Careers and Internships at PHR | Asylum Program Associate

Asylum Program 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 | Nonexempt

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

Organization Description

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. We investigate and document abuses, give voice to survivors and witnesses, and plant seeds of reconciliation by ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their crimes. PHR uses our core disciplines – science, medicine, forensics, and public health – to inform our research and investigations and to strengthen the skills of frontline human rights defenders. We work closely with hundreds of partners around the world, using facts to wage effective advocacy and campaigning and providing critical scientific evidence so that survivors can seek justice.

PHR, which shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for our work to end the scourge of landmines, is poised for even greater growth and impact. As part of that strategy, we are seeking committed activists with a passion for human rights.

Role Description

Reporting to the senior asylum officer and coordinating with the asylum officer, we seek a program associate to join our team. This is an ideal opportunity for someone starting a career in the human rights field who possesses at least one year of experience in a professional setting.

As the asylum associate, you will support the daily operations of PHR programs by carrying out tasks including client and new volunteer screening, outreach to clinicians, clinic management, liaising with legal partners, and administrative support as needed.

You will play a central role in managing a volunteer network of more than 2,200 clinicians around the country to support hundreds of asylum seekers per year and will have opportunities to learn about human rights documentation and advocacy.

Reports to: Senior Officer, Asylum Program


  • Serve as chief liaison between programmatic staff, volunteer clinicians, and external legal partners, including on-boarding new volunteers, screening new client requests from attorneys, and conducting outreach and placement on forensic evaluation cases.
  • Manage medical school asylum clinics and advise the PHR student advisory board on PHR asylum program policies and best practices, as well as on clinic trainings.
  • Work in collaboration with program officers on program reporting and monitor programmatic data to assess progress towards quarterly and annual goals.
  • Work creatively to establish program efficiencies through technology, including Salesforce and Form Assembly.
  • Work with the finance department to manage and track programmatic expenditure, including submitting purchase orders and administering reimbursements.
  • Work with the development team to provide input to grant proposals.
  • Write blog posts, asylum network newsletters, and other content, and have opportunities to work on research and policy briefs.
  • Assist in the hiring and supervision of interns.
  • Respond promptly to queries and requests for information from PHR colleagues and external parties to the asylum program.
  • Handle administrative tasks for PHR’s asylum team as needed, ranging from processing research data to logistics support for staff or clinician travel or trainings.
  • Carry out all responsibilities in a timely manner to a high standard and consistent with the mission of PHR and the strategy of the program department.
  • Carry out any other tasks as required.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • At least one year of relevant work experience.
  • Outstanding organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through a must.
  • Energetic self-starter and proven ability to work effectively under deadlines.
  • Strong professional communications skills a must; proven experience with Salesforce database a plus.
  • Immigration paralegal experience or other experience related to immigrants’ rights and asylum law a plus.
  • A strong team player who demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills, maturity, creativity, flexibility, passion for the program mission, and a good sense of humor.
  • Proficiency with Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint required.
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultural competency and human rights. Comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally with multiple stakeholders and organizations.

Salary and Benefits

PHR offers competitive compensation, with options for medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation. PHR observes the last week of the calendar year as an opportunity to refresh, with all offices closed. 

How to Apply

Please combine your cover letter and resume as one pdf or a word document (no longer than two pages) and send it to Indicate your “Last Name/First Name, Asylum Program Associate” in the email subject line.

A complete application consists of:

  • A thoughtful cover letter explaining why you are qualified for/interested in the Asylum Program 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.

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