Policy Director

19 Apr, 2022


Policy Director

ACLU of Kansas
Overland Park, KS

About the ACLU of Kansas

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of Kansas works in the state legislature, the courts, and local communities to protect the rights of all people living in Kansas. The organization’s work includes efforts to strengthen and defend First Amendment rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, stopping government surveillance, and reforming the criminal justice system. The ACLU of Kansas often works in broad-based coalitions made up of individuals and organizations from across the political, partisan, and ideological spectrum. The ACLU of Kansas is an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, has an annual budget of approximately $2.1 million, and has more than 30,000 supporters across the state. The headquarters of the ACLU of Kansas is in Overland Park, Kansas.

The ACLU of Kansas comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the ACLU Foundation of Kansas. Both entities have the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. The ACLU Foundation of Kansas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in litigation and public education. The ACLU of Kansas is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in lobbying and advocacy.

More information about the ACLU of Kansas is available at www.aclukansas.org.


Position Overview

The ACLU of Kansas seeks a dynamic, creative, self-motivated team player to serve as its Policy Director. The Policy Director will oversee the organization’s broad-based policy program at the state and local levels. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the position is based in Overland Park. During the Kansas legislative session, this staff person will be expected to be in the state capitol in Topeka on a regular basis.

The ACLU of Kansas has adopted a “campaign” approach for its work. Work is focused on pursuing specific  integrated advocacy campaigns to achieve measurable goals that will expand civil liberties and civil rights, while building the long-term power of the ACLU and the civil liberties movement.


Primary Responsibilities

•    Oversee the ACLU of Kansas’s policy program and develop priority issue campaigns consistent with organizational priorities.
•    Develop and implement the ACLU of Kansas’s legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics; advocate with members of the legislature, their staff and the Governor’s office; analyze and track legislation; draft amendments; and prepare and deliver both written and oral testimony.
•    Build trusted relationships with lawmakers, agency decision-makers, staff, the Governor’s office, lobbyists, local elected officials, and other stakeholders by providing clear, fact-based analysis and resources; identify opportunities for bipartisan, cross-ideological support on ACLU issues.
•    Develop strategies and work in partnership with allied organizations, individuals and diverse coalitions.
•    Coordinate and collaborate with staff to plan and implement effective multi-disciplinary and integrated advocacy policy initiatives, involving a combination of policy, legal, communication, public education, and especially organizing strategies.
•    Participate in legislative interim activity, attend legislative hearings and participate in policy- related workgroups, coalitions and meetings.
•    Respond to media requests on policy issues and represent the ACLU of Kansas at events, forums and meetings.
•    Prepare written materials, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, reports, op-eds and website updates, in collaboration with other staff members.
•    Work collaboratively with the national ACLU and other ACLU affiliates to advance nationwide policy campaigns.
•    Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences.
•    Identify emerging civil liberties and racial justice issues
•    Attend various ACLU functions and handle other projects, as assigned.
•    Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.



•    BA required, JD or MA in public policy-related discipline preferred; at least two years of local, state, and/or national-level legislative, political or policy advocacy work, preferably in Kansas. The ideal candidate will have experience working on racial justice issues and using a racial justice lens
•    Understanding of the legislative process, political strategic planning and the ability to build respectful relationships across the political spectrum and in diverse communities.
•    Substantial knowledge of civil liberties and civil rights issues and a commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission and goals.
•    Excellent communication advocacy skills, both written and oral, research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate legal concepts and complex issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
•    Ability to develop allies and work collaboratively in coalitions; ability to navigate internal political dynamics among partner groups.
•    Demonstrated ability to build and sustain relationships with diverse groups, work cooperatively with communities across the political spectrum and a personal approach that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
•    Initiative, vision, and ability to develop and implement short and long-term policy strategies utilizing a broad range of advocacy, education, and organizing tactics.
•    Ability to work independently when necessary and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
•    Understanding of how to work collaboratively with colleagues across departments and functions; experience in integrated advocacy strongly preferred.
•    Commitment to the highest ethical standards of advocacy and professionalism.
•    Ability to work long hours during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the state, as needed.
•    An unwavering passion for the mission and goals of the ACLU, including demonstrated interest in civil liberties, equity and racial justice is essential.


The salary for this position is $76,000. The ACLU of Kansas offers excellent benefits, including medical and disability insurance (fully paid by employer), a 401(k) match program, and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave.


Application Procedure

Please submit a letter of interest, a current resume, a relevant writing sample of no more than 5 pages, and three professional references (identifying each reference’s relationship to you and each reference’s email address and phone number). Email your application to:

Vanessa Phipps,
Sr. Human Resources Consultant

Please include “Policy Director” in the subject line. Applications accepted until position is filled. No calls or in-person applications, please.



Applicants will be reviewed beginning immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or in-person applications, please.  The ACLU of Kansas strongly encourages formerly incarcerated individuals to apply.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Kansas reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU of Kansas is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Kansas 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, or veteran status. The ACLU of Kansas undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

Job posted: 2022-04-19