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ACLU of Southern California, Chief Administrative/Financial Officer


The ACLU of Southern California is comprised of two organizations:  The ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California (collectively “ACLU SoCal”). Most of the lobbying activity done by the ACLU is done by the American Civil Liberties Union. Most of the ACLU’s litigation and communication efforts are done by the ACLU Foundation. The Union has a 60-person Board of Directors.  The Foundation has a 55-person Board of Directors.

Total fiscal year 2015-2016 revenue for both organizations was nearly $15,000,000, up from approximately $10,000,000 for the previous fiscal year, with a quadrupling of membership to 100,000. The organization has a 68-person staff, a modest endowment and ample cash reserves. The fiscal year begins on April 1.

Founded in 1923, ACLU SoCal has been at the forefront of several major efforts for civil liberties, civil rights and equal justice in California.  Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Bernardino.  The ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including criminal justice and drug policy reform, jail conditions, disability rights, First Amendment, gender equity and reproductive justice, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, privacy and racial and economic justice.


This is a newly created position reporting to the Executive Director.  The CFAO will be one of six members of the senior management team.  The CFAO will supervise a four person staff, three in finance and one in human resources.  Key responsibilities include the following:


  • Partner with the Executive Director on strategic issues as they arise, providing strategic recommendations based on financial analysis and projections;
  • Participate in the ongoing strategic planning process;
  • Engage the board finance committee around issues, trends, and changes;
  • Oversee long-term financial planning and forecasting ;
  • Review all finance, HR-related procedures, processes and administration, recommending improvements to the systems and managing the systems.

Financial Management

  • Supervise the Director of Finance, Sr. Accountant, and Assistant Controller;
  • Plan, coordinate, and oversee annual budgeting process and monitor the budget’s implementation;
  • Supervise the evaluation, upgrade, and documentation of internal controls;
  • Oversee the preparation and approval of all financial reporting materials for the boards;
  • Ensure that finance staff maintains financial record systems in accordance with GAAP;
  • Working with the eight-person finance committees and the Manager of Board Relations, communicate key financial matters at board and committee meetings;
  • Serve as the management liaison to the finance committees and the audit committee;
  • Manage the relationship with the outside accounting firm for the annual audit and coordinate all audit activities;
  • Advise the Executive Director, other senior staff leaders, and the boards on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters;
  • Meet with department heads to review financial performance, variance from budget and spend-out of grants;
  • Manage cash flow and investments in accordance with board-approved policies
  • Coordinate all audit activities;
  • Represent the organization externally, as needed, particularly in banking and leasing negotiations and negotiations with vendors to ensure best possible terms or price;
  • Project cash flows and maintain cash management and working capital controls, including management of idle funds, short-term financing and timely payment of obligations for the agency;
  • Act as financial fiduciary for the ACLU of Southern California at all times.

Human Resources

  • Supervise the Human Resources Manager;
  • Oversee benefits negotiations, providing the most competitive packages;
  • Oversee staff recruitment, evaluation, and terminations;
  • Oversee benefits administration and staff compensation;
  • Oversee the relationship with the organization’s pension provider and other retirement program providers.
  • Provide guidance and direction to management team and employees on human resource-related topics;
  • Develop, manage and implement personnel policies and maintain employee handbook;
  • Communicate and ensure compliance with all employment-related laws;
  • Effectively interface with all levels of the organization to coordinate and oversee all of the people-related and office management activities;
  • Work with staff and management to facilitate staff development and training opportunities;
  • Keep informed and up to date regarding industry standards and best practices related to non-profit personnel management.

Building & Facilities

  • Oversee the organization’s insurance, risk management, security, and safety/compliance emergency procedures;
  • Negotiate leases for tenants in the Los Angeles office building, which the organization owns and operates; negotiate leases for satellite offices (currently Santa Ana and San Bernardino);
  • Negotiate contracts for building-related vendors, such as janitorial services;
  • Develop cost estimates and specifications for major capital projects;
  • Review and serve as administrative contact for vendor contracts.

Leadership & Team Development

  • Oversee, direct, and organize the work of the finance and HR staff;
  • Provide training on finance department policies and procedures for department managers, including orientation of new employees and board members;
  • Handle a variety of special projects, and other related duties, as assigned;
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement.


The ideal candidate will have the following experience:

  • At least 8-10 years of experience in accounting and financial management;
  • Demonstrated excellence in managing finance, accounting, budgeting, controls and reporting, ideally in the nonprofit sector;
  • Experience and skill in examining, developing, reengineering and recommending financial and HR policies and procedures;
  • Superior computer skills and knowledge including word processing, database operations, Excel spreadsheets, and other software systems;
  • A relevant college degree is required; Candidates with CPA or CMA designations are preferred, as are candidates with an MBA;
  • Experience with respect to building and technology policies and procedures would be a plus.


The successful candidate will have the following attributes:

  • Demonstrated success in promoting a culture of high performance and continuous improvement;
  • Effective communications ability, with strong oral and written skills;
  • Flexibility and the initiative of a self-starter; able to multi-task while also being highly-detail oriented;
  • Willingness to work hard, availability as needed and unflappability in the face of competing demands;
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with people of diverse races, ethnicities, gender identities, ages and sexual orientations in a multicultural environment;
  • Commitment to civil liberties and civil rights and to the ACLU’s mission.


Our client is offering a salary based on experience.  Benefits include medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life and long term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; ample vacation and sick leave and thirteen paid holidays.


Please submit a brief cover letter and résumé as attachments via e-mail to:

Joseph McCormack, Managing Partner

Michelle Kristel, Partner


1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 110-202

Palm Springs, CA 92264

Tel: 323.549.9200

Fax : 323.549.9222



All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.

Please note that your education, dates of employment, compensation and other information provided will be verified prior to employment.

The ACLU of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to fostering diversity within its staff.  Applications are encouraged from all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religious creed, medical/physical/mental conditions, sexual orientation, Veteran status or age.