About Us | Careers and Internships at PHR

We recruit committed activists with a passion for human rights.

For more than 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has used science and medicine to document and call attention to mass atrocities and severe human rights violations.

PHR shared in the Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the international effort to ban land mines. A global organization founded on the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to advocate against human rights violations, PHR has expanded to include a specialized network of forensic science and public health research professionals as well.

PHR’s investigations and expertise are used to document mass atrocities, advocate for the protection of persecuted health workers and medical facilities under attack, prevent torture, and hold those who violate human rights accountable.

PHR is poised for even greater growth and impact. As part of our strategy, we are very excited to be recruiting committed activists with a passion for human rights. Our headquarters are located in New York City, and we maintain offices in Washington, DC and in Boston.

Current career opportunities are listed below. Internship opportunities are listed here.

Advocacy Coordinator
Chief Development Officer
Program Assistant
Senior Researcher

Advocacy Coordinator

PHR has developed an ambitious plan to expand its global advocacy capacity by launching a new advocacy department. As part of its new strategic plan, PHR has prioritized building a global movement of health professionals to support human rights.  As a core component of this effort, over the next three years, PHR will strengthen its impact by launching one or more global “campaigns.”  Among advocacy efforts, 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;” 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 human rights program areas, nationally and internationally in the specific countries in which PHR works.

Located in New York City and reporting to the Director of Advocacy, the Advocacy Coordinator will contribute to the development, administration and implementation of PHR’s advocacy work to that builds on and connects to our research and investigations, training and capacity development programs. The Coordinator supports PHR’s initiatives to identify, promote and address human rights issues globally. The Coordinator will help mobilize and leverage the influence of doctors, other health professionals, forensic scientists and other allied professionals and constituents worldwide to advance human rights.

Initially, a major priority will be coordinating advocacy efforts to protection and ensure accountability for international crimes against Myanmar’s Rohingya population. The Coordinator will contribute to PHR’s other areas of advocacy work and help heighten the impact of our evidence-based research and documentation of human rights violations.

Reports to: Director of Advocacy

Location: New York, NY


  • Support PHR’s international policy and advocacy strategies and implementation through research and strategic analysis of opportunities for medical evidence and voices to have an impact
  • Track global convenings of governments, thought leaders, and NGOs to position PHR documentation and advocacy voices to have impact on human rights policies practices.
  • Working under the advocacy director’s guidance, develop partnerships and regular communication with a range of professional associations and human rights organizations to engage with in advocacy on specific programs and projects
  • Seek out and maintain rosters of PHR expert advocates and develop communications to keep them informed and mobilized strategically
  • Assist with preparation for PHR meetings with government and UN officials, the NGO community, and health worker networks and associations
  • Monitor policy and related developments pertaining to the human rights programs and issues where PHR is engaged internationally and identify opportunities where PHR can strategically act alone or in alliance with others to strengthen human rights policy and practice
  • By convening internal and external experts and stakeholders, assist in development of campaigning strategies, messaging, outreach and implementation of advocacy initiatives
  • Contribute to the development of policy recommendations and associated advocacy in support of PHR research reports implicating human rights and medical ethics frameworks and obligations
  • As directed by senior advocacy staff, establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with a broad array of stakeholders including coalition and other partners and health professional constituencies, including board and other PHR volunteer subject matter experts
  • Provide subject matter input and materials necessary to draft grant proposals and grant reports for program funders to the PHR development staff
  • Publish and edit high quality content (largely online), including petitions, correspondence, research briefs and other constituency building communications

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred with studies in public health, international relations, medicine, law, social sciences, organizing, education, or related field preferable
  • At least three to five years of relevant work experience in a professional setting, advocacy and/or international human rights/public health content experience preferred
  • Strong commitment to human rights with cross-cultural experience and cultural sensitivity
  • Knowledge of international humanitarian law and international human rights law and the workings of government, human rights bodies, NGOs, and professional movements

Skills and Qualities

  • Excellent written and oral communication, editing, and database skills
  • Tech savvy and a natural problem solver
  • Creativity for campaign tactics and strategies
  • Adept at managing relationships with external stakeholders including experience convening and facilitating workshops, planning meetings and advocacy initiatives
  • Energetic self-starter with the ability to anticipate upcoming needs, with attention to detail and follow-through, able to work effectively under pressure and to prioritize and juggle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Publisher or other graphic design software is preferred
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality, and to cope with repeated exposure to graphic and disturbing content

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 email cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to resumes@phr.org. Please include the job title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email. Please indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter.

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Chief Development Officer

In concert with the executive director, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) will design, articulate, and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for the organization. This individual will fully explore PHR’s fundraising potential, with the understanding that fundraising will play a vital role in the organization’s ability to increase its impact.

The CDO will manage an experienced development team charged with developing new and creative approaches to significantly increase individual giving (major donors, membership) and ensure ongoing philanthropic support from foundations, corporations, and governments. PHR’s goal for annual fundraising in 2018 is approximately $18 million with anticipated growth of 20% per year which it has been successfully been achieving each year for the past five years.  The CDO will also be responsible for a $25M campaign which was launched with an $8 million challenge gift in 2017.

The ideal candidate will possess proven leadership, management, team building and organizational skills; a strong record of securing new donors and track record with cultivation and solicitation of major donors; experience with acquisition programs, substantial experience working with Boards; and the passion, enthusiasm, professionalism and drive to achieve ambitious fundraising goals.

In addition, PHR seeks a candidate with a strong personal commitment to human rights issues, an understanding of how to inspire and engage a group of major donors interested in promoting human rights, successfully build and engage a membership constituency and synchronize fundraising initiatives with the core mission of the organization.

The chief development officer is a member of the Executive Management Team (EMT) and works closely with the board of directors and senior staff. This position is based in PHR’s New York City headquarters. This role is currently focused on the east coast region, but PHR is eager to expand its influence on the west coast and in Europe.

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: New York, NY


  • Partner with the executive director, senior staff and Deputy CDO to establish priorities and strategies for PHR goals and objectives, implementing a comprehensive and strategic development plan aimed at supporting the organization’s mission and activities, building upon the strengths of existing development efforts, and aggressively pursuing new opportunities for funding and engagement.
  • Provide strategic leadership for PHR’s $25M capital campaign (of which $13 M has already been secured).
  • Provide overall leadership for a department of seven with three of more direct reports as well as significant consulting contracts.
  • Provide dynamic and innovative leadership for PHR’s fundraising efforts, building an infrastructure that supports short and long term goals, including the implementation of major gifts and membership programs.
  • Inspire and staff the Board in the direct solicitation of major gifts, the planning and execution of fundraising events (including the gala), and building the pipeline planning and development of a large portfolio of donors.
  • Inspire and engage a group of elite donors interested in promoting human rights.
  • Working collaboratively with Communications and Advocacy teams, initiate a major acquisition drive to develop a membership program and ultimately expand the pool of major gifts and individual donors.
  • Reinforce a culture of philanthropy among all stakeholders, from staff to volunteers to donors.
  • Guide and support programmatic staff who are engaged with fundraising. Utilize key leaders’ time and talents appropriately with respect to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship efforts.
  • Staff multiple board committees.
  • Work in close collaboration with the Communications department to enhance messaging at all levels of the organization, keeping donors and the public informed, thanked, and involved; providing vehicles for more effective Board and staff fundraising communications; and ensuring increased online giving opportunities.
  • Foster an environment that rewards new ideas and entrepreneurship, creating a culture that celebrates innovation, builds confidence, encourages teamwork, promotes diversity, and sets clear expectations for future success.
  • Plan and carefully manage the development budget, ensuring that funds are spent efficiently and effectively in support of PHR’s mission.
  • Liaise and collaborate with the director of communications on all advancement-related activities, ensuring PHR’s public face is consistent with achieving the organization’s mission and fundraising goals.
  • Work collaboratively and in coordination with other departments, including through active participation in the work of the entire EMT. Conduct effective interdepartmental communications and provide regular summaries of all development activities to PHR directors.
  • Develop and implement strategies to take advantage of PHR’s strategic plan and campaign initiatives.
  • Report regularly to the EMT and executive director on outcomes, efforts, and progress toward PHR’s fundraising goals.


  • An energetic, dynamic leader who has a 7-10 year track record of effective fundraising.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; relevant master’s degree preferred.

Skills and Experiene

  • Proven ability to identify, ultimate, solicit, and steward major gifts.
  • Ability to build a low level donor/membership program through traditional and social media channels including new donor acquisition.
  • Goal orientated with strong internal direction and motivation.
  • Strong management skills, both strategic and operations, and a demonstrated ability to build, manage, mentor, and sustain an effective team.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with senior leadership, Board members, staff, and volunteers, providing strong support and inspiring them to productive action.
  • Thoughtful and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Superior writing skills, as well as strong presentation and communication skills, with the ability to deal with sensitive human rights issues, directly and passionately, and to translate PHR’s mission and programs into fundraising initiatives that garner financial support.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a fast-­paced, diverse, and demanding environment with constantly changing priorities due to newly emerging opportunities.
  • Willingness to travel less than 15 percent.
  • Familiarity with and demonstrated commitment to international human rights is essential.

Salary & Benefits

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 resumes@phr.org, including “Chief Development Officer” in the subject line. Please indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter.

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Program Assistant

The Program Assistant’s responsibilities focus primarily on providing support for the operation of PHR’s Programs departments, and implementation of programmatic activities. Core functions of this role include providing high-quality logistic, operational, administrative and office coordination, as well as programmatic support.

Initially, the Program Assistant will primarily support PHR’s research team’s Myanmar/Rohingya crisis work and the Asylum program’s domestic asylum border work. Eventually, the Program Assistant will also help with other Programs human rights projects.

The Program Assistant reports to the Director of Programs. This is a full-time non-exempt position based in New York.

This position is grant-dependent. Under the terms of the grant, this position will start immediately and is estimated to last for up to one year. Any continuation beyond that point would be dependent upon securing additional grant-specific funding.

Reports to: Director of Programs

Location: New York, NY


Administrative Support

  • Provide administrative support such as scheduling, taking minutes at meetings, and creating and maintaining filing systems.
  • Draft letters, reports and other communications as needed.
  • Process internal financial reporting, accounting, and program expenses, and track spend-down of program expenses, including consultant contracts, purchase orders, and others.
  • Handle logistics for staff and consultant travel, including security protocols, travel logistics, travel schedules, visas and travel documents, and other necessary items.
  • Procure, maintain, and track supplies for the program, and manage and oversee complex supply inventory in multiple offices.
  • Act as Programs’ point person for management and use of data collected and stored in SalesForce.

Research Support

  • Conduct editorial tasks such as proofreading, fact checking and referencing.
  • Conduct background research on key areas of interest pertaining to human rights.
  • Monitor emerging human rights issues in those areas covered by PHR’s programs, including collecting and analyzing information from a wide range of sources such as governments, NGOs, media, and others.
  • Help develop, code and maintain program data(bases), including monitoring and evaluation (M&E) data, training participants, contacts, photographs, media coverage, and relevant literature.

Programmatic Support

  • Write objective and accurate blog posts, helping feed social media/advocacy channels, and monitor social media, in collaboration with the Communications department.
  • Liaise effectively and professionally with domestic and international human rights groups and defenders in PHR’s network as directed.
  • Help with the hiring and supervision of interns in coordination with the rest of the program team.
  • Any other general programmatic support as needed, including in the areas of training, research, and technology development.

Training Development and Capacity Building

  • Prepare and update materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and evaluation forms, for trainings and conferences, including ensuring quality control for materials produced by third-party vendors.
  • Set up distance learning sessions including webinars or workshops.
  • Assist in the development of learning content for human rights and forensics trainings.
  • Gather and evaluate training program metrics for trends and quality improvement.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree as a minimum.
  • One to two years demonstrated research, analytical, and writing experience, preferably in a human rights or other international NGO.
  • Comfortable and versatile using Google apps, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
  • Fluency in a second language is a plus.
  • Knowledge of expense-management systems, especially Concur, and use of SalesForce a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively and professionally with multiple stakeholders and organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple workflows and deliver in a timely fashion.

