Senior Policy Counsel

Center for Victims of Torture
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 28

Position description

The Center for Victims of Torture is hiring a Senior Policy Counsel who is responsible for developing and implementing CVT’s policy advocacy strategy to ensure that asylum seekers and refugees have access to protection in the U.S. The Senior Policy Counsel will also support to varying degrees CVT’s policy priorities in two other areas: obtaining federal financial support for torture survivor rehabilitation centers in the U.S. and abroad and ensuring that the U.S. never returns to policies of torture and cruelty. The position reports to the Director of the Washington DC Office and serves on the Policy Team. 


The Center for Victims of Torture works toward a future in which torture ceases to exist and its victims have hope for a new life. We are an international nonprofit dedicated to healing survivors of torture. We offer rehabilitation services to those who have been tortured, train partners around the world who can prevent and treat torture, and advocate for human rights and an end to torture. We are headquartered in Minnesota, and we have US offices in Atlanta and DC, as well as offices in Africa and the Middle East.


  • Issue-based Policy Advocacy: Lead development and implementation of strategies to ensure the U.S. has strong policies in place to allow refugees and asylum seekers to access protection. Engage with Congress and the Administration to achieve those objectives.
  • Appropriations Advocacy: Support appropriations advocacy related to funding for torture survivor rehabilitation and other relevant refugee and migration accounts.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Participate in formal and informal NGO coalitions to advance policy positions, including providing consultative and advisory services on public policy to other torture survivor rehabilitation organizations. Serve as a representative of the organization and foster relationships that advance organizational priorities.
  • Internal Coordination: Coordinate with other CVT departments to stay updated on challenges faced by CVT clients that may have policy implications and provide feedback to relevant CVT staff on debates in Washington DC concerning U.S. asylum or refugee-related policies.
  • Other Duties: Participate in other department and organization-wide activities, meetings and trainings. Complete administrative responsibilities. Perform other duties as assigned.


Required education, experience, certificates, licenses or registrations

·        J.D. or Master’s Degree in public policy or related field.

  • 3 years of experience in immigration law, with a focus on asylum seekers. 
  • 3 years of experience in issue advocacy or experience as a lobbyist.

Preferred education, experience, certificates, licenses or registrations

·        3-5 years of policy advocacy experience focused on human rights or refugee rights.

·        Experience working directly with refugees and engaging them in advocacy.

Competencies (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)

·        Knowledge of issues facing refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S.

  • Knowledge of the unique challenges facing survivors of torture seeking asylum in the U.S. 
  • Excellent political judgement and strategic thinking. 
  • Strong understanding of Congress and the legislative and appropriations processes. 
  • Superior interpersonal, public speaking and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels and across the political spectrum.
  • Ability to communicate complex legal issues in a clear and concise way that can be understood by a variety of audiences. 
  • Demonstrated success in building and managing relationships across branches of government and between sectors.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse coalitions. 
  • Ability to work autonomously and take appropriate initiative in a work location remote from headquarters.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word and Excel)
  • Experience interacting with foundations or individual donors desirable.
  • Excellent skills in organization, attention to detail and time management (including the ability to meet deadlines).
  • Interest in or commitment to human rights.
  • Ability to travel nationally or internationally up to 10% time.
  • Ability to travel daily to locations in the metro area.

Application instructions

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