Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Advocate at Refugees International

Director of Regional Programs

PURPOSE:The Advocate is the core program position at the staff level for Refugees International. Advocates travel three to four times a year to regions and countries experiencing humanitarian crises and carry out assessments of the level and causes of displacement. These assessments involve interviews and discussions with displaced persons, UN and NGO personnel, and government officials. Upon completion of the assessment missions, Advocates are responsible for documenting their findings in concise policy reports, and devising and carrying out an advocacy strategy to advance their recommendations.

  • In conjunction with a mission team member, conduct assessments of humanitarian crises and the level and causes of displacement as well as make recommendations for improving humanitarian assistance. Assess the impact of crises on particular individuals and communities through interviews with the displaced. Conduct interviews with other individuals knowledgeable about the situation, including NGO staff and United Nations and government officials.
  • Summarize analysis of humanitarian crises and how to address them in concise policy pieces called field reports.
  • Devise and carry out an advocacy strategy to assure the implementation of recommendations published in the field report. Work closely with colleagues, including the President, Director of Regional Programs and Director of Policy and Advocacy, to develop and carry out the agreed strategy.
  • Hold frequent meetings with U.S. government officials, UN personnel, and other stakeholders to advance the overall advocacy agenda of the organization and to carry out a plan of action related to a particular region.
  • Write additional material for RI’s website; draft statements for Congressional hearings and briefings in consultation with the Government Relations Advocate and Communications team.
  • Develop media contacts, conduct interviews and contribute blogs for the agency’s website as needed to advance the advocacy agenda of the organization.
  • Represent the agency at coordination meetings organized by NGOs, the U.S. government, the UN, think tanks, and other relevant institutions; lead the organizations coalition work on assigned regions and countries.
  • Collaborate with fellow advocates and other RI staff to advance agency thinking on key issues and to support achievement of the agency’s mission.
  • Collaborate with the Development Department on fund raising efforts by drafting segments of grant proposals, meeting donors, drafting/contributing to progress reports, helping to organize Board and donor missions, and giving public talks on refugee issues.
  • Perform other desk-based research as necessary, when not on mission.
  • Perform other reasonably related duties as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s degree in international humanitarian affairs, political science, human rights, Middle East and/or African studies; Master’s degree preferred; five years or more professional experience involving some combination of overseas work, preferably with refugees/internally displaced persons or in crisis situations; experience working for US based NGOs and/or direct experience with US advocacy and US policy highly desirable; experience in the Horn of Africa extremely advantageous.
  • Familiarity with the key agencies of the international humanitarian system, including the OCHA cluster system and funding mechanisms.
  • Good communication skills, especially clear writing and public speaking.
  • Familiarity with digital photography and digital videography very useful.
  • English language fluency required, and Arabic and Swahili language skills desired.
  • Ability to work well with others in small teams.
  • Willingness to travel to unsafe and isolated places with limited external support.
  • Flexibility and sense of humor. 
Apply by 2 September 2011 by sending a message to Please insert "Advocate Horn" in the subject line and include a cover letter, CV, and writing sample. Only finalists will be contacted. Salary commensurate with experience.

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