The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is one of the world’s largest international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (INGO), at work in more than 40 countries and more than 25 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. A force for humanity, IRC employees delivers lasting impact by restoring safety, dignity and hope to millions. If you’re a solutions-driven, passionate change-maker, come join us in positively impacting the lives of millions of people world-wide for a better future.

IRC’s Technical Excellence team is comprised of five teams or sector “Units” which have deep expertise in their respective fields: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, and Violence Prevention and Response, as well as teams which provide measurement and finance/grant management support. Technical teams are also matrixed with a team that focuses on the quality and content of cross-sectoral programming in emergency responses.

IRC’s Technical Excellence teams offer five core services to IRC country programs and the wider organization:

1. Program Design: We support country and regional teams to design state of the art programming, incorporating the best available evidence, cost data, and expertise of what has worked elsewhere, with the knowledge that country teams, partner organizations and our clients bring to the table.

2. Quality Assurance: We partner with our measurement teams to design and drive the use of indicators to measure progress towards outcomes; we partner with regional and country teams to review program delivery progress and help address implementation challenges and adapt interventions to changed circumstances.

3. Business Development: We partner within and outside the IRC to design winning bids and identify winning consortia; we deploy technical expertise in public events and private meetings to position IRC as a partner of choice.

4. Research & Learning: We partner with our research lab to design cutting edge research to fill evidence gaps, and with country teams to learn from implementation such that we continuously improve our future design and delivery.

5. External Influence: We showcase the IRC’s programs, technical insights and learning in order to influence and improve the humanitarian sector’s policy and practice.

Technical Excellence is currently going through a change process called “Regional and Technical Alignment. “We are doing this to ensure that the impact of our programs and the influence of our ideas create meaningful change for people affected by crisis. This next phase of IRC’s commitment to program quality will more deliberately resource and link global thought leadership with practice on the ground. Updated Technical Unit structures will have new roles with clearer mandates. The Global Practice Lead is a new leadership role introduced by this change process.

The Violence Prevention and Response Unit at the IRC –

The Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU) is one of IRC’s five Technical Units alongside Health, Education, Economy Recovery and Development and Governance. Technical Units provide support to our country programs in the design, delivery, quality assurance and continuous learning for programs advancing the outcomes areas the IRC supports and driving thought leadership around those areas of work.

Programming addressing violence, abuse and exclusion in crisis situations represents the organisation’s second largest programmatic portfolio.

The VPRU brings together the disciplines of Child Protection, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, and Protection- Rule of Law. We seek to reduce people’s vulnerability to violence and support them to recover from the consequences of violence through programs tailored to individual needs and contexts, as well as strategies addressing systemic gaps which contribute to the perpetuation and exacerbation of violence in crisis and conflict environments. Our prevention work focuses on programs that shift power dynamics, promote human rights, and empower people affected by violence and inequality to transform their future. Our response work focuses on ensuring lifesaving and survivor-centered services for people affected by violence and inequality in all their diversity. We work with the people most at risk and seek to address the needs of populations of all ages and backgrounds through a context-relevant, client-centered, intersectional approach.

We also know from evidence and experience that in most contexts women and children are disproportionally impacted by unequal power, and therefore those at greatest risk of violence. For this reason, we are committed to specialized approaches for these populations.

To advance IRC’s delivery of Violence Prevention and Response programming across over 45 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America, we rely on team of more than 70 professionals committed to provide best-of-class expertise, evidence-based insights based on continued attention to sectoral developments and learning from cross-regional programming insights in order to realize our ambitions for safer, more inclusive lives for our clients. They are supported in this by an intentional and strategic use of research and evidence, a commitment to the highest quality standards and continued engagement in industry-wide development including coordination mechanism, policy to promote innovation and high-impact, cost-efficient interventions. We partner with IRC country program teams and local actors to create and capture innovations in protection programming which can be used by humanitarian actors to improve the protection and empowerment of women and girls, children and adolescents, people with disabilities, with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) and other people at risk.

Job Overview

The Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE) Global Practice Lead is the organizational leader on Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention and response as well as women’s and girls’ empowerment for the Crisis Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD) department and is a core member of the Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU) senior management team. They are responsible for devising and leading strategies to raise the quality, impact, and scale of IRC’s WPE programming.

The WPE Global Practice Lead will ensure the scope, quality, and relevance of global technical standards, including the generation and promotion of evidence in their technical area. They will closely collaborate with Regional Leads, Technical Advisors, and Technical Coordinators in promoting technical best practice in CRRD programming. They will facilitate Technical Unit-led and high impact strategic business development by providing excellent technical insights and developing and maintaining strategic relationships and networks. In line with the Safety Strategy, the WPE Global Practice Lead will lead strategic planning for the practice area. The WPE Global Practice Lead reports to the Senior Director, Violence Prevention and Response and may manage highly specialized experts/specialists colleagues to generate global evidence and best practice as their portfolio requires.

This role provides overall leadership to policy, sectoral coordination, advocacy, learning and innovation for Women’s Protection and Empowerment. It involves representing the IRC in key external engagements and global policy spaces, maintaining strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders and movements, and relevant networks and campaigns globally.

This role advances IRC’s work in support of prioritizing women and girls’ protection programing in emergencies, supporting necessary system adaptations and changes, amplifying emerging learning, spearheading sector-wide transformative shifts towards more inclusive, localized, evidence-based programing.

The WPE Global Practice Lead will help to frame strong collective positioning across Women’s Protection and Empowerment priorities, building consensus and supporting learning and the generation of knowledge across the IRC and the wider Protection sector, in support of realizing the Centrality of Protection in humanitarian programming.

A key aim of this role is to encourage coherence between IRC’s work at local, national, and international levels, seeking to consolidated gains, promote high-impact strategies and policy influencing work. In collaboration with the Airbel Research Lab and the Policy & Solutions/Advocacy & Influence teams, the WPE Global Practice Lead will advance ground-breaking research and advocacy work. Close coordination with the Deputy Director of VPRU will ensure local learning feeds into global positioning, advocacy, and mobilization.

The WPE Global Practice lead will develop a strong collaborative relationship with the Global Leads for Child Protection, and Protection Rule of Law, as well as counterparts in the Health, Economic Recovery and Development, Education and Governance in support of enhanced, integrated protection programming, supporting the overall coherence of IRC’s strategic priorities.

The WPE Global Practice Lead will lead and coordinate strategic resource mobilization and oversee management of innovation and strategic projects falling within the purview of the role.

Major Responsibilities

Strategy, Program Design and Business Development

• Act as the organizational leader for CRRD in Women’s Protection and Empowerment internally and externally

• Lead strategic direction for WPE in line with the organizational global strategy (both S100 and Safety Strategy)

• Responsible for identifying global areas of programmatic risk in WPE and elevating issues to Regional Leads and VPRU leadership.

• Collaborate with other Global Practice Leads to promote integrated program designs within WPE and across all IRC sectors that increase scale and deepen impact.

• Lead and ensure coordination of contributions by regional leads, technical advisors, and global specialists, to identify and action programmatic synergies across global practice areas.

• Lead Technical Unit led global business development for WPE and support strategic project proposals.

• Lead coordination with AMU to drive fundraising from Public and Institutional donors and with ER to drive fundraising from Private donors to meet VPRU’s strategic priorities related to WPE.

• Oversee Technical Unit-led strategic awards in WPE, working closely with regional Technical Advisors as applicable and the Grant Operations and Analytics Team

• Line manage global practice area and strategic project staff, and manage in partnership other roles as applicable.

Global Practice Implementation Support

• Responsible for drawing on evidence-based best practice to provide technical oversight of IRC’s global technical standards, methodologies, and tools for WPE.

• Accountable for the development of a limited number of high-value tools and methodologies to better integrate cross-cutting issues into WPE programs (e.g., diversity and inclusion, climate adaptation, etc.).

• Accountable for establishing information and knowledge management systems that support Regional Leads and Technical Advisors in staying up to date on global technical standards, methodologies, and tools.

• Establish competency framework for WPE and work closely with Regional Leads to identify competency gaps and drive capacity strengthening.

• Accountable for ensuring Technical Advisors and Technical Coordinators have the tools and resources that are needed to measure programs in Practice Area.

• Support Technical Advisors and Technical Coordinators with thorny technical problems, career planning support, and mentorship, as appropriate.

Research, Data, Knowledge Management, and Organizational Learning

• Accountable for establishing and maintaining a Community of Practice and other channels for WPE to ensure pro-active and inclusive management with sustained learning, development, innovation, and best practice sharing.

