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Program Assistant – Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) launched the Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones Program, a multi-year training and advocacy initiative in 2011, with the aim of forging coalitions among regional medical, law enforcement, and legal experts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. The goal of the program is to increase local capacity for the collection of court-admissible evidence of sexual violence to support local and international prosecutions of these crimes. The program draws on PHR’s extensive expertise in documenting war crimes and providing forensic training to professionals in regions of conflict where mass crimes have been committed.

The program assistant oversees the program’s daily operations for primarily, but not exclusively, U.S.-based activities and supports the program director and the rest of the program team with operational tasks including logistics, travel, expense and budget tracking, communications, outreach, meeting coordination, and curricula production. The program assistant works closely with the program officer, in-country coordinators, and other team members to assist with training logistics, network support, and other ongoing initiatives.

This is a full-time position starting immediately. The position is based in Boston.

Reports to: Director of the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Location: Boston, MA

Responsibilities Include:

  • Handling all operational and administrative tasks for PHR staff and consultants working with the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, including arranging flights, obtaining visas, reserving lodging, scheduling meetings, and creating and distributing briefing documents
  • Selecting and supervising program interns, both undergraduate and graduate students, on daily tasks as well as long-term projects in coordination with the rest of the program team
  • Managing internal financial reporting, accounting, and program expenses for both U.S.-based and field-based expenses, and refining a system of best practices for financial reporting, in collaboration with the finance department and in-country coordinators
  • Working with the finance department to arrange for fund transfers, wires and checks, and reimbursements, including using expense-management systems
  • Tracking programmatic expenses across several complex grant budgets, and refining best practices for grant tracking and reporting, in collaboration with the development department
  • Assisting with curriculum development through editing, formatting, and overall quality control to ensure that all materials are professional and error-free
  • Procuring, maintaining, and tracking medical, forensic, and other supplies for the program, and managing and overseeing complex supply inventory in multiple offices
  • Preparing and updating printed materials for trainings and conferences, including ensuring quality control for materials produced by third-party vendors
  • Liaising with and supporting, as needed, the monitoring & evaluation consultant by tracking requested data points, arranging meetings, and updating logic models
  • Assisting with outreach to training participants, partners, collaborators, and other external stakeholders
  • Writing blog posts, helping feed social media/advocacy channels, and monitoring social media, in collaboration with the communications department
  • Translating correspondence and program materials from French to English/English to French
  • Creating and maintaining a well-organized file structure and document management system on the PHR server to store all curricula and programmatic materials, and managing versions as materials are developed and updated
  • Any other general programmatic support as needed, including in the areas of training, research, and technology development

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum 2 years of experience in professional setting required, preferably in a human rights or other international NGO
  • Fluency in spoken and written French required
  • Strong interest in and commitment to human rights is essential
  • Interest in Central and East Africa and/or in sexual violence an asset
  • Familiarity with linkages between health and human rights
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Office Suite, especially Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Knowledge of expense-management systems, especially Concur, a plus


  • Exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously while maintaining equilibrium
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally in a multi-faceted, fast-paced, high pressure environment
  • Ability to maintain professionalism, discretion, and strict confidentiality
  • Energetic self-starter with the ability to anticipate upcoming needs and work with minimal supervision
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Significant cross-cultural experience and cultural sensitivity
  • Capacity to manage relationships with external stakeholders

How to apply:

Please email cover letter (with salary requirement) and resume to resumes [at] phrusa [dot] org. Include the job title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

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: May 5, 2015