The United Nations Representative will lead external relations in New York for Islamic Relief Worldwide, Islamic Relief USA and other Islamic Relief partners at particular times of year, around events such as the annual United Nations (UN) summit of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN General Assembly. The Representative will identify and develop strategic opportunities to promote Islamic Relief’s work, priorities and values; represent the organization with key stakeholders such as UN bodies, Permanent Missions, other NGOs/CSOs, journalists, foundations and major donors. This position will engage in NY-based policy dialogue and advocacy on issues such as climate change, gender justice and humanitarian response; and support engagement in Washington DC with key players in the Administration and on Capitol Hill. The position will report to the Director of Public Affairs at Islamic Relief USA and work closely with colleagues at Islamic Relief Worldwide based in the UK and Geneva. The candidate must show commitment to Islamic Relief’s faith-inspired values and principles as well as a commitment to the vision and mission of the organization.
- *Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Develops and implements a strategy and annual plan to expand Islamic Relief’s brand and engagement in New York, contributing to our long-term ambition to become one of the best-known and most influential humanitarian faith-inspired international NGO actors.
- Actively identifies new opportunities and strategic areas of engagement for Islamic Relief’s partnerships, advocacy, media, fundraising and interfaith engagement.
- Coordinates Islamic Relief’s engagement at key global events such as the UN General Assembly and annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Summit.
- Builds, maintains and strengthens relations with stakeholders including relevant UN agencies, Permanent Missions, NGOs/CSOs, interfaith groups, journalists, foundations and other major donors, through regular meetings, discussions, lobbying and networking.
- Engages with relevant policy dialogues to ensure that our views and concerns on key issues like gender justice, climate change and humanitarian response in fragile contexts are well represented and addressed.
- Attends and speaks at public engagements and networking events, including acting as media spokesperson for IRUSA and IRW when needed, particularly in relation to key advocacy issues such as climate change, gender justice and humanitarian response.
- Supports any NY visits of senior Islamic Relief staff, such as the CEOs of IRW and IRUSA and also IRW directors and trustees, including arranging meetings, preparing memoranda, drafting letters and statements as needed.
- Plans and hosts events on advocacy and programmatic issues, such as discussion panels, seminars and side events at UN summits.
- Actively identifies opportunities for events collaboration with faith and non-faith actors and other UN stakeholders, and plays a prominent role in the delivery of such events.
- Develops or supports development of messaging and other relevant communications and advocacy materials such as factsheets, briefing papers and video messages, to support Islamic Relief’s outreach.
- Works closely with IRW and IRUSA colleagues to support external relations and advocacy work, targeting U.S. government agencies and key elected representatives in Washington DC.
- *Support to wider Islamic Relief family
- Informs and provides expert analysis to key IRW and IRUSA colleagues about relevant global policy, political and institutional developments happening in NY, to guide and inform their respective areas of work.
- Participates in relevant calls and working groups, and advises colleagues how to effectively integrate learnings into wider global policy and practice.
- Supports IRW and IRUSA senior management to identify and manage reputational risk and crisis communications.
- Liaises with IRW and IRUSA External Relations and Public Affairs specialists in London, Geneva and Washington DC to ensure alignment in our policies, messaging and engagement.
- Supports the development and delivery of IRW’s strategy for advocacy and external relations engagement with UN bodies, NY-based global NGOs and other key stakeholders.
- Supports the North East and North Atlantic Islamic Relief USA offices with the delivery of some major events.
- Coordinates closely with relevant lobbying and public relations firms engaged by IRW and/or IRUSA.
- Performs other relevant duties as assigned.
The Representative will be expected to travel regularly to Alexandria, Virginia and bi-annually to the IRW headquarters in the United Kingdom, and may be required to conduct other overseas travel, including to field offices, as required.
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as international relations, political science or law, is required; Master’s degree a plus.
- Minimum of five years’ work experience in a related field such as external relations, lobbying or advocacy, ideally with direct experience of working alongside or within the UN system.
- Understanding and experience of the humanitarian and non-profit policy sector, including a firm grasp of relevant legislative processes and accompanying policy and advocacy development procedures.
- Comprehensive understanding of international and UN policies.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain a wide range of stakeholder relationships, including high-level diplomats, politicians, major donors, foundations and journalists.
- Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication and presentation skills, with proven ability to clearly communicate complex ideas to diverse audiences.
- Confident public speaker, with ability to digest and speak on a wide range of topics.
- Sound political judgement, analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Strategic thinker, able to identify new opportunities and translate strategic thinking into actionable plans, outputs and tangible results.
- Motivated self-starter able to work independently, managing own time and tasks to tight deadlines.
- Experience of organizing targeted events, such as panel discussions, side events, conferences and press briefings.
- Collaborative with an ability to support needs of different teams and partner offices across the world, including programs, media and advocacy colleagues.
- Clear understanding of global context and issues in countries in which Islamic Relief operates; some direct overseas experience is a plus.
- Must be eligible to work in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA is committed to taking a zero tolerance approach, which means acting on every allegation in line with agreed procedures. IRUSA representatives must adhere to the organizational values: Sincerity, Excellence, Compassion, Social Justice, and Custodianship. In accordance with these values, IRUSA operates and enforces policies on Safeguarding, Code of Conduct, and Anti-Harassment and Discrimination.
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