Amnesty International USA (“AIUSA”) is the USA country section of the Amnesty International global movement. The AIUSA Advocacy Director (“AD”) for Africa (covering sub-Saharan Africa) region is responsible for developing strategies and working with AIUSA volunteers/members to end human rights violations, principally by influencing U.S. policy toward and bringing about improvements in human rights in Africa. The position is based in Washington, D.C. Working closely with volunteer leaders, other staff, and partners, the AD will also be responsible for:
- Outreach to the U.S. public, including serving as a lead media spokesperson on human rights violations in Africa, collaborating with other NGOs, and training AIUSA’s grassroots membership;
- Participation in nationwide lobbying efforts and campaigns targeting the U.S. federal government;
- Liaison with other AIUSA programs, other Amnesty country sections, and the International Secretariat.
A. Influencing the development of U.S. policy on human rights issues in Africa
- Lead AIUSA’s advocacy on ending human rights violations in the Africa, in consultation with relevant staff and membership structures. Current AIUSA advocacy priorities include responding to conflicts in Ethiopia/Tigray, the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting refugees, displaced peoples, and asylum seekers. As advocacy priorities periodically change, the AD will be expected to adjust the workplan to match the AIUSA advocacy priorities.
- The effectiveness of the AD depends, to a large extent, on their leadership in coordinating congressional briefings, testifying before Congress, drafting and negotiating legislation, advancing administrative policy recommendations, and educating government officials on human rights developments.
- Cultivate relationships with foreign missions as well as government lobbyists and representatives of official human rights commissions.
B. Public Outreach
- Speak publicly on human rights violations and relevant U.S. policy in Africa (foreign policy, humanitarian aid, refugee protection, asylum, border, immigration, appropriations). Public speaking fora include congressional hearings, Hill briefings, academic symposia, policy conferences, protests, and rallies.
- Working in close consultation with the Media unit, represent AIUSA in interviews with the news media (TV, radio, print, social) on human rights violations.
- Write materials advancing AIUSA advocacy agenda including letters, briefings, blogs, op-eds, action alerts.
- Disseminate Amnesty International’s publications, in cooperation with the Public Affairs team and volunteer leaders to Congress, U.S. government, media, and NGOs.
- Coordinate with volunteer leaders and staff to provide training for relevant membership groups and events, including regional conferences and the Annual General Meeting.
C. Coordinate with Section-Wide Campaigns and Lobbying
- Advise and collaborate with volunteer leaders and relevant member groups, and participate in all country campaigns and special actions. Lead the U.S. component of global Amnesty campaigns and actions. During major regional campaigns and crises, serve as the primary strategist for AIUSA, in consultation with country specialists, on ending human rights violations in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Lead U.S. component of global Amnesty advocacy efforts on stopping human rights violations in Africa, in consultation with International Secretariat and Amnesty Africa Regional Offices.
D. Additional duties as assigned by National Director, Advocacy and Government Affairs, based upon the needs of AIUSA.
- Expertise and experience in Africa human rights policy issues, including refugee protection, humanitarian aid, asylum, immigration, border policy, prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders, and freedom of expression.
- Experience in U.S. federal lobbying and/or policy advocacy, including drafting and analyzing legislation, writing Congressional testimony, and leading coalitions.
- Public speaking experience, including Congressional hearings, Hill briefings, press conferences, academic conferences.
- Superb writing and research skills, with ability to produce high-quality writing in fast-paced environment.
- Extensive experience with media (print, social).
- Ability to produce high-volume, accurate work in rapidly changing environment, with attention to detail.
- Ability to work in highly collaborative and consultative environment.
- U.S. domestic travel (at least two trips annually, as permitted by AIUSA travel policy).
- International travel to Africa (at least one trip annually, as permitted by AIUSA travel policy).
- Graduate degree in international relations, foreign service, law, or other relevant/related field.
- Experience with live media interviews (TV, radio).
- Experience with volunteers and grassroots organizing.
- Experience living and/or working in Africa
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