Director of ProgramsWashington, DC
Applications: Electronic submission of credentials is strongly encouraged. No calls please. Send curriculum vitae or resume and cover letter by mail, fax or email to:
Director of Programs Search
International Human Rights Law Group
1200 18th Street NW, Suite 602
Washington, DC 20036
Fax: (202) 822-4606
Headquartered in Washington, DC, the International Human Rights Law Group is universally recognized as one of the most important and pioneering human rights organizations in the world. Through advocacy, strategic human rights lawyering and training programs, IHRLG strengthens the capacity of local organizations for fact-finding and reporting, and human rights and legislative advocacy at the domestic and international levels. Our programs also enable local activists to have a voice in policy discussions and actions of the international human rights community, particularly at the United Nations. IHRLG has long-played a leading role in the international movement to place women's human rights at the forefront of the human rights struggle. Ensuring that women enjoy the full range of human rights including economic, social and cultural rights is integral to all our programming.
IHRLG was founded in 1978 as a small legal research and advocacy institution that trained legal practitioners, paralegals and law students in international human rights law and procedures, so that they could then offer their services pro bono to activists and victims of abuse. The organization operated with a one-person staff and concentrated its efforts on providing legal representation and advice for the egregious violations occurring throughout Latin America.
In the early 1990s, under the leadership and vision of current Executive Director Gay McDougall, IHRLG broke new ground and expanded its mission to include helping local organizations build their capacity to respond to problems within their own countries. We became the first international human rights organization to undertake this type of programming. Today, our program teams work in countries in transition, countries where the promotion and protection of women's rights meet with cultural obstacles and/or religious extremism, and countries where combating racism and racial discrimination remains a central struggle. They work on the ground in partnership with local organizations, activists and legal practitioners over extended periods of time.
The organization has grown dramatically in the last five years. IHRLG now has operations in 11 countries and an annual budget of $6 million, and is staffed by more than 70 legal and human rights professionals from more than 22 countries. Approximately 2/3 of our funding is from the U.S. government, with the remainder coming primarily from foundations and foreign governments.
Our work is motivated by a vision of a just society world-wide and a belief that true change transformative change is driven by progressive civil society actors and communities within each society. We believe that access to justice is an important vehicle to empower civil society change agents. We also believe that participation in the global human rights movement, using the international forums, like the U.N., applying the international standards and networking with advocates from other countries is empowering to local human rights advocates.
IHRLG designs programs based on the human rights goals identified by local civil society actors, who are posed to challenge oppressive ideologies and power structures on issues of human rights and governance. We join forces with them to further build their capacity to implement their strategies for change.
Click here to read "IHRLG World Activities at a Glance."
The Director of Programs will be responsible for ensuring the programmatic content and operational success of the program division. S/he will manage all IHRLG programs, including our 11 in-country programs and our highly acclaimed training program at the annual U.N. Commission for Human Rights. The Director of Programs reports to the Executive Director, Ms. Gay McDougall, and serves as a member of the four-person Management Committee, which provides overall strategic leadership to the organization. S/he will supervise a staff of 12 professionals and 5 support staff at IHRLG headquarters and an additional 31 professionals and 18 support staff in field offices around the world.
This is a unique opportunity to play a central role in shaping the work of a highly respected organization that is making substantial and significant contributions to the building of the international human rights movement. The new Director will be expected to strengthen the programmatic focus and direction of this rapidly growing organization and improve the ability of the IHRLG to implement quality programs.
We seek a seasoned professional with a minimum of 15 years of human rights and/or development experience, particularly in the field, who takes a strategic planning approach to reaching program goals and objectives and possesses superior management, interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills.
The ideal candidate will have a sense of humor and will be highly intelligent, detail-oriented, self-motivated, driven for success, and a team player capable of and committed to contributing to the Management Committee's strategic thinking about the future direction of IHRLG. S/he must be committed to helping local advocates build human rights cultures in their countries; skilled in identifying strategic opportunities for the organization and recruiting, mentoring and training staff from many different cultures; and dedicated to driving improvements in program performance.
The ideal candidate will also have a graduate degree in law, or other field related to our work, and an ability to negotiate with USAID and others within the bi-lateral donor community. Fluency in English is required.
Salary and Benefits
IHRLG offers a competitive salary and a generous vacation and health benefits package.
We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage a diverse pool of candidates for this search. Women, people of color and professionals from outside the United States are particularly encouraged to apply.