Careers and Internships at PHR | Deputy Director, Advocacy – Consultancy

Deputy Director, Advocacy – Consultancy

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 violations of human rights and humanitarian law, 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 seeks a Deputy Director, Advocacy to join the New York-based Communications team. 

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

Location: Washington D.C. 

Reports to: Director of Advocacy and Policy

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. 

With its dedicated staff of approximately 50 people, dozens of interns, consultants, and thousands of volunteer experts, Physicians for Human Rights: 

  • Produces evidence about human rights violations based on medical science, research, investigations, and forensic documentation that supports prosecution of perpetrators in local, regional, and international justice settings; 
  • Trains and supports medical, law enforcement, legal, and justice professionals in conflict and post-conflict regions to document torture, sexual violence, and other violations so that there is an evidentiary foundation for prevention, protection, justice, and redress for these crimes; 
  • Works with medical associations and individuals to reinforce the highest standards of medical ethics and uphold their professional obligation to “do no harm”; 
  • Defends medical professionals when they are harassed, attacked, or jailed by authorities for carrying out their professional obligations; 
  • Corroborates the human rights abuse claims of people fleeing government-sanctioned persecution and torture through a network of more than 2,000 medical professionals who conduct physical and psychological examinations of U.S. asylum seekers; and 
  • Advocates for human rights policy reforms globally and for robust responses to rights violations from local and national governments, regional bodies, and the United Nations. 

Role Description

PHR is seeking a four-month short-term consultant to serve as acting Deputy Director, Advocacy during the Deputy Director’s parental leave, from October 2023-January 2024. The consultant is responsible for coordinating and supporting PHR’s advocacy work across its portfolios, but with particular emphasis on issues in the United States, and would ideally be based in Washington, D.C. The consultant will work in collaboration with and report to the Director of Advocacy and Policy, based in New York, to implement PHR’s advocacy strategy at the U.S. domestic level, representing the organization externally and working in close collaboration with the Program and Communications teams.


  • Maintain and expand collaborative relationships with a broad array of stakeholders including coalition and other partners, health professional constituencies, including the PHR Student Advisory Board, to help strategically advance PHR’s advocacy and brand within the U.S. and internationally.
  • Provide leadership in advancing our U.S.-oriented advocacy objectives related to access to abortion in the U.S., the rights of asylum-seekers, policing reform and the use of crowd-control weapons.
  • Support PHR’s and PHR’s partners’ additional international advocacy priorities, primarily relating to the situations in Ukraine, Syria, and Eastern Africa, as needed.
  •  Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate 

  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree (J.D, M.A. in Human Rights, Political Science or related field) preferred.
  • 5-8 years’ experience conducting advocacy in the context of the U.S. specifically, D.C.-based advocacy.
  • Substantive knowledge of U.S. asylum policy, reproductive rights and/or policing reform a plus.
  • Passion and commitment to human rights and a demonstrated affinity with PHR’s mission.
  • Deep knowledge of how the U.S. federal government and its branches function.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in teams as well as independently.
  • Excellent judgement and resourcefulness.
  • Excellent writing, communications and organizational skills
  • Strong team player with excellent interpersonal skills, maturity, creativity, flexibility, patience and a good sense of humor.
  • Being based in Washington D.C. strongly desired.

Salary and Benefits

This is a short term, 4-month consultancy position located in Washington, D.C. Compensation is commensurate with experience.

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.