Program Director

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  • Location
    Remote, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Sep 22

Position description

Democracy for the Arab World Now ("DAWN") is seeking a highly qualified applicant for the position of Program Director who will lead the organization's programs to investigate, analyze, and advocate against abuses and abusers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel-Palestine, Yemen, Jordan and additional countries in the future, and to evaluate and develop recommendations for U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa. The director manages a team of researchers and research assistants and reports to the Executive Director of DAWN. The position will be preferably based in Washington DC or New York, but other locations will be considered, and the work is currently remote.


  1. Design, implement and evaluate the organization's research program, including identifying issues for which there is potential for impact, networking within and outside the organization to coordinate advocacy and communication efforts, creating and monitoring annual and strategic research plans, and setting and maintaining rigorous standards of accuracy, impact, reliability and credibility;
  2. Supervise team of researchers and research assistants investigating, monitoring, and documenting human rights and international humanitarian law abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, companies, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, security forces, and others in the field;
  3. Edit, write and publicize accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, and timely materials (including images, audio, video, data analysis, and/or online tools) that include policy recommendations intended to contribute to ending abuses;
  4. Participate in a steering committee of managers within the organization to advise the executive director and further organizational goals of growth, sustainability, and staff resilience;
  5. Provide guidance to researchers analyzing rights abuses through the lens of international human rights law as well as other areas of international and country-specific laws;
  6. Write op-eds, press releases, briefing memos, submissions to international bodies, statements, testimony, and other materials in order to disseminate our research findings and policy recommendations;
  7. Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights and policy communities and take initiative to project our concerns in public debate;
  8. Guide researchers to lace abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts and present our concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, company representatives, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and the media;
  9. Assist the Executive Director and Development Director in conducting fundraising;
  10. Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events;
  11. Travel domestically and overseas, as required, to conduct advocacy or research; and,
  12. Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or commensurate experience is desirable.

Experience: Minimum ten years of relevant experience in the Middle East and North Africa is desired. Relevant experience may include among other things, work as a journalist, field-based researcher, investigator, academic, or attorney on issues related to human rights and foreign policy; research and advocacy for nonprofit organizations; or work in government and international organizations on human rights, foreighn policy or related issues. Experience managing staff members is highly desirable.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Ability to effectively supervise a diverse team of researchers, including providing support, guidance and accountability. Ability to take responsibility for the security of staff members and sources and ensure adherence to digital and physical security guidelines. Ability to manage staff relations horizontally and vertically (managing up and down);
  2. Excellent English-language writing and editing skills, including in depth publications, news releases, op eds, social media posts, textual support for visual products, video scripts and more, and rigorous attention to detail and accuracy; 
  3. Ability to identify and advise the staff in developing and implementing strategies to seize advocacy opportunities;
  4. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law;
  5. Proficiency in Arabic is desirable;
  6. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within DAWN, as well as with external partners;
  7. Ability to multitask effectively, including good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure; and,
  8. Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals.

Salary and Benefits: DAWN seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. DAWN will pay reasonable relocation expenses.

Application instructions

Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a brief writing sample (not substantially edited by others), and contact information for three references.

Please use "Program Director" as the subject of your email.

Only complete applications will be reviewed. We regret that we can only contact short-listed candidates.

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