Senior Policy Advisor, Humanitarian

Oxfam America
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 24

Position description

COORDINATES WITH:  Humanitarian Director, Humanitarian Associate Director, Humanitarian Policy Lead, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Humanitarian Coordinator, Syria Projects and Advocacy Officer, Refugee Campaign Lead, Humanitarian Department, Humanitarian Advocacy Team (HAT), Media and Public Relations Department, Oxfam International (OI) Rights in Crisis Campaign (RIC), OI Global Humanitarian Team (GHT), Oxfam country and regions.

PURPOSE OF POSITION: The Senior an Policy Advisor, Humanitarian will support the delivery of the Atrocity Prevention and Response Program; advance policy around Oxfam America’s (OUS) and OI’s refugee campaign; advance local humanitarian leadership; and provide advocacy support to emergency responses including standing OI emergencies and sudden onset crises where the United States Government (USG) is an important actor.


Strategy development and implementation

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Humanitarian Department strategy and Annual Operating Plan, as well as overall work of HAT.
  • Help Global Campaigns Advisor develop US and global refugee campaign strategy, including conducting USG power analysis on refugee work and policy development on Temporary Protective Status countries, to ensure alignment with policy objectives and country strategies.  
  • Help deliver the Atrocity Prevention and Response Program; strategize and deliver on influencing to uphold Oxfam’s mandate to protect civilians, save lives, empower local actors, support civil society, and transform the humanitarian response system.  
  • Monitor and analyze developments in OUS and OI countries and regions, including through engagement with country and regional teams, to help inform and shape strategies and identify opportunities to influence the USG incountries where the USG is playing or could play an important role in saving lives.
  • Build relationships with country teams and gather information and stories on people on the move (refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people) to feed into the Global and US refugee campaign.
  • In the event of a sudden onset emergency, assess needs and potential impact for OUS advocacy, and develop and implement advocacy strategies in coordination with OI RIC and the GHT.
  • Strategize with communication and campaign colleagues on how to influence and deliver advocacy strategies through public facing work.

Advocacy and external affairs 

  • Serve as a key spokesperson, in coordination with Media and Public Relations team, to advocate on humanitarian and conflict issues with the media (TV, radio, online and social media, and print).
  • Advocate to and develop and maintain key relationships with U.S. government officials, Members of Congress, Executive Branch, and institutions relevant to humanitarian assistance, conflict, peacekeeping, protection, refugee crisis, and reconstruction policies.
  • As needed, advocate and campaign before multilateral institutions – including UN Security Council Members – and corporate bodies, with special emphasis on U.S. government representatives and U.S.-based corporations.
  • Provide background briefings, policy positions, and talking points, as needed, for senior leadership, including OUS President, OUS Vice Presidents, and OUS Humanitarian Director.  
  • Develop and maintain key relationships with Academia, think tanks and NGOs and NGO networks such as InterAction, representing Oxfam America in NGO coalitions and at events and roundtables.  
  • Write policy briefs, advocacy strategies, newsletter articles, and media pieces (press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds) for the website and for use within OUS and Ol.
  • Provide Oxfam testimony, questions for witnesses and other policy related information for congressional hearings, as needed.

Support to Oxfam America programs and counterparts

  • Share information on relevant US policy positions and opportunities to OI and OUS countries and regions.  
  • Represent OUS and US perspectives in relevant OI working groups.
  • Work closely with US and DC-based NGO community to develop and coordinate policy positions.
  • Participate in DC, Humanitarian Department and team meetings.
  • Serve as advocacy liaison to appropriate Oxfam countries.
  • Travel to countries and regions for program visits, development of influencing positions, to develop credibility on certain issues and country work, and attend face to face meetings.


  • Will travel up to 30% of the time.
  • Will stay abreast of professional standards, trends and issues affecting this set of responsibilities, demonstrating continuous learning of the field. 
  • Will work effectively and collaboratively in support of building a team-based culture of work, will perform all duties appropriately for a multi-cultural environment, treating all persons with dignity and respect, and will be familiar with and committed to Oxfam America mission and goals, values and Code of Conduct.
  • Will understand gender justice and diversity within key areas of responsibility and a commitment to promoting gender justice and diversity in our workplace and programs.



  • Master’s Degree in International Affairs/Area Studies/Public Policy/Government or Law degree or equivalent combination of experience, education and training.

Experience and Core Competencies:

  • 5-7 years of work experience in advocacy, development or humanitarian response, especially in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Understanding of humanitarian response, local humanitarian leadership agenda, disaster risk reduction, complex humanitarian emergencies, conflict resolution strategies, international human rights/humanitarian law, and the global refugee crisis.
  • Experienced media spokesperson and public speaker.
  • Experienced with social media. 
  • Experience in advocacy, including research, policy, lobbying and political skills (persuasive, diplomatic and articulate), media work and public campaigning.
  • Knowledge of and experience working in or advocating before the US Congress and/or the Executive Branch.
  • Ability to think and operate strategically and creatively.
  • High-level policy analysis skills.
  • Experience in writing and or providing testimony before the US Congress.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills that include the ability to communicate to a variety of audiences.
  • Flexible, self starter, sense of humor, team player, attention to detail.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and work cooperatively in a cross-cultural setting with virtual working relationships.
  • Ability to multi-task and work under pressure.


  • Proficiency in at least one foreign language.
  • Experience living overseas, preferably in developing countries.

Exempt/DC Union/ Band G

Application instructions

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