Acting Deputy Washington Director

Human Rights Watch
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 06

Position description

The Advocacy Department of Human Rights Watch is seeking applicants for the position of Acting Deputy Washington Director to assist with the development and implementation of advocacy strategies on the full range of countries and US foreign policy issues addressed by Human Rights Watch. This is a fixed-term, full-time position for three months with the possibility of extension. This position is based in Washington, DC and reports to the Acting Washington Director.

1. Conduct advocacy with US officials in the executive branch and with members of Congress and their staff;
2. Lead advocacy in Washington on select issues, in consultation with the acting Washington director;
3. Partner with HRW’s regional and thematic divisions and researchers to identify and create opportunities for advocacy & engage in sustained follow-up;
4. Conduct research on US foreign policy issues, as needed, and draft position papers, letters, background memoranda, legislation, amendments, congressional letters, talking points, hearing questions, congressional record statements, and op-eds;
5. Monitor US foreign policy relating to human rights within both the executive and legislative branches of government & identify opportunities;
6. Support HRW engagement with the Washington press corps (State/WH/Pentagon/congressional) and other relevant media outlets both overseas and in the US regarding our work;
7. Help coordinate the DC office staff with respect to advocacy efforts across divisions and, as needed, other organizational activities;
8. Work with DC-based NGOs and coalitions to further HRW work;
9. Represent HRW in various public events including on panels, conferences, meetings, etc.; and
10. Carry out other duties as may be delegated or assigned by the acting director.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, or social science is required.

Experience: Significant human rights experience and expertise and a demonstrated commitment to human rights are required. A minimum of seven years of relevant advocacy experience is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

1. Substantial knowledge of the executive and legislative branches of the US government & current US policy is required. Direct experience working within or with the US government is strongly desired.
2. Excellent speaking, writing, and editing skills in English are required.
3. Track record of dealing with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists is required.
4. Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions to government officials, lawmakers, and the media is required.
5. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with local partners, government officials, and external media outlets are required.
6. Knowledge of international human rights and humanitarian law is required.

Duration: Fixed-term for three months, with the possibility of extension.

Salary: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer paid benefits.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by November 22, 2019 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest, resume, and a brief writing sample (unedited by others), preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email [email protected] Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

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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