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Research Leader

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The ACLU of Florida seeks a dynamic, innovative, and seasoned professional to build the organization’s existing policy team and enhance the ACLU’s ability to achieve public policy objectives. The Research Leader will be tasked with developing a robust, impactful, non-partisan policy research and analysis program to defend and strengthen civil liberties and civil rights. The role is responsible for conducting a comprehensive research program, coordinating affiliate public policy research, quantitative and qualitative research and developing a range of materials and trainings to utilize and disseminate research findings and recommendations for public policy. 

This is a full-time position in the ACLU of Florida Policy & Advocacy Department (PAD) that will report directly to the Deputy Political Director. It is preferred that this position be based out of the affiliate’s Miami office. (Candidates who cannot be based out of Miami are eligible to apply but must be prepared to travel to the Miami office at least 4 days a month.)

This is an ideal opportunity for a talented, experienced organizing professional 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 lobbying, communications, and litigation in addition to 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.

Areas of Responsibility: 


  • Conduct and coordinate in-depth research and analysis across a variety of disciplines (legal, social science, quantitative and qualitative) to inform and support the ACLU of Florida’s broad policy agenda;
  • Track developing priority legislation, local ordinances, state administrative rules and similar public policies to ensure timely analysis;
  • Facilitate public policy analysis efforts to promote the institutionalization of public policy knowledge and promote efficiency and avoid gaps in our knowledge base;
  • Collaborate with ACLU National and university and organization partners in advancing our broad public policy research agenda, and develop new research partnerships as necessary;
  • 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;
  • In collaboration with the Field Department, develop and implement trainings that build the capacity of ACLU staff, members, supporters, and activists to be strong leaders, advocates, and messengers for the civil liberties and civil rights movement;
  • Assist implementation and analysis of metrics-based reporting systems for policy & advocacy and organizing;
  • Serve as a spokesperson, as necessary.
Educational Background: 
● Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree, J.D., or graduate work in public policy, law, social sciences, or related fields preferred, but two (2) additional years of experience can substitute for this preference.
  • At least four (4) years’ experience conducting research and policy development in a public policy setting, or political, ballot initiative, and/or legislative campaigns;
  •  A sophisticated understanding of how research and information resources can be effective in the policy arena and experience in public policy development;
  • Strong written and oral communications skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills; highly detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to unfailingly meet tight deadlines.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with data analysis and visualization software (such as Google Cloud, Tableau and MS Access and similar) required; knowledge of and familiarity with various CRM and database tools (such as EveryAction, VAN, Salesforce, Airtable and similar) desired.
  • Creative, results-oriented, self-starting, and willing to learn.
  • Strong task and time management skills.
  • Unwavering commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, including a demonstrated commitment to equity and racial justice.

Salary is based on the ACLU of Florida’s comprehensive compensation scale. Compensation will be commensurate with experience, within a salary range of $62,000-$90,000. The ACLU of Florida offers excellent benefits, including medical and disability insurance (fully paid by employer), a defined contribution pension plan, and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave.

How to Apply: 

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample via email to [email protected] including in the subject line: “Research Leader.” In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of this posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or in-person applications, please.

The ACLU of Florida strongly encourages formerly incarcerated individuals to apply.

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, or veteran status. The ACLU of Florida undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

Additional Information: 

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.

Organization Info

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida

Miami, FL, USA
About Us

The ACLU of Florida is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that employs litigation, public policy advocacy, communications, and organizing to protect and promote a broad range of individual rights and freedoms, including the freedom of speech, voting rights, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigrants’ rights.

Why Work For Us?: 

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 nearly 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 on a $5.4 million budget out of four offices—Miami (main), Tampa, Pensacola, and Jacksonville—the Florida affiliate has 36 staff members, making it among the larger ACLU affiliates in the nation.

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Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Oct 4 2019
Active Until: 
Nov 4 2019
Hiring Organization: 
American Civil Liberties Union of Florida