Careers and Internships at PHR | COVID-19 Policy Strategist

COVID-19 Policy Strategist

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which shared in the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, is a U.S.-based international advocacy organization working at the intersection of medicine, science, and law. With a global network of thousands of medical, scientific, and legal experts, PHR uses the power of medical and scientific evidence to document human rights and humanitarian law violations and prevent abuses, protect survivors, and promote justice and universal human rights for all.

Building upon its highly respected place in the field, and supported by a committed and talented team, PHR is seeking a Covid-19 Policy Strategist.   

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

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: This is a full-time temporary role through December 31, 2022. 

Reports to: Director of Research and Investigations

Organizational Overview

Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by five physicians who were united in the belief that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to prevent harm and promote respect for human rights. Since its founding, PHR has built a long and distinguished record of accomplishment by conducting groundbreaking investigations and advocacy, in concert with strategic partners.

PHR’s approach includes extensive documentation of the use of illegal and inhumane weapons in armed conflicts, attacks on civilians, and the physical and psychological impacts of torture and sexual violence as a weapon of war. Other core activities include protecting the rights of those seeking asylum in the United States, the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and halting attacks on medical facilities and frontline health professionals. 

Role Description

PHR is seeking a COVID-19 Policy Strategist to take a substantive leadership role in continuing to lead and expand PHR’s COVID-19 human rights response. This is a full-time temporary role until December 31, 2022.

The global health and human rights crisis presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of preparedness, denial of science, and politicization of the illness itself by powerful stakeholders worldwide has made physicians and other health professionals, including many in PHR’s network, some of the world’s most trusted leaders to guide our understanding of the pandemic and our response.

The crisis has created profound challenges and has also revealed grave inequities in our societies, including health disparities among marginalized populations and failures to adequately protect and support frontline workers. With this greater awareness, we have a unique opportunity to develop responses within a human rights framework. These issues are at the nexus of the mission and experiences    of Physicians for Human Rights and cut across all areas of existing work – research and investigations, advocacy, and communications.

Since March 2020, PHR has become increasingly a locus for information and advocacy and has filled a critical role as many entities respond to the pandemic. We mobilize a global, diverse group of human rights voices, with deep expertise in addressing the needs of many marginalized and persecuted groups: migrants and refugees, people in detention, people living in conflict zones, and frontline health workers. We have advocated for the protection of health workers, transparency, and a science-based approach to the pandemic, as  well as for equity in access to vaccines, diagnosis, and treatment. We have invested in our communications platforms to give voice to a global network of health professionals and human rights experts and we have provided guidance to policymakers and others on how to build responses that respect and reinforce human rights principles.

2022 will put even greater demands on PHR as we consider the human rights dynamics of ongoing vaccine access  and inequity, the continuing emergences of new variants, protections for health professionals who pay a heavy price for disinformation campaigns, and the politicization of a persistent health crisis.


  • Inform PHR’s response and strategies and identify new opportunities for engagement;
  • Lead the development and writing of communications and advocacy documents in collaboration with our staff and medical and public health experts. Publications will target health care workers,   policymakers, and the public, with a human rights framework and strategic targets for effective advocacy;
  • Regularly scan and monitor the relevant sources of information to inform PHR’s work. Serve as a  resource for up-to-date information on the COVID-19 issues determined to be in PHR’s workplan,   including informing our understanding of the populations that become most affected or underserved;
  • Play a key role in elevating the voices of scientists, health care workers, and “next generation”  clinicians by advising on topics and spokespeople for PHR’s webinar series and contributing content to populate our social media and traditional media efforts;
  • Coordinate across departments to harmonize content and messaging among the program, advocacy, and communications teams; and
  • Connect with existing and new partners and represent PHR in medical, scientific, and human rights coalitions and related campaigns.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

  • Background in global public health, with 5-7 years of professional experience;
  • Graduate degree in public health, international affairs, law, or related area a plus;
  • Knowledge of human rights frameworks;
  • Knowledge of the current lay of the land around COVID-related global inequities;
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills;
  • Experience designing and/or conducting advocacy; and
  • Ability to work on specific projects independently as well as facilitating cross-department  collaboration on COVID-19.

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 email cover letter and resume to Please include the job title of the position you  are applying for in the subject line of your email and where you saw this job posting in the email body.

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.