Director Middle East and North Africa Division
How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by March 16, 2020 by visiting our online job portal at https://careers.hrw.org/. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
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Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.
Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) advances human rights worldwide. We investigate wrongs, expose the facts, offer solutions, and challenge those with power to respect rights. We collaborate with people claiming their rights, learn from partners, and engage the public. Human Rights Watch upholds the freedoms and defends the protections that promote dignity, equality, and justice.
Our 500 staff based in more than 50 countries conduct research into human rights abuses, publicize our findings, and advocate for change; we raise money to sustain our work, ensure our security, and manage a complex operations environment.
That mission is as urgent as it has ever been, and it faces complex new challenges. We must contend with the failures of governments to meet their obligations on water, land, education, and food. We must respond to conflict and crisis on an extraordinary scale, and we must confront the persistence of repression around the world. Climate change, the resurgence of authoritarian populism, rapidly advancing technologies, and the effects of deep inequality all compound these threats to rights. Innovation, efficiency, and diversity are critical to our success in meeting these challenges, and to delivering sustained impact.
HRW’s guiding principles include independence, accurate and fair fact-finding, an impact orientation, and engagement with partners. Our core internal values include transparency, diversity and inclusion, learning and trust, safety and resilience, and accountability.
Human Rights Watch is seeking an outstanding human rights professional to lead its Middle East and North Africa division, one of its six regional research programs.
The MENA Director should be a strong manager and a persuasive communicator and advocate in the field of international human rights. They should have proven dedication to the defense and advancement of human rights and deep knowledge of research methodologies and of human rights issues in the MENA region.
The MENA director is responsible for ensuring the production of research, communications, and advocacy materials that can serve to promote and defend human rights in the MENA region by generating domestic and international pressure to curb human rights violations. Along with other members of the MENA management team they are responsible for the day to day management and supervision of MENA’s staff, setting priorities, overseeing and guiding research plans, editing research products, ensuring security of staff, information and partners, managing risk, and responding to opportunities for impact.
The MENA director must lead and motivate the MENA division’s 30 plus staff, most of them based in the region, many working in challenging environments, in different time zones and with different work weeks. They must demonstrate the ability and commitment to foster the safety and resilience of staff, to promote diversity and inclusion, to build consensus with staff around confronting key challenges and taking on new research and advocacy approaches, and to ensure the highest research standards in a culture of learning, trust, teamwork, and collaboration.
The MENA Director reports to the program office and leads a MENA management team consisting of three deputies and a communications director. The position will preferably be based in an HRW office in the MENA region (Beirut, Amman or Tunis), but may also be based in New York, Washington DC, or one of HRW’s European offices.
- Provide the leadership, vision, and priorities for the MENA division.
- In collaboration with relevant internal and external partners, oversee and develop research, advocacy, and communications plans on human rights issues in MENA countries and in the region. Ensure that plans include clear goals and benchmarks, and that they align with the broader strategic plan and programmatic priorities of the organization;
- Oversee and manage the production of reports and other advocacy materials and ensure these materials generate domestic and international pressure to curb human rights violations. Help to ensure that all materials adhere to the organization’s standards and are appropriately vetted.
- In collaboration with Program Office and Operations Department, lead overall management of MENA staff and operations, spread across several countries and time zones. Monitor well-being of MENA staff as it pertains to stress and resilience issues and self-care, and work collaboratively with MENA staff in addressing the challenges and opportunities in the region.
- Manage budget setting and spending priorities, in co-operation with the Finance Department, and regularly monitor the MENA budget and ensure that resources are allocated to maximize impact;
- Collaborate with the Development Department on fundraising, providing requested information and draft reports to donors in a timely manner, promoting the work of HRW as a whole, and actively soliciting and following up with potential new donors to achieve program-specific fundraising goals;
- Respond to and/or anticipate relevant news events in order to frame developing news stories through a human rights prism, advise senior management on effective responses and advocacy, and project a human rights perspective into coverage of developing news events globally, regionally, and nationally;
- Represent the organization regularly in the international media on MENA issues and advocate with high-level officials from governments, the UN, the EU, and other relevant international and regional organizations;
- Foster and strengthen partnerships with other human rights actors and lead our collaboration in the human rights movement;
- Ensure the safety and resilience of staff, information security, and security of interlocutors and partners in their work with HRW; ensure that staff receive appropriate training in security policies and procedures, and that relevant policies and procedures are implemented effectively; and oversee the security of offices under direct program supervision;
- Lead, motivate, and mentor direct reports. Communicate clear expectations, set performance objectives, provide regular and timely constructive feedback, ensure balanced workload, and provide guidance on professional growth.
- Promote an inclusive and positive work environment including by soliciting diverse points of views, encouraging staff to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and proactively addressing bias, discrimination, and microaggressions;
- Work collaboratively with all departments and divisions to ensure operational effectiveness, efficiency, and impact;
- Perform other responsibilities as required.
The successful candidate will be a thoughtful, collaborative, and strategic leader with deep knowledge and experience of the MENA region and at least 1o years of relevant experience in international human rights or related work, including investigations, reporting, and advocacy, and with at least five years in a senior management position, preferably one that involved both managing down and up within an organization or institution.
Education and Experience: A graduate degree or equivalent work experience in international relations, law, journalism, social sciences, or a related field is required. A minimum of ten years of relevant work experience is required, with at least five years in a management position.
Required Qualifications / Skills
- Extensive knowledge of human rights issues in the MENA region, excellent political judgment, and ability to identify trends.
- Relevant international field experience and familiarity with human rights research methodologies.
- Recognized management experience, including supervising a team of talented professionals in multiple global locations.
- Ability to identify critical human rights challenges and opportunities and formulate strategy.
- Track record of dealing with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists.
- Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions to intergovernmental bodies as well as staff, including senior officials
- Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with local partners, government officials and external media partners.
- Track record of identifiable and measurable successes in managing and advising on complex projects, implementing operational change, conducting monitoring and evaluation, and ensuring high-quality deliverables.
- Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
Desirable Qualifications / Skills
- Track record of, and passion for, being a collaborative team player who can empathetically engage with staff across levels and jurisdictions.
- Ability to coach colleagues to understand stakeholders’ perspectives and to handle high-level stakeholder challenges.
- Fluency in Arabic or another major MENA language is strongly preferred.
Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW offers a relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.