Policy Advocate with Faith Communities

Human Rights Watch
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Oct 28

Position description

Human Rights Watch’s United States Program seeks a Policy Advocate to engage and collaborate with faith leaders and communities for the promotion of human rights in the United States. The ideal candidate for this role will have a track record of engaging strategically within and across interfaith coalitions in a relevant area of work, such as human and civil rights, humanitarian aid, global health, or development. We seek someone who can help translate human rights principles into language that is accessible, meaningful, and persuasive among faith communities. The successful candidate will be creative with a keen ability to think critically about current social justice issues and work collaboratively with program staff to identify successful methods of collaboration with new and existing external partners.

The Policy Advocate with Faith Communities will be based in our Washington, DC office and report to the US Program Executive Director of HRW, based in DC.


1. Develop and implement strategies to strengthen, coordinate, and facilitate meaningful collaboration with faith leaders and their constituents, as well as with other related coalitional partners, on pressing human rights issues, including criminal justice, immigration, racial justice, poverty and inequality, and women’s rights; 

2. Build local and national alliances and networks with faith leaders and other related coalitional partners, by identifying common objectives and pursuing ways to engage them;

3. Identify and pursue opportunities for bringing religious teachings and values into human rights debates and support faith leaders in tying the tenets of their faith to urgent human rights issues facing their communities and the world;

4. Work with HRW’s researchers, advocates, and communications staff to identify opportunities for joint action with faith leaders and guide staff on how to think and talk about rights in ways that resonate with people of faith;

5. Facilitate joint advocacy campaigns, press conferences, media interviews, and statements in partnership with faith leaders and communities;

6. Act as an advocate and spokesperson for HRW on issues impacting faith communities;  

7. Write and publicize advocacy materials, letters, news releases, and op-eds based on the findings of HRW’s research;

  8. Develop and implement social media strategies relating to faith communities and human rights; 

9. Work with the US Program Executive Director and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department to conduct fundraising and maintain contact with donors; 

10. Liaise effectively with HRW staff in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;

11. Demonstrate inclusive and respectful behavior that consistently adheres to HRW’s internal values; 

12. Frequent travel and working flexible hours to accommodate developing urgent events, as needed; and 

13. Perform other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or related studies is preferred. 

Experience: A minimum of three years of experience in a relevant field is required. 

Related Skills and Knowledge:  

1. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required; fluency in an additional language is helpful. 

2. Ability to identify and prioritize, research, analyze, and effectively communicate human rights issues in a rigorous, timely, and sophisticated fashion is required.

3. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims, witnesses, and government officials are required. 

4. Ability to develop and implement realistic and effective local and international advocacy strategies in order to identify and seize advocacy opportunities is required. 

5. Ability to produce high quality written materials under tight deadlines is required.

6. Strong interpersonal skills and commitment to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners in a diverse and inclusive work environment, are required.

7. Ability to work quickly and effectively under pressure with a broad range of people and as part of a team is required.

8. Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations are required. 


Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW offers a relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.


Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.


Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

Application instructions

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