Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a highly-qualified person to lead its United Kingdom office, acting as the key spokesperson and advocate for HRW in the UK and acting as the organization’s central link to the UK media, as well as policy- and decision-makers, on the organization’s global portfolio of work. HRW is looking for candidates with a global focus who also have a solid understanding of the current human rights landscape in the UK, a good track record of engaging with policy circles and the wider public, and the skills and knowledge to inform and support our UK-focused research. This full-time position is based in London and reports to the Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy and to the Deputy Executive Director for Media (based in Paris and New York, respectively).
1. Lead HRW’s advocacy in the UK and work with HRW's programmatic staff to develop and implement advocacy strategies for UK-related work on the full range of countries and issues addressed by HRW, including, as needed, on domestic issues in the UK;
2. Promote the work of HRW to influence UK decisionmakers, building access to and staying in regular contact with key policymakers and departments, testifying in parliamentary hearings, working with MPs to ask parliamentary questions of ministers, speaking at public events and seminars, influencing think tanks and other policy/advisory bodies, and otherwise leveraging the UK government to be a more consistent actor for human rights worldwide;
3. Coordinate closely with HRW core advocates in Europe (based in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Stockholm) and at the UN (based in New York and Geneva) as well as the Advocacy and Media/Communications teams around the globe;
4. Promote the work of HRW to the media in the UK and on social media, building access to and staying in regular contact with key journalists and media outlets, writing opinion articles, and speaking on television and radio;
5. Provide support to HRW experts in seizing press and advocacy opportunities in the UK, both on global and domestic issues;
6. Lead HRW’s advocacy and media outreach in neighbouring capitals, when needed;
7. Represent HRW to donors and financial prospects in the UK and elsewhere, in coordination with the City Director for London in the Development and Outreach Department;
8. Contribute to internal HRW policies and strategic debates;
9. Work closely with UK-based human rights organizations to ensure effective coordination and engage in joint actions when needed;
10. Manage the UK office of Human Rights Watch, including acting as an HRW representative in regard to the UK entity, signing relevant documents, liaising on security issues, handling office morale, and other office leader duties as needed;
11. Lead, motivate, and mentor direct-reports, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely constructive feedback, ensuring balanced workload, providing guidance on professional growth, and monitoring staff well-being as it pertains to stress and resilience issues and self-care;
12. Travel internationally as needed to attend meetings, trainings, etc.; and
13. Undertake other responsibilities as required.
Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences or a related field is required.
Experience: A minimum of seven years of relevant international experience and extensive experience in human rights and/or advocacy/media are required.
Required Skills and Knowledge:
1. Excellent and proven knowledge of the political, media, and NGO landscape in the UK is required.
2. Fluency in English is required, with excellent public speaking skills. Excellent speaking and writing skills in other languages are desirable.
3. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights is required. Ability to follow numerous human rights issues in a rigorous and nuanced manner is required. Familiarity with international human rights law is preferred.
4. Ability to identify advocacy opportunities and help develop and implement advocacy strategies is required. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and solid understanding of how to implement successful advocacy for policy change are required.
5. Ability to think strategically about the media environment and experience speaking with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists are required.
6. Ability to think strategically about how to use the print and electronic media (including social media) to further advocacy goals is required, as well as the ability to write opinion pieces, dispatches, and official letters.
7. An understanding of, and willingness to use, public opinion research and social media data to effectively develop strategies that build popular support for human rights values, and our policy advocacy are desirable.
8. Strong initiative and follow-through, ability to shift priorities according to international news developments and ability to work well under pressure are required.
9. Strong interpersonal skills, in order to work collaboratively with HRW staff in multiple locations globally and with the UK committee members and supporters, are required.
10. Experience working with other NGOs on joint advocacy strategies is preferred.
Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
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