Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has provided nearly 18,000 children with high quality representation in their immigration proceedings by training more than 41,000 attorneys and legal staff and cultivating partnerships with over 600 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country. While KIND offices are primarily located in the United States. KIND also works to develop pro bono initiatives with partners in the United Kingdom and Europe and is announcing plans for a Mexico initiative.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit. KIND is embarking on a new initiative in Mexico to expand its ability to advocate for and develop regional solutions that address the particular vulnerabilities of unaccompanied children seeking protection, whether in Mexico or the United States.
KIND’s work in Latin America combines research, programming, and advocacy in order to increase protection and support for migrant children in Central America and Mexico (“the region”). The Senior Director for Latin America will lead the development and implementation of KIND’s programs and initiatives in Central America and Mexico and will identify strategies and opportunities to leverage KIND’s expertise to bolster child protection in the region. She/he must combine strong management skills with expertise in programming and the region.
Responsibilities of the Senior Director for Latin America will include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Work closely with Vice President of International Programs to define the strategy and direction for KIND’s Latin America work;
- Develop, oversee, and implement (as needed) KIND’s programs and evaluation of programs that advance regional protection of unaccompanied children, including its sexual and gender-based violence prevention programming, reintegration programming, programming for separated families, and programming to strengthen access to protection for unaccompanied children in Mexico, as well as KIND’s advocacy in the region;
- Supervise the Director for Gender & Migration, the Director for Reintegration Programs, the Deputy Director for Mexico, and the Senior Policy Associate for Mexico;
- Oversee the launch of KIND’s Mexico City work and its development of an advocacy initiative in Mexico.
- Plan, oversee, and engage in research, including fact finding trips in Central America and Mexico to document root causes of migration and conditions for children during transit in Mexico and in border cites;
- Develop regionally-based solutions in collaboration with organizations, experts, and international inter-governmental agencies throughout the region to serve the needs and protect the rights of children on the move, and participate in ongoing dialogue and efforts to advance protection throughout the region;
- Work with the Policy and Advocacy team to identify and advocate for changes to policy and practice to protect unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children’s rights, wellbeing and access to justice throughout the region.
- Represent KIND at conferences, networks, high level meetings, congressional briefings and other policy briefings in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America;
- Develop new and build on existing relationships with key public, private, and civil society stakeholders, networks, and regional advocacy partnerships and collaborate in discussions that promote a child’s best interests, safety, and well-being in countries of transit, destination, and return;
- Collaborate with KIND’s Policy and Advocacy, Communications, Legal Services, and Development teams to promote KIND's Latin America work, advance regional solutions, educate policy makers and the public on the root causes of migration, and coordinate strategies and fundraising across KIND components;
- Consult and train KIND’s Legal Services Team on regional contacts, processes, and country conditions;
- Participate in fundraising efforts for KIND’s Central America and Mexico programming, including drafting concept papers, proposals, simple budgets, and grant reports, and participate in meetings with prospective donors;
- Ensure timely completion of grant deliverables;
- Manage budget(s) for Latin America programming in collaboration with the VP for International Programs
- Other duties as assigned.
Graduate degree in Latin American Studies, migration or refugee studies, foreign policy, international affairs, public policy, or other relevant field involving research and analysis, program development, and program evaluation. A minimum of 8 or more years of experience working in the field of programming and/or advocacy and/or research related to Central America and/or Mexico and/or migrant children from Central America and/or Mexico.
- Management experience;
- Program or project development, management, and evaluation skills;
- Fluency in Spanish;
- Exceptionally strong written and oral communication and presentation skills and ability to write for a diverse range of purposes;
- Research and data analysis, including experience with quantitative and qualitative methods and research planning and design;
- A strong record of cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to build partnerships and collaborate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders in the U.S. and Latin America;
- Diplomacy skills;
- Experience developing advocacy strategies and/or activities;
- Experience working with civil society and governments in Central America and/or Mexico;
- Flexibility and ability to shift directions or focus in response to changing realities on the ground and priorities;
- Demonstrated ability to draft funding proposals and budgets;
- Ability to advance work on multiple projects at the same time;
- Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams.
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