Thank you for your interest – the search is now closed, and the position has been filled.

Inkinen is assisting American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii with their search for an Executive Director.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i seeks a dynamic, experienced chief executive to lead a civil liberties agenda throughout Hawai‘i. Founded in 1920, the ACLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization which uses legal, advocacy, 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.

Founded in 1965, the ACLU of Hawai‘i is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights. Based in Honolulu, the ACLU of Hawai‘i has an operating budget of approximately $2.1 million.  The organization is led by a 15 member Board of Directors and a team of 12 staff members who work to protect the rights of everyone in Hawai‘i and advance our priority issues.

Accountable to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be a strong partner with leadership to further advance an affiliate that has made gains in many core ACLU issues. The next leader will further advance the affiliate’s legal, advocacy, and public education programs in new ways to meet emerging challenges – all within a special cultural and political environment where relationships are crucial to success.

For more information on ACLU of Hawai‘i, please visit  


The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer of the ACLU of Hawai‘i and is responsible for giving direction and leadership to the organization as it pursues its mission, strategies, goals, and objectives.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director brings clear vision and leadership to execute on the mission of the organization, possesses excellent organizational acumen and outstanding communication skills, and the ability to ensure financial health and stability.

We are seeking a collaborative leader who will be sensitive to how the local ACLU can remain a fearless advocate while being mindful of Hawaii’s special history and the significance of multi-cultural relationships in an island community. Such a leader will increase the vitality of a strong and stable organization and help build new capabilities. The successful candidate must be an exceptional leader with a deep commitment to civil liberties and civil rights. And they must have the ability to work productively with grassroots and all levels of government, within a non-partisan framework.


The Executive Director’s essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Strategy & Vision

  • At the direction of and in partnership with the Board, work with staff to implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives as approved by the Board and developed in conjunction with the Executive Director and staff;
  • Work in partnership with ACLU of Hawai‘i staff and board, and when appropriate with ACLU national staff, to carry out the organization’s mission.
  • Operate strategically in an environment where success on civil liberties issues depends on the ability to work effectively with individuals from a diverse array of viewpoints.
    • Initiate and strengthen relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU of Hawaii’s mission and purpose, without compromising ACLU policy.
    • Continue the efforts to build a vibrant, larger, and more diverse membership and supporter base.  
    • Serve as an engaged and collaborative colleague to the National ACLU and with other Executive Directors in affiliates across the country.  

Organizational Leadership

  • Inspire, motivate, and build rapport to cultivate a cohesive staff, ensuring that there is a strong internal communication, participation, coordination, and accountability. Evaluate & recruit new staff when appropriate.
  • Champion and value equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB)in working relationships with the board and staff and actively strive to assure the organization reflects the communities it serves.
  • Supervise, lead, and mentor staff to meet priorities, achieve organizational and strategic goals and fulfill the organization’s mission.
  • Ensure by effective non-profit management and leadership that the day-to-day operations and financial management are professionally and efficiently organized and administered.
  • Directly supervise a senior leadership team that includes a deputy Executive Director, operations and finance director, development director, legal director, policy director, field organizing director, and communications director
  • Oversee strategic planning, program execution, and human services.
  • Working with Finance and Operations staff, oversee the organization’s financial operations; oversee the budgetary process and ensure that sound financial controls are in place.
  • Use technology to facilitate organizational management, fundraising, communication, public education, and advocacy.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws, as well as applicable National ACLU policies.

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 EDIB, and continuously monitor impact and outcomes. 
  • Serve as an accessible and engaged leader in support of an evolving organizational culture.

Fundraising, Communications, & Partnerships: 

  • Serve as a persuasive and visible spokesperson for the ACLU of Hawai‘i, effectively articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission and increasing public awareness by broadening the organization’s reputation to strategic constituents. 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 of Hawaii’s mission and purpose.

Board Relations

  • Effectively and regularly engage and partner with the Board to set and implement strategic priorities and policies and advance the organization’s financial and governance goals.
  • Implement policies, programs, goals, and objectives as established by the ACLU of Hawai‘i Board of Directors.
  • Regularly brief the board on the status of the organization.
    • Work with the board to identify and help recruit new board members who will add diversity to the board and whose talents, interests and commitments will help to further the ACLU of Hawaii’s mission.


The next Executive Director will be an inspiring, accomplished, and experienced leader with outstanding interpersonal, listening, communication, and negotiation skills as well as a commitment to the protection of civil liberties and civil rights. While no one person will embody them all, strong candidates will have many of the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics: 

  • At least six (6) years of prior managerial, problem-solving, strategic planning, fund development, and financial management experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector, or in the private or public sector.
  • High emotional intelligence and proven experience in leading and influencing diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Ability to think strategically, entrepreneurially, creatively problem-solve, exercise good judgement, and lead change.
  • A successful track record creating and implementing programs; experience creating partnerships and collaborations.
  • A record of success working in partnership with a Board and staff with the ability to listen to Board members, staff, members, donors, coalition partners, and the public with respect and genuine openness to constructive input.
    • Excellent written and oral communications skills and an ability to articulate a vision of civil rights and civil liberties that is compelling to the public, donors, partners in advocacy, and policymakers.
    • A record of recruiting and inspiring a dedicated, diverse, and talented staff.  
    • Sensitivity and openness to developing a deep understanding of island living within a multi-cultural climate that affects the relationships needed to advance advocacy.
  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications.
    • Strong diplomatic skills including comfort with controversy and complex situations. Able to balance, negotiate, and network among conflicting points of view.
    • A leadership style that is at once proactive and decisive as well as collaborative, flexible, and collegial. Unquestionable professional integrity, self-confidence, a “thick skin,” and a sense of humor.
  • Outstanding people and culture leader with a demonstrated track record in and commitment to creating inclusive, collaborative, and cohesive teams.
  • Experience establishing and/or executing on an organization’s EDIB priorities. 
  • Ability to work with diverse coalitions and community groups, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances.
    • Ability to build and nurture a positive working environment, even in high-intensity situations.
    • Ability to travel throughout the state and occasionally to the continental United States.
  • Ideal candidates will have a connection to Hawai‘i and professional or personal experiences in the state


Excellent salary as well as great benefits including generous vacation and sick leave; 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; individual/family employer-provided health insurance with 100% of premiums covered for the employee; long-term disability; defined contribution plan with employer match; paid parking; and 14 paid holidays. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The ACLU of Hawaiʻi is committed to developing a culture of diversity, equity, respect, and inclusion and to strive to maintain a workforce that reflects the communities that we serve. The ACLU of Hawaiʻi is an equal opportunity employer that does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable law. We encourage all qualified individuals to apply and value people of all races, genders (including gender identity or expression), sexual orientations, disabilities, citizenships, ages, religions, ancestries, and national origins, and who have different marital statuses, family caregiving responsibilities, lived experiences with the criminal justice systems, credit histories, statuses as a victim of domestic and sexual violence, arrest or court record histories, and genetic information. The ACLU of Hawaiʻi does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of any of these characteristics.