Director, Refugee and Migrant Rights Program (2 year term)

Amnesty International USA
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jan 09

Position description

Job Summary

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is the global organization’s presence in the United States. We engage people in the U.S. to fight injustice all around the world, while we also work to protect people’s human rights here in the U.S. AIUSA has more than a million members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Colombia, who are part of a larger global movement of 10 million people in 150 countries. We are a non-partisan, democratically governed, grassroots membership organization, which means that our members vote on key governance and policy issues, elect our Board of Directors, and serve in various leadership roles throughout the organization. Members work together with our staff, deployed across six departments to deliver on our mission.


Job Summary

The Director of Amnesty International USA’s Refugee and Migrants’ Rights Program will lead the organization’s efforts within the United States to reform the US government’s asylum, immigration and refugee policies and practices in line with international human rights law. The Program Director will create and implement a program strategy with stakeholders to make human rights impact and help achieve organizational goals through advocacy, coalition building, grassroots activism, and other effective tactics. The Director will serve as AIUSA’s expert and spokesperson on US asylum, immigration and refugee issues covered by the program; create effective grassroots actions and materials to engage the public; influence local, state and federal government officials and others to help achieve the program’s goals; and oversee an annual work plan and budget. Focus issues for the program currently include the intersection with anti-racism work and ending the human rights abuses impacting Black and brown asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees; defunding ICE detention and freeing people from immigration detention by ICE and private companies; ensuring the end of Title 42 and deportations; and ensuring passage of federal law to support people seeking safety in the US, including from Afghanistan. This is a full-time, two year position.

This is a two-year full-time position.  


Essential Responsibilities

  • Set the program’s goals and objectives for making human rights impact and create and implement a strategy with stakeholders to achieve those goals and objectives;
  • Collaborate with stakeholders in selecting and implementing effective tactics—including advocacy, coalition building, and grassroots activism, media advocacy, social media advocacy, and public education—to achieve the program’s goals and objectives
  • Build and maintain relationships across the asylum, immigration and refugee community, including with impacted people, legislators, advocates, and allied nongovernmental and policy organizations
  • Conduct evaluations, monitoring and reporting on progress toward the program’s goals and objectives
  • Ensure that the program’s human rights work also helps achieve the organizational goals and objectives in AIUSA’s Strategic Plan
  • Serve as AIUSA’s media and public spokesperson on the program’s issues; actively seek opportunities for media coverage and placements as well as public speaking engagements
  • Recruit, train, and sustain AIUSA’s members and public in effective activism, including lobbying, in support of the program’s goals and objectives by creating useful and compelling actions, training modules, and materials
  • Ensure that Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) are integrated into all aspects of the program
  • Collaborate with AI’s research and policy staff to draft, edit, and promote timely policy and rapid response outputs on the program’s issue
  • Engage with AI’s sections around the world to help achieve the program’s goals and objectives, including by serving as AIUSA’s point person for input on program-related issues to the global AI movement
  • Represent AIUSA with the public, policymakers, and other external groups and individuals
  • Influence local, state, and federal government officials to achieve the program’s goals and objectives
  • Support fundraising efforts for the program and AIUSA
  • Develop and oversee the program’s annual work plan, budget, and any staff assigned to the program
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to explore additional focus areas for the program’s research and campaigning
  • Occasional evening and/or weekend availability required
  • Some travel required, as needed
  • Other duties as assigned by the National Director of the Programs Unit of AIUSA
  • This is a full-time, two year position



Qualifications and Experience

Education and Experience

  • BA/BS and at least 10 years relevant experience or MA/MS and 8 years relevant experience and/or sufficient relevant work experience; substantial technical knowledge of area of work
  • Demonstrated success in collaborating with diverse stakeholders—including impacted people, partners, activists and volunteers—in the development and implementation of impactful strategies to ensure the human rights of people seeking asylum, immigration or refuge
  • Demonstrated success in growing and diversifying a grassroots base of activists on asylum, immigration or refugee human rights issues
  • Demonstrated success in work to advance IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility)
  • Demonstrated success in using innovative, creative, and effective grassroots tactics to influence government decision makers
  • Extensive experience working cross-organizationally to achieve shared goals
  • Demonstrated expertise with human rights standards related asylum, immigration and refugees
  • Strong track record working with advocacy-oriented research and analysis
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights, inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Demonstrated relevant strategic planning and project management experience, with at least two years of senior program officer responsibilities or equivalent
  • Demonstrated experience working on US asylum, immigration, and refugee issues
  • Thorough knowledge of international human rights standards related to asylum, immigration, and refugees
  • Demonstrated experience as a successful advocate able to influence government officials
  • Demonstrated experience as an on-the-record spokesperson
  • Superior writing and public speaking skills
  • Strong relationships within the human rights, asylum, immigration, refugee, and social justice advocacy communities
  • Demonstrated experience working in a grassroots organization with member activists and growing an engaged and effective membership activist base
  • Track record of collaborative work across organizations and coalitions; skilled at building alliances to achieve goals
  • Experience using social media as an advocacy tool
  • Exceptional initiative and follow-through skills that deliver measurable results
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work well as part of a team
  • Deep, principled commitment to international human rights standards and the equal rights of all people worldwide
  • This is a full-time, two year position



Dismantling white supremacy is central to the fight for human rights in the United States and around the world. As we mobilize staff and activists and work with partners to help transform the multiple systems where oppression operates in the world around us as part of our human rights mandate, anti-racism must be integral to our work. What does that mean for Amnesty International in the United States? It means using our people power to fight injustice and centering the voices and experiences of those most impacted by racist structures, beliefs, and laws. Fundamentally, it means doing our human rights work differently than it has been done before, because we know that who we work with, how we work, the work we do, and ultimately who we are, are all interconnected.

As an international, intercultural, intergenerational and intersectional movement of activists committed to protecting and advancing human rights for all, Amnesty is deeply committed to IDEA. To learn more about how we integrate these concepts into our work and workplace visit:


COVID-19 Consideration

Because the health and safety of our employees and candidates are a top priority, we are currently conducting our hiring process virtually. We are currently starting our positions as fully remote but will transition to a hybrid work environment when our offices re-open, expected to be in winter 2023.

Application instructions

All applicants must apply via this link: