Careers and Internships at PHR | Advocacy Associate

Advocacy Associate

Location: This position is usually located in our headquarters in New York City, but is remote while offices remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Classification: Full-time 40 hours per week| Non-Exempt

Work Authorization: Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.

Organization Description

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a preeminent international advocacy and research organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. For more than 30 years, PHR has mobilized a community of clinicians and human rights professionals to advance human rights, public health, and social justice across the globe. In this time, it has become a trailblazer in its field, leading landmark investigations into crimes against humanity, and earning a 1997 Nobel Prize for its investigation of the health impact of land mines in Cambodia. PHR has also exposed the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq, exhumed mass graves in Bosnia and Rwanda for international tribunals and provided evidence for criminal investigations into torture and extrajudicial executions.

Today, PHR is on the front lines of the most pressing human rights crises of our time, from the coup in Myanmar, to U.S. police violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The last year has only highlighted the critical importance of using science-based approaches to safeguard human rights, most particularly those of women and children, immigrants, refugees, detainees, and other populations at risk.

Reports to: Deputy Director of Advocacy

Role Description

Located in New York City and reporting to the Deputy Director of Advocacy, the Advocacy Associate will support PHR’s U.S. and global advocacy efforts that build on and connect to PHR’s research and investigations, training and capacity development, and network-building initiatives. The Advocacy Associate will work with the Deputy Director of Advocacy and the Advocacy Team to help mobilize and leverage the influence of health care workers, forensic scientists, and other medical professionals to advance human rights advocacy campaigns.

Initially, a major priority for the Advocacy Associate will be leading an effort to implement Salesforce—a contact relationship management tool—as part of a broader effort to map, engage with, and build from PHR’s relationships in the government, medical, and civil society sectors. The Advocacy Associate will also help build, manage, and improve the processes and procedures for conducting the day-to-day work of the advocacy department.


  • Conduct and facilitate relationship mapping and engagement by leading the advocacy department’s implementation, adoption, use, and maintenance of Salesforce and relevant government relations tools.
  • Write and edit high-quality advocacy content, including petitions, letters, meeting requests, research briefs, factsheets, and other constituency-building communications.
  • Help develop and implement PHR’s advocacy strategies with a focus on identifying and following through on opportunities for PHR’s medical evidence and voices to have an impact.
  • Help build, manage, and improve the processes and procedures for the advocacy department.
  • Under the supervision of department team members, track and engage with the U.S. federal government and Congress, the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization, other international and regional governing bodies, thought leaders, international professional associations, and international NGOs to position PHR’s research, training and capacity-building initiatives, and voices from PHR’s network to have impact on human rights law, policies and practices.
  • Under the supervision of department team members, help develop and maintain coalitions, working groups, and partnerships with a range of professional associations and human rights organizations to advance PHR’s domestic and international advocacy.
  • Attend or help other PHR staff prepare for meetings with national and international governmental 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.
  • Help implement campaign strategies and tactics through targeted messaging, convenings of internal and external experts and stakeholders, and outreach and engagement with medical health professionals and experts.
  • Contribute to the development of policy recommendations for PHR research reports and other products implicating human rights and medical ethics frameworks and obligations.
  • Provide to the PHR development staff input and materials necessary to draft grant proposals and grant reports for program donors.
  • Help develop and implement strategies, plans, and tactics for advocacy with PHR’s Student Advisory Board and chapters.
  • Coordinate and help manage the advocacy department’s hiring of and engagement with interns.

Skills and Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, international relations, pre-medicine, law, social sciences, education, psychology, or other related field.
  • At least one to three years of relevant work experience in advocacy, international human rights, or public health.
  • Strong commitment to human rights with cross-cultural experience and cultural sensitivity.
  • Familiarity with international humanitarian and human rights law and policy and the workings of government, human rights bodies, NGOs, and professional associations.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Tech savvy and a creative problem solver.
  • Adept at managing relationships with colleagues and external stakeholders.
  • Experience convening and facilitating workshops, coalition meetings, and advocacy meetings preferred.
  • Energetic self-starter: ability to anticipate upcoming needs, work effectively under pressure with attention to detail, and prioritize and juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Advanced knowledge of Salesforce or other contact management database systems desired.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality, and to cope with repeated exposure to graphic and disturbing content.
  • Beyond English, fluency in one or more of French, Arabic, Chinese, or another official language of the United Nations preferred.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for the Advocacy Associate position starts at $43,000 per year and may be adjusted commensurate with experience.

PHR offers competitive employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation.

More information about Physicians for Human Rights can be found at

How to Apply

Please combine your cover letter and resume as a pdf or word document and send it to Indicate your “Last Name/First Name, Advocacy Associate” in the email subject line.

A complete application consists of:

  • A thoughtful cover letter explaining why you are qualified for/interested in the Advocacy Associate position with PHR. 
  • Resume/curriculum vitae.

Only complete applications in the format requested sent to will be considered.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer. We recruit and hire without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, prior conviction, arrest history, disability, marital status, veteran status, or age.