The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine seeks a dynamic, experienced chief executive to lead a civil liberties agenda throughout the state of Maine. Founded in 1920, the ACLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization which uses legal, legislative, and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues including individual rights and freedoms, free speech, racial justice, criminal legal reform, immigrant’s rights, voting rights, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and more. The ACLU of Maine is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights.

Founded in 1968, the ACLU of Maine is the state’s premier public advocacy organization, serving as its guardian of liberty.  Based in Portland, the ACLU has an operating budget of approximately $1.8 million.  The organization is led by a 12 member Board of Directors and a highly skilled team of 13 staff members and interns, who work tirelessly to protect the rights of all Mainers and advance our priority issues. Non-managerial staff are members of a union, SEIU.  

To learn more about the work of the ACLU of Maine and the civil liberties principles and priorities we advance, please visit

About the Opportunity:

The Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the ACLU of Maine, with primary responsibility for managing the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations, leading the organization’s fund development efforts, directing the work of staff, serving as the primary spokesperson for the ACLU in the state of Maine, and representing the affiliate with ACLU National. Reporting to the Board of Directors, 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 and emergent needs and interests of its constituents.

The Executive Director 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 work internally with staff to elucidate and implement the affiliate’s mission and goals, and externally to convey the work to a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

Areas of Leadership:

Organizational & Strategic Leadership:

  • Working with the national office and affiliate staff, establish a clear vision for priorities and programming for the  ACLU of Maine’s legal, legislative, and communications programs.
  • Building on national strategic priorities and the affiliate’s program priorities, collaborate with all relevant partners to work together to implement the ACLU of Maine’s strategic vision. 
  • Effectively and regularly communicate, engage, and partner with the Board to set strategic priorities and policies and advance the organization’s financial and governance goals. Identify and help recruit new Board Members, who will add diversity to the Board and whose talents, interests, and commitment will contribute to overall Board effectiveness and help to further the ACLU’s mission. 
  • Work closely with the senior team to ensure the day-to-day operations and financial management are efficient and sound. 

People & Culture Leadership:

  • Continually develop a collaborative, inclusive, and cohesive culture in which communication is clear and decision-making is transparent.
  • Define and implement internal priorities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, continuously monitoring impact and outcomes. 
  • Serve as an accessible and engaged leader in support of an evolving organizational culture, including transition into a unionized environment.

Fundraising, Communications, & Partnerships: 

  • Serve as a persuasive and visible spokesperson for the ACLU, effectively articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission. Work with Communications staff to appropriately represent the organization in the media, increase public awareness, and broaden the organization’s reputation to strategic constituents.
  • Working with Development staff, cultivate existing and new donors to identify and pursue fundraising opportunities.
  • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU’s mission and purpose.


Our office is in Portland, Maine. The new Executive Director would be expected to be or become a resident of Maine. 


  • Experience working in social justice-related matters with community stakeholders
  • Significant knowledge of and strategic leadership experience in advocacy, legal reform, policy, and/or legislative contexts with specific experience in criminal legal reform and racial justice
  • Outstanding people and culture leader with a demonstrated track record in and commitment to creating inclusive, collaborative, and cohesive teams
  • Prior experience leading an organization or entity, ideally including general budget management, working with Boards of Directors, and setting, translating, and rallying people around strategic priorities 
  • Experience establishing and/or executing on an organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities 
  • Demonstrated strength and experience in partnership and coalition-building 
  • Experience in or strong ability to serve as the public face for an organization
  • Direct or relevant experience in raising funds and cultivating and managing donor relationships 
  • Ideal candidates will have a connection to Maine and professional or personal experiences in the state

Compensation & Benefits: 

Compensation for this position, commensurate with experience, is: $120,000-$150,000

The ACLU of Maine also offers a generous benefits package, including paid time-off, individual employer-provided health and dental insurance, life insurance, disability, retirement plan contribution, and paid family medical leave. Health and dental coverage are provided to all regular employees by ACLU of Maine along with a Health Savings Account (HSA).  

To Apply:

This search is being managed by Axis Talent Partners, a boutique executive search and talent strategy firm which partners with social justice-focused organizations. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position at this link.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.