Deputy Communications Director

Article Media

ACLU of Northern CA

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks a Deputy Communications Director in either the San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno office. This full-time position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule, working from their ACLU NorCal home office a minimum of one day per week and telecommuting for the remainder of the work week.

The Deputy Director will be a thought partner to support the Communications Director in setting the vision, strategy and priorities for the leadership and management of the Communications Department. Together they will ensure top-notch strategic communications to advance the legal and policy advocacy goals of the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU- NorCal). This includes, but is not limited to, co-creating and implementing department goals, amplifying and elevating the affiliate’s work, and planning and executing internal and external communication projects. The Deputy will also supervise four members of the communications staff and will be part of the organization’s Supervisor cohort. The Deputy Director reports to the Communications Director.

The Approach

Our work is guided by the principles of freedom, equality, and justice enumerated in the Constitution. However, we know that because of historic and systemic racism and other forms of oppression, these principles are not equitably applied to all. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, neither our world nor our country is ideal. Our work involves hard subject matters that can be emotionally draining for some people. Ideal candidates will understand that as a mission driven organization; we strive to make the world a better place knowing that the road is long and hard. At the same time, we understand the importance of self-care, and do our best to reflect that in our practices and values.

The Position

This position is not represented by IFPTE Local 20.

About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (the “Foundation”, a 501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (the “Union”, a 501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. For most of the last century, ACLU Nor Cal has been part of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.

Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era, we face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. At the same time, ACLU NorCal is committed to advancing proactive and positive change to transform laws and institutions to advance our values. We are committed to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.

COVID-19 Prevention

The ACLU NorCal physical offices are open. Masking is required for in person work at this time.

Duties & Responsibilities


  • Support strategic communications with the communications team and across departments to ensure the organization is achieving its top priorities and goals.
  • Project manage and implement communications plans and strategies with a creative vision to advance organizational goals.
  • Oversee framing and message development for projects worked on by those supervised.
  • Ensure that staff adhere to branding and style guidelines and the consistent use of MOCHA and GAME planning tools.
  • In partnership with the Director, plan, lead, and implement content driven proactive projects.
  • Cultivate strategic relationships with stakeholders, consultants, and internal staff from other departments to proactively further department objectives.
  • Procure and manage consultants and vendors as needed.
  • Act in Director’s absence as needed.


  • Hire and supervise staff, as needed, to meet operational demands of the department.
  • Administer performance management, disciplinary actions, and recommend personnel actions as needed.
  • Develop, facilitate, and evaluate professional development plans in partnership with staff.
  • Provide regular feedback to staff, including corrective feedback when needed, to help staff strengthen, grow, and improve performance.
  • Support staff in resolving interpersonal conflicts with colleagues, including identifying and escalating issues to HR when needed.
  • Support staff with varying backgrounds and skill levels, fostering an inclusive and equitable environment.
  • Delegate responsibilities and identify opportunities for staff to absorb new responsibilities.
  • Provide mentorship to staff to assist in their growth and professional development.
  • Complete other departmental responsibilities as assigned.

Written Content: 

Review, evaluate, edit, and sometimes write compelling story-driven content including, but not limited to:

  • blog posts
  • op-eds
  • press releases
  • social media copy
  • ACLU News articles


Required Skills / Competencies:

  • At least 10 years of experience in strategic communications, marketing, and/or journalism.
  • Project management experience
  • Demonstrated management experience in communications, including experience supervising staff.
  • Demonstrated experience in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing communication strategies and campaigns.
  • Excellent writing, proofreading, and editing skills.
  • Demonstrated success with media relations.
  • Demonstrated effective supervisory and mentoring skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and social justice.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the mission and goals of the ACLU-NorCal

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

  • Experience in budget projections and resource management
  • Thorough understanding of the political process and civil rights advocacy
  • Knowledge of social media platforms and their use and value as marketing tactics
  • Knowledge of website user experience and best practices

Technical Skills:

Knowledge of and experience with digital communications platforms and tools.

Education / Experience:

B.A. degree in communications or a related field.

We welcome you to include any lived experience you are comfortable sharing in your cover letter or an additional attachment.

Total Compensation

We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which includes equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position is $128,790 - $150,255 annually.

We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff and we believe that having a robust benefit offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; fully employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. We have a robust Employee Assistance Program and emerging Employee Resource Groups.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis.  Applications must include (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter, (3) a writing sample. Please submit your application online at:

The ACLU NorCal is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. 

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.  ACLU NorCal will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

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