Tallahassee, FL



Deadline date

Applications will be accepted through August 1, 2021.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Florida seeks a Policy Strategist - Criminal Justice.  The Policy Strategist works with the Policy & Advocacy Department (PAD) to achieve the organization’s goal of protecting the liberties that define our democracy. This position will be based in Tallahassee, but includes some travel.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida is an affiliate of the national ACLU, a national public interest organization devoted to the defense of the Bill of Rights.  For over 100 years, the ACLU has served as the nation’s primary protector of the liberties that define our democracy.  The organization implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLU of Florida. Operating out of four offices—Miami (main), Tampa, Pensacola, and Jacksonville—the Florida affiliate has a budget of over $8 million and 55 staff members, placing it among the larger ACLU affiliates in the nation.


The ACLU of Florida, the state’s largest civil rights and civil liberties organization, employs litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional values and individual rights, such as freedom of speech, racial justice, right to privacy, religious liberty, criminal justice reform, voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, and immigrants’ rights. The ACLU of Florida litigates a broad range of complex constitutional cases in federal and state courts through direct representation, filing amicus briefs, and submitting administrative complaints to state and federal agencies.


The Policy Strategist is a staff position within the Affiliate’s Policy & Advocacy Department (PAD). The position reports to the Legislative Director. The Policy Strategist will serve as a primary policy and advocacy expert on civil rights and civil liberties issues surrounding criminal justice, policing, and related issues. The role is responsible for analyzing and developing state and local policies, supporting an impactful, non-partisan policy advocacy program, and developing a range of materials and training to utilize and disseminate research findings and recommendations for public policy.

This is an ideal opportunity for a talented, experienced policy expert and advocate to have a significant impact on civil liberties and civil rights in Florida and nationwide. The professional who holds this position will have the opportunity to significantly influence the shape of a well- respected and effective organization’s advocacy initiatives.


The ACLU of Florida 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. For the foreseeable future, the ACLU of Florida will focus on three campaigns: voting rights, criminal justice reform, and immigrants’ rights. The campaigns in which the organization engages are about integrated advocacy, and include strategies across several disciplines including lobbying, communications, litigation and grassroots organizing.

As a result of this campaign approach, the ACLU of Florida’s policy and advocacy model focuses on developing and maintaining strong direct relationships with policy makers at the federal, state and local level, mobilizing influencers, political elites and organizations, and providing sound policy research. Advocacy at the ACLU of Florida centers the experiences and leadership of directly impacted people and engages directly impacted people in the work, while also ensuring that non-impacted allies engage in effective and substantive action. Further, our advocacy is oriented towards systemic change and policy action—moving decision-makers to make decisions that result in the advancement of specific campaign objectives. PAD focuses on strategic actions that take place in the electoral, legislative, and general public policy debate contexts, and contributes to the ACLU of Florida’s effort to build long-term political and community power for the civil liberties movement, so that civil liberties and civil rights are better protected and strengthened.


  • Track and develop priority legislation, state administrative rules, local rules and ordinances and similar public policies to ensure timely analysis and advocacy;
  • Provide analysis, backgrounders, talking points and other educational materials;
  • Prepare testimony, letters, and memoranda stating the ACLU’s position and/or best practices on legislation, resolutions, local ordinances, administrative rules and similar public policies related to criminal justice;
  • Communicate directly with legislators, staff, executive branch agencies, State Attorneys, Public Defenders, Clerks of Courts, and local government officials, as necessary;
  • Develop criminal justice  policy guidance and research criminal justice policy issues;
  • Support partner engagement; recommend political and legislative strategies;
  • In collaboration with the Communications Department, develop persuasive and informative materials, including issue specific policy reports, fact sheets, action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, op-eds, and website updates, and recommend communications messaging and strategy;
  • In collaboration with the Field Department, develop and implement trainings that build the capacity of ACLU staff, members, and supporters to be strong leaders, advocates, and messengers for the civil liberties and civil rights movement;
  • Serve as a spokesperson, as necessary.


While no one person will have all the qualities enumerated below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. J.D., Masters degree or graduate work in public policy, law, social sciences, criminology, or related fields preferred; but two (2) additional years of work experience can substitute for this preference.
  • At least three (3) years’ experience engaged in public policy development and advocacy in a public policy setting, preferably related to criminal justice, policing, or related issues;
  • Strong written and oral communications skills;
  • Exceptional organizational skills; highly detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines;
  • Fluency in an additional language other than English (esp. Spanish or Creole) is desired, but not required;
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with software and technology tools (such as Asana, Airtable and similar) is desired, but not required;
  • Creativeness, results-orientation, initiative, and willingness to learn are desired;
  • Strong task and time management skills are desired;
  • Unwavering commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, including a demonstrated commitment to equity and racial justice.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience, within a salary range of $55,000-$75,000. The ACLU of Florida provides excellent benefits, including health and dental insurance with generous vacation, holiday and sick leave policies, as well as a Defined Contribution 401K Retirement Plan.  Base vacation leave is five weeks per year.


Please send a cover letter, resume, and one writing sample by email to jobs@aclufl.org. All inquiries should include “Policy Strategist” in the subject line and all attachments should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Applications will be accepted through August 1, 2021. Please indicate where you learned of this job posting. No phone calls, please.

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 Florida reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ACLU of FL, is currently working remotely.

The ACLU of Florida is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Florida 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. We encourage formerly incarcerated individuals to apply. If selected for an interview, please inquire if financial assistance is needed in order to attend.

The ACLU of Florida makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment efforts  provide persons with disabilities with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU of Florida 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 jobs@aclufl.org . If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.