Skills and Qualities

  • Genuine interest in and commitment to human rights principles and values.
  • Energetic self-starter with the ability to anticipate upcoming needs and work with minimal supervision.
  • Strong analytical, writing, and verbal skills.
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Professional team player with mature judgment, strong sense of integrity and strict confidentiality.
  • Ability to cope with exposure to graphic and disturbing human rights violation content.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours in response to emerging and urgent events.


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 (including salary requirements and where you saw this posting), and resume to resumes@phr.org, including “Program Assistant – 2018” in the subject line.

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Senior Researcher

The Senior Researcher works as part of Physicians for Human Rights’ (PHR’s) Research and Investigations team in documenting and exposing war crimes and mass atrocities. The Senior Researcher will be responsible for monitoring global human rights issues, helping design and conduct rapid response and longer-term field investigations in partnership with volunteer consultant health professionals, cultivating networks of contacts among local and international stakeholders, writing reports and communications materials, and conducting advocacy briefings.

The Senior Researcher has a genuine commitment to human rights and PHR’s mission. S/he is a strong communicator with significant experience working in the field, undertaking advocacy work, and meeting tight deadlines.

Reports to: Director of Research and Investigations

Location: New York, NY

Responsibilities Include:

  • Work in partnership with staff and PHR’s extensive network of volunteer consultant health professionals to design rapid response and research projects that document and expose mass atrocities and other grave violations of human rights in target countries, through the systematic collection and analysis of information from eyewitnesses, survivors, local and international organizations, media, government officials, and other field sources
  • Draft timely, well-substantiated, and compelling reports on human rights and humanitarian rights violations conforming to PHR’s research methodology, maintaining confidentiality where appropriate, and safeguarding research data and forensic evidence
  • Write additional communications materials (i.e. briefing papers, correspondence pieces, and opinion pieces, with governments and intergovernmental agencies) stemming from research findings
  • Monitor and report on global human rights issues and emerging conflicts while contextualizing rights violations within the broader political, historical, and social environments in target countries
  • Identify advocacy opportunities and develop and implement advocacy and media strategies
  • Build and maintain networks of local and international contacts in target countries
  • Work flexible hours, travel internationally as required, and respond to crises and urgent situations
  • Carry out other duties as assigned and required

Qualifications and Experience:

  • An advanced degree in international relations, journalism, law, public health, or a related field; or equivalent experience
  • Minimum three to five years’ experience working on human rights or related issues, with extensive field and rapid response experience (within Myanmar preferred but not required)
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, and a demonstrated ability to defend and explain complex issues and translate information for a variety of audiences
  • Strong initiative and follow-through, with demonstrated ability to multi-task and work quickly under pressure and with short deadlines
  • Sound political judgment and familiarity with international human rights law, global advocacy, and international justice mechanisms
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively within PHR, as well as with local partners, government officials, and others, are essential
  • Ability to conduct interviews effectively and with sensitivity, among a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses.
  • Working knowledge of the benefits of social and other media channels in the human rights field
  • A track record of influencing decision makers and lobbying to effect change is desirable
  • Experience working and/or living outside the United States is desirable
  • Ability to display good judgement, resilience, and creativity

Skills and Qualities:

  • Oral and written fluency in English mandatory, fluency in additional languages (especially Spanish, Arabic, and/or French a plus)
  • Ability to execute multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities
  • Very detail-oriented, with ability to accurately communicate and maintain records
  • Ability to remain focused in the face of pressure and adhere to timelines
  • Skilled at communicating and comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and professional levels and experiences
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultural competency and human rights
  • A self-starter and very self-disciplined
  • Ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in organizational settings, and to build rapport
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, maturity, creativity, flexibility, passion for the program mission, patience, and a good sense of humor
  • Ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally with multiple stakeholders and organizations


Commensurate with experience.

How to Apply:

Please send a cover letter (with required compensation) and resume to resumes@phr.org, including “Senior Researcher” in the subject line. Please indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter. The deadline is rolling, but applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

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