 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



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