Careers and Internships at PHR | Director of Programs

Director of Programs

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which shared in the Nobel Peace Prize, is a U.S.-based nonprofit working at the intersection of medicine, science, and law to end human suffering, save lives, and secure justice and universal human rights for all.  With a global network of thousands of medical, legal, and scientific experts, PHR uses the power of forensic expertise to document human rights and humanitarian law violations and prevent abuses protect survivors, and promote justice.  Building upon its highly respected place in the field, and supported by a committed and talented team, PHR seeks a new Director of Programs to leverage a worldwide network toward effective advocacy to alleviate  suffering.

The Director of Programs will directly supervise PHR’s directors of research and investigations, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, asylum and advocacy units, and medical director (co-report with executive director).  Together with this team, the Director of Programs will lead and shape programming that uncovers evidence of human rights abuses, provides training and capacity development for on the ground partners, and empowers a growing network of health professionals to become advocates for human rights as an extension of their work.

Director of Programs Role: Opportunities and Challenges

The Director of Programs will directly supervise PHR’s directors of research and investigations, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, asylum and advocacy units, and medical director (co-report with executive director). Together with this team, the Director of Programs will lead and shape programming that uncovers evidence of human rights abuses, provides training and capacity development for on the ground partners, and empowers a growing network of health professionals to become advocates for human rights as an extension of their work.

Specifically, the new director will:

  • Provide strategic leadership to ensure coordination and consistency, while fostering innovation across the program areas in alignment with PHR’s mission and values. S/he/they will lead PHR’s research and investigations, advocacy, capacity building and training, and asylum case management programs, leveraging the organization’s strengths and strategic plan, and ensuring that PHR’s programs adhere to the highest scientific and ethical standards and are designed and executed for maximum impact in advancing human rights.
  • Monitor the global human rights landscape and identify opportunities for new and enhanced program offerings and collaboration with new partners. S/he/they will leverage the strength of the organization’s place in the human rights sector to drive engagement and partnership with a vast network of health professionals and organizations worldwide. In particular, the new Director of Programs will be a key designer of PHR’s new advocacy programming, