Associate Director for Humanitarian Policy At International Rescue Committee

The Global Policy & Advocacy Department (P&A) is a dynamic team whose mission is to use the IRC’s field knowledge, role as expert witness, evidence and solutions to shift the agenda and decisions of policy makers for the benefit of our clients. The P&A team seeks to develop the IRC as a thought leader, and drive transformational change in the humanitarian sector. Specifically, we work to achieve improvements in aid effectiveness through evidence-based solutions; speak out on challenges facing the people we seek to assist; and to promote solutions for protracted displacement.

Job Overview: The Associate Director for Humanitarian Policy is responsible for developing and implementing advocacy strategies to advance the views of IRC staff in the field and the interests of the clients we serve with the the UN Secretariat agencies (Secretary-General’s Office, Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Department of Peacekeeping), UN Specialized Agencies, UN ECOSOC Humanitarian Segment, the UN General Assembly’s Humanitarian Coordination pillar and UN Security Council (UNSC) member states. As a core member of IRC’s International Programs and Aid Reform P&A Teams, the Associate Director seeks to inform and influence the international response to protracted displacement issues, and to use our extensive field and technical experience to provide thought leadership on aid reform and solutions. The Associate Director is the internal and external focal point for all matters related to the United Nations in New York and, as such, provides strategic advice and support to the International Programs Advocacy Team on matters before the UNSC (particularly with respect to Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Myanmar/Bangladesh as well as issues of international humanitarian law and civilian protection more generally).

The Associate Director for Humanitarian Policy works under the supervision and direction of the Senior Director for International Programs Policy and coordinates closely with the Director for Humanitarian Aid Policy on matters related to the UN agencies. The work of this vital role will be done in close collaboration with colleagues in New York, Washington, Geneva, London, Brussels and relevant IRC field offices.

This position requires occasional travel to Washington, DC and assigned travel to international locations.

Major Responsibilities:

•Track UNSC developments related to country priorities and conduct targeted UNSC outreach and engagement to UNSC member state missions. Analyze and report on relevant policy trends, humanitarian dimensions, and key developments within the UN Security Council and the UN Secretariat; identify opportunities and develop clear recommendations for policymakers.

•Together with colleagues, develop and implement advocacy strategies to influence policy and program approaches of donors, host governments, and humanitarian and development organizations to improve the use of aid and ensure better outcomes for people affected by forced displacement, consistent with our overall priorities and strategy on aid reform.

•Expand IRC’s policy influence within UN OCHA and with New York-based representatives of relevant UN Specialized Agencies by establishing a working rapport with senior staff, alerting OCHA and other Agencies to IRC’s concerns in various crises, and driving policy reforms to improve humanitarian action on the ground.

•Engage with policy stakeholders at the highest levels by representing the IRC at key meetings at the United Nations, including attending regular face-to-face meetings with the UN Security Council Permanent Representatives, Deputy Ambassadors, Political Officers, First and Second Counselors, Policy Experts and Humanitarian Affairs Officers.

•Represent IRC’s views in formal meetings of the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General’s Executive Office, Under-Secretary-Generals, Inter-Agency Standing Committee Principals and Working Groups, various Special Representatives to the Secretary-General, UN Special Envoys, UN Panels of Experts, and UN Special Rapporteurs.

•Liaise closely with CRRD colleagues to ensure that our global advocacy strategies and policy recommendations are rooted in the IRC’s field experience and technical expertise.

•Identify and facilitate opportunities for IRC senior leaders to build relationships with UN and UN Mission decision-makers to directly advance IRC’s thought leadership agenda.

•Communicate with journalists and speak to public audiences to showcase the work of the IRC.

•Support and assist the IRC Public Policy & Advocacy team during major initiatives, campaigns, and policy interventions by providing relevant United Nations perspectives into IRC’s strategies.

•Lead development and coordination of IRC’s engagement in major UN fora, including annual UN General Assembly meetings.

Job Requirements:


•Graduate degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, Law or International Relations

Work experience:

•6-8 years of proven experience in the humanitarian field, including significant time in representational positions, and knowledge and execution of advocacy techniques and policy analysis

•Successful experience managing high-level relationships

•Prefer direct experience with the United Nations, a UN Mission or with a peer organization doing UN-facing advocacy

•Prefer some field-based humanitarian experience

Demonstrated skills and competencies:

•Deep knowledge of humanitarian programming especially in conflict-driven settings

•Extensive knowledge of relevant UN-related processes and products, particularly: UNSC deliberations and dynamics, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, UN reform reviews, UN Agency Executive Committee deliberations, Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants

•Deep familiarity with international humanitarian law and laws of armed conflict

•Deep familiarity with leveraging points throughout UN and Member States that can be targeted to achieve policy change objectives; strong network among key Members States and NY-based UN agencies

•Knowledge of and experience working with humanitarian organizations, including relevant INGOs, think tanks and academic institutions

•Ability to think strategically, synthesize complex information and develop innovative policy and advocacy approaches

•Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate successfully with experts, high level decision-makers, and colleagues in the humanitarian and development fields

•Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives that resonate with policymakers

•Ability to travel and to work on tight deadlines

•Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues, and juggle competing demands

Working Environment: Standard office work environment. Up to 20% travel required

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June 2023
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