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Advocacy Director

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) seeks a dynamic, visionary, and proven leader to establish and direct a new advocacy department. The director will craft and implement a strategy that will further build and engage a vast network of health professionals, worldwide promoting human rights.

In this new leadership position, the advocacy director will develop and implement a holistic strategy to further leverage the influence of doctors, other health professionals, forensic scientists and allied professionals worldwide to advance human rights. The advocacy department will seek to build a movement; leverage strategic global partnerships; mobilize constituencies; and develop and deploy creative, strategic, data-driven strategies including campaigns to impact policies and practices worldwide. The director will also help to nurture a strong culture of advocacy throughout the entire organization.

Over the next three years, PHR will strengthen its impact by launching global “campaigns” to advance its human rights agenda, including through advocacy in partnerships and coalitions.  More specifically, PHR will advocate to protect health workers and facilities increasingly targeted in conflicts and during civil unrest; respond to instances where health professionals participate or are complicit in human rights abuses and violate their oaths to “do no harm;” aspire to build a movement of resistance and change practices within the medical community; and develop and implement creative strategies for achieving policy recommendations across a spectrum of PHR’s program areas, internationally and in the specific countries in which PHR works.

The advocacy director will be a member of the executive management team, and report to the executive director.

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: New York, NY


  • As part of the executive management team, contribute to steering the overall strategic direction of the organization and development of our team.
  • Develop a strategy and create a data- and impact-driven advocacy program that is consistent with PHR’s mission and comparative advantage, and is integrated throughout all of PHR’s work.
  • Strategically build and sustain an expanded and engaged constituency within the medical and scientific community and relevant professional associations to help inspire many more human rights advocates and activists.
  • Craft an agenda and identify key PHR issues suited to large-scale campaigns; with partners, develop and implement innovative campaign strategies (large and small) – with particular attention to digital campaigns/social media efforts – in order to further local, national, and international policy goals and shape narratives and practices, both to prevent violations and advance human rights.
  • Work with program and communications teams to ensure that an impact-driven and integrated advocacy approach runs throughout all of PHR’s work. Help determine advocacy targets at the inception of all programs and projects and measure impact.
  • Identify, inspire, and support a group of experts from the medical/health field who can serve as advocates, with a goal toward creating a more visible and highly powerful voice for human rights.
  • Identify and cultivate key relationships with policy officials, human rights coalitions, and other relevant medical and scientific organizations/associations and individuals to promote and further PHR’s mission.
  • Represent PHR before global media, and at key conferences and meetings.
  • Recruit, hire and inspire a top-rate advocacy team.
  • Manage departmental budget; contribute to fundraising efforts.


  • Advanced degree or the equivalent combination of education and experience 
  • Minimum 10 years’ policy, advocacy, and/or campaign experience, with demonstrated ability to develop and manage effective global advocacy strategies, including through mobilizing constituencies
  • A proven fluency in and social and digital media – including experience working with digital marketing and other list-building platforms
  • Strong management, communication and leadership skills
  • Proven track record in building and sustaining constituencies, partnerships, and alliances to affect change and provide financial resources
  • A strong interest in working with health professionals worldwide
  • Comfortable dealing with the media
  • Keen political instincts and the ability to identify emerging human rights issues particularly those ripe for mobilizing partners and professional organizations
  • Creative, resourceful, strategic, sound judgment, and sense of humor
  • Effective and inclusive leader comfortable working in cross-cultural settings
  • Works best in a team-centered environment
  • Ability to translate complex, technical issues into accessible language for wider audiences
  • A passion for human rights
  • Willingness to undertake domestic and international travel

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in New York City. Salary is commensurate with experience. PHR offers comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter (with compensation requirements) and resume to, including "Advocacy Director, ADV-16-004" in the subject line.

About Physicians for Human Rights

A Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, PHR was founded on the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to prevent human rights violations. PHR’s investigations and expertise are used to document mass atrocities and other severe human rights violations, including torture and sexual violence, advocate for persecuted health workers, and hold those who violate human rights accountable. PHR has worked in more than 60 countries and territories, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, and the United States.

PHR is poised for greater growth and impact—particularly given receipt of an $8 million challenge grant from the Open Society Foundation, fueling investment in expanded advocacy efforts and impact at a time the world needs a more robust human rights movement.

For more information about PHR, please see our website at

PHR is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. PHR encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

Date Posted: July 20, 2017