New York, NY

Deadline date

Applications considered until the position is filled.

Terms of Employment: Full-Time
Salary Range: Commensurate with experience; NYCLU has a generous and competitive benefits package.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation's leading advocates on behalf of constitutional rights and liberties.  Founded in 1951, as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with more than 200,000 members and supporters, and eight offices statewide. The NYCLU’s agenda is bold and wide-ranging—including systemic reform in education and the criminal justice system, advancing racial justice and equality of opportunity; as well as ongoing initiatives that defend and uphold rights of speech and association, reproductive rights, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, and personal privacy. For more information please visit our website: www.nyclu.org.



The NYCLU’s Chief of Staff is responsible for ensuring the success of the Office of the Executive Director, cultivating collaboration and accountability across all departments, facilitating strategic thinking, and developing effective management systems and procedures, including efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.  The Chief of Staff reports directly to the Executive Director and is a member of the senior management team. The Chief of Staff serves as a confidante and advisor to the Executive Director and as a collaborative and strategic thought partner to senior staff. The position also oversees finance and administration, operations and infrastructure, and human resources functions.

The Chief of Staff helps to create structures and processes that address challenges inherent in a geographically, culturally and functionally diverse organization. The Chief of Staff plays a critical role across all NYCLU departments in helping to ensure the organization achieves its mission and embodies its values. The Chief of Staff provides support at every level, serves as a trusted advisor and resource, and fosters communication and knowledge-sharing throughout the organization. 

The Chief of Staff ensures the regular and ongoing monitoring of and alignment between mission/values, strategy, structure and organizational culture. A key strategy for accomplishing this is a robust Human Resources function that supports the organization to achieve tangible and measurable equity, diversity and inclusion goals. The Chief of Staff actively works toward strengthening bonds and working relationships among staff, recognizing and leveraging interdependency and diversity, and encouraging shared leadership and accountability.



Supporting the NYCLU’s Executive Director

  • Serving as a confidante, thought partner and trusted advisor to the Executive Director;
  • Assisting in the refinement and implementation of the Executive Director’s agenda; 
  • Assisting the Executive Director in managing relationships with the ACLU and other organizational partners as needed;
  • Serving as proxy for the Executive Director in key internal settings as needed.

Managing the NYCLU’s Operations:

  • Creating, maintaining, improving, communicating and tracking the current status of organizational operations;
  • Overseeing the Finance function and driving efforts for fiscal accountability and stewardship;
  • Overseeing the HR function and driving efforts for recruitment, retention, and development strategies, and fair employment practices; 
  • Proposing and supervising information technology and internal communications;
  • Engaging and monitoring third party contracts for operational and capacity building services; 
  • Providing leadership on workforce planning and development, process and accountability. 
  • Establishing policies, processes and procedures that ensure consistency and support continual improvement.

Strengthening and Protecting the NYCLU’s Culture:

  • Supporting the work of the NYCLU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, supervising its training calendar and ensuring a strong pool of resources consistent with the organization’s culture and values;
  • Driving effective, transparent decision-making processes using NYCLU’s MOCHA framework (Manager, Owner, Consultant, Helper and Approver);
  • Running efficient meetings using a POP (purpose, outcomes, plan) model;
  • Helping staff make choices with the appropriate levels of delegation and deliberation
  • Promoting employee engagement and high performance

Supporting the NYCLU’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT):

  • Chairing SLT meetings, creating space, time, and processes for planning and preparation, and tracking follow-up tasks and outcomes;
  • Supporting the SLT to track and stay focused on strategic plan goals and objectives;
  • Supporting the SLT on any human resources issues;
  • Contributing to the NYCLU’s thought leadership, including managing self-reflection efforts to ensure that the organization is continuously iterating, learning and improving.



The NYCLU Chief of Staff must have extensive experience as a senior manager and leader in the nonprofit setting. The ideal candidate will be process- and systems-oriented and take pride working behind the scenes to build a stronger organization. The candidate must believe in the core values of the NYCLU and embrace its mission.

The ideal candidate can handle complex situations and multiple responsibilities simultaneously, mixing long-term projects with the urgency of immediate demands. They have the demonstrated ability to deal with confidential information and act as a liaison between the Executive Director and other constituencies, both internal and external. They exhibit the skills to collaborate with and achieve actionable results through others, the ability to build strong and sustainable relationships and the capability to interact within all levels of the organization.

The strongest candidate for Chief of Staff is a highly intelligent self-starter who demonstrates a commitment to the organization’s core mission. This individual has the ability to discern, clearly articulate and operationalize the Executive Director’s ideas, thoughts and perspectives as they relate to the organization’s internal purpose and objectives. The individual has a creative resourcefulness and a proven track record of consistently making sound and sometimes difficult decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment The individual has a proven ability to foster diversity, equity and inclusion; manage growth; demonstrate significant accomplishments and past successes; be a strategic thinker and a hands-on planner and problem-solver; and be comfortable leading and sustaining change. They are a strong coach and problem solver, diplomatic change agent, and expert in understanding organizational dynamics. 



  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience directly related to this position, with a minimum of 5 years in a similar type role in a nonprofit organization of comparable size
  • Business acumen including financial, technology and human resources management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; problem solving, project management and resourcefulness
  • Experience with capacity building—ability to  build organization and staff capacity, and developing a workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly
  • Collegial management style reflecting the ability to manage and lead people and groups, develop leaders and teams, and build organization and staff capacity and promote individual and organizational success
  • Undergraduate degree required; JD or advanced degree in business, public administration, nonprofit management, organization development or a related field highly desired


Applicants should email a resume and cover letter to apply.admin@nyclu.org with “Chief of Staff” in the subject line. Your application must include:

1. A statement that describes (1) why you believe this position is a good fit for you (i.e., your unique qualifications for the position) and (2) your interest in the NYCLU mission;

2. Your salary requirements; and

3. How you learned of this vacancy.

The NYCLU is proud to be an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, sex, gender identity, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or record of arrest or conviction. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and having a workforce that reflects the population that we serve.

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