Careers and Internships at PHR | COVID-19 Senior Policy Expert

COVID-19 Senior Policy Expert

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

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

PHR is seeking a COVID Senior Policy Expert to take a substantive leadership role in deepening and expanding PHR’s COVID-19 human rights response.

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 around the COVID-19 pandemic and has filled a critical role as many entities respond to the crisis. 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, as well as for equity in access to diagnosis, treatment, and – soon – equitable delivery of vaccines. 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.

2021 will put even greater demands on PHR as we consider the human rights dynamics of vaccine access and the protection of health professionals, who have paid a heavy price for disinformation campaigns and the politicization of a 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 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 are 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; and 
  • Collaborate across departments to harmonize content and messaging among the program, advocacy, and communications teams. Connect with existing and new partners and support PHR representation in medical, scientific, and human rights coalitions. 

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

  • A background in global public health
  • Knowledge of human rights frameworks preferred
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills
  • Experience designing and/or conducting advocacy
  • Ability to work on specific projects independently as well as facilitating cross-department collaboration on COVID-19 


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

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 include salary expectations 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.