• Coordinate with Regional Leads and Technical Advisors to lift up program learning for cross-sharing and incorporation into global best practice.

• Oversee Technical Unit-led strategic awards for WPE, working closely with regional Technical Advisors as applicable and the Grant Operations and Analytics Team

• Guide research and evidence use efforts for WPE programming, working closely with colleagues and leaders in Airbel, the VPR Technical Unit, other technical units, and regional colleagues.

• Provide technical inputs to WPE-specific MEAL tools and methodologies, and support data interpretation in learning routines.

External Influence, Relationships and Representation

• Act as a key strategic advisor to Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation, and External Relations teams on advocacy campaigns and priority policy and practice shifts related to WPE programming.

• Responsible for identification, development, and maintenance of strategic relationships and global partnerships with relevant stakeholders (e.g. donors, UN agencies, NGOs, research and educational institutions, private sector actors) related to WPE.

• Represent IRC in external forums as relevant.

Key Working Relationships

**• Position Reports to:**Senior Director, VPRU, CRRD Technical Excellence

• Direct Reports: Global practice area and strategic project staff

• Management in partnership: Technical Advisors to be determined

Key Internal Relationships:

• VPRU Deputy Director

• VPR Regional Leads across 6 regions, and regional WPE Technical Advisors

• Global Practice Leads for Child Protection and Protection – Rule of Law

• Prevention and Inclusion Advisers

• VPRU Policy and Advocacy Lead and WPE Policy Officer

• VPRU Business Development and Partnership Lead

• Policy Solutions, Advocacy Influence, and Systems Change Global Teams

• CRRD Senior Management Team and Leadership Group; Regional Leadership Teams

• Global HQ and AMU focal points

• Key External Relationships: GBV AoR/Global Protection Cluster leads and stakeholders, INGOs, Red Cross/Crescent Movement counterparts, International Protection Coordination Platforms and Coalitions, Donor and policy makers, GBV counterparts in relevant UN agencies.

Desired Experience and Skills

• Established or growing recognition as an expert in the practice area, at regional or global level, with a minimum of 12+ years of progressive experience of designing, leading and implementing programs with 7+ years in the GBV/Women’s Protection and Empowerment

• Strong track record of driving uptake of evidence-based practice

• Demonstrated experience in sectoral strategy design and planning.

• Experience with sectoral policy and advocacy efforts and campaigns for change (as relevant)

• Excellent communication, influencing, and storytelling skills.

• Excellent management and leadership skills including coaching, mentoring, and performance management.

• Demonstrated ability to identify and convert business development opportunities for self and staff.

• Demonstrated ability to influence across a wide range of diverse stakeholders internally and externally.

• Demonstrated ability to shape the vision and agenda within the domain area they are working.

• Ability to work, manage, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment; outstanding business acumen, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills required.

• Superb inter-personal, written and verbal communication skills with ability to collaborate across countries, cultures, and departments.

• Track record of scaled innovations preferred, ideally including experience working on both digital and analog solutions.

• Fluency in English required; Arabic, French and/or Spanish also strongly preferred.

• Ability to travel globally up to 25% of the time, occasionally on short notice.

**Education:**Master’s/post-graduate degree in International Law, Human Rights Law, international development or relevant field or equivalent combination of education and work experience background is required. Sound training on the use of data and research evidence for programmatic decisions and rigorous analytic skills are an advantage.


Posted pay ranges apply to US and UK-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

US Benefits:

The IRC offers a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. All US employees are eligible for sick time, a 403b retirement savings plans: up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus an 3-7% additional IRC contribution, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

In addition, full-time employees are eligible for 10 US paid holidays, 20-25 paid time off days, disability & life insurance, medical, dental, and vision insurance (employee contribution starting at $135, $7, and $5 per month respectively) and FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs. Part-time employees are eligible for a proportionate amount of paid time off. These additional benefits apply to employees who work at least 6 months within a 12 month time period.

Standard of Professional Conduct: The IRC and the IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – our Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability, and Equality.

Commitment to Gender, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: The IRC is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and safe work environment where all persons are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. The IRC expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or bullying of the IRC persons in any work setting. We aim to increase the representation of women, people that are from country and communities we serve, and people who identify as races and ethnicities that are under-represented in global power structures.