September 22, 2022


The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) seeks a dynamic, innovative, and passionate individual to serve as its Executive Director. ACLU-WV is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization dedicated to protecting and expanding civil liberties for all people in West Virginia. A major focus of its work is to extend the promise of the Bill of Rights to those groups that have traditionally been denied its protections. ACLU-WV accomplishes its goals through litigation, advocacy, public education, and grassroots organizing. Given the policies currently being pursued in Charleston and across the nation, ACLU-WV believes that its mission is as relevant and important today as it has ever been. 

The ACLU-WV is composed of both a 501(c)(4) (the “Union”) and a 501(c)(3) (the “Foundation”). The separate non-profit entities share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. Both are governed by Boards of Directors to whom the ED reports. The operating budgets of the ACLU-WV and the ACLU-WV Foundation, if totaled, are in excess of $2 million.

The Executive Director can anticipate working on issues such as freedom of association, religious liberty, privacy, racial justice, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal law reform, juvenile justice reform, voting rights and protection from government abuses. It’s an extremely exciting time for the ACLU-WV as the organization has grown rapidly in recent years to meet the challenges of our day. The next Executive Director will be taking the helm of a vital, healthy organization positioned to make a real difference in the lives of West Virginians.

For more information on ACLU of West Virginia, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

The ACLU of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) seeks an Executive Director (ED) with experience managing and leading a high-performing team exemplifying the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as the hallmarks of their approach to leadership. The primary responsibility of the ED will be to provide visionary and strategic leadership to the organization and inspire staff, donors, volunteers, and the public to support ACLU-WV’s mission and agenda.

The ED is the chief executive officer of the ACLU-WV, with responsibility for managing the day-to-day activities and operations of the organization, leading the fundraising effort, directing, and coordinating the work of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU-WV. The ED ensures that the organization is fiscally sound and that its litigation, advocacy, fundraising, and communications programs are meeting the current and emergent needs and interests of its constituents.

The ED will have a working knowledge of civil liberties issues and policies and be a leader and manager who is adept at balancing internal management with external impact and visibility. The individual must be an outstanding communicator who is able to effectively convey the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:

Leadership & Vision

  • At the direction of and in partnership with the Boards, work with staff to implement approved policies, programs, goals, and objectives developed in conjunction with staff;
  • Serve as a forceful and courageous spokesperson for ACLU-WV articulating the organization's legal positions, programs, and mission; work with the Communications Director to increase public awareness and to broaden the organization's reputation to its supporters and the public at large;
  • Establish a coherent trajectory for the continued growth and expansion of ACLU-WV;
  • Provide direction to achieve the organization's goals using sound and informed judgement to prioritize the litigation caseload, legislative, and public policy work of ACLU-WV;
  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are allied to the ACLU's mission and purpose.

General Management, Finance & Administration and Program

  • Ensure that the day-to-day management and operations of the organization are collaborative, professional, efficient and organized;
  • Supervise the legal, advocacy, communications, operations, finance and development programs;
  • Motivate and maintain an engaged, cohesive staff, ensuring that there are robust channels for internal communication and coordination; foster a collegial and supportive working environment, and serve as liaison between the staff and the Boards;
  • With the Finance Director, and in consultation with the Treasurer and Finance Department, prepare and execute the annual budget, and ensure that sound financial controls are in place;
  • With the Development Committee and staff, lead the organization's fund development efforts, identifying and soliciting significant donors, planning special fundraising events, and working to secure grants and other resources;
  • Manage the human resources of ACLU-WV according to authorized personnel policies and collectively bargained conditions of employment that fully conform to current laws and regulations, including hiring, supervising, evaluating, and when necessary, terminating paid staff;
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws, as well as applicable National ACLU policies;
  • Serve as the primary liaison between the affiliate and the national ACLU;
  • Utilize, enhance, and promote the use of technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, public education, lobbying, and outreach.

Board Relations

  • Regularly brief the Boards on the status of the organization and engage the Boards in meaningful participation to further the organization's goals;
  • Work with the Boards to identify and help recruit new Board members who will add diversity to the Boards and whose talents, interests, and commitment will help to further the mission of the ACLU-WV;
  • When appropriate facilitate collaboration and strengthen the relationship between the Boards of Directors and the staff.

Candidate Profile

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

  • Passion for, and a well-articulated knowledge of, civil liberties and social justice, and a familiarity with the work and the mission of the ACLU;
  • Robust understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and experience successfully leading and integrating these principles into organizational policies, practices, management, and culture;
  • Five or more years of managerial, problem-solving, strategic planning, fund development, and financial experience in the private, not-for-profit, or public sector;
  • Empathetic and compassionate leadership style with a genuine openness to constructive input from Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners, and the public;
  • High emotional intelligence and proven success at working effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff as well as coalitions and community groups; ability to work across the political spectrum and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, creatively problem-solve, exercise good judgement, and lead change;
  • Experience in creating and implementing programs in collaboration with other organizations; ability to connect ACLU-WV to resources and opportunities outside the organization;
  • A successful track record in fundraising, or some experience and a real commitment to further develop fundraising skills and abilities;
  • Willingness and ability to learn about West Virginia’s politics, judicial, and legislative system as well as social justice nonprofit landscape – if candidate does not already possess this knowledge;
  • Keen attention to detail; ability to work simultaneously with initiative on multiple projects at various stages of completion; good problem-solving and collaboration skills; a positive, professional attitude with sound judgement, flexibility, determination, and good humor in a fast-paced, sometimes high-pressure office.

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation for this position will be between $105,000 and $120,000, depending on the candidate's experience. Benefits include health, dental, disability and life insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation, holidays, sabbatical, and sick leave.

ACLU-WV’s modern central office is located in the heart of “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia” in downtown Charleston, the state’s capital city. Charleston offers a pleasant and cosmopolitan lifestyle in a smaller, affordable metropolitan area with active civic organizations, exciting arts and performance venues, institutions of higher education, and excellent medical facilities. West Virginia’s beautiful state parks, abundant wildlife, trails for hiking and biking, and streams and rivers for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting are all within easy reach.


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.


The ACLU of West Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages women, people of color, people with disabilities, justice impacted people, and LGBTQ people to apply. It values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of West Virginia strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, criminal history, and veteran status.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest 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.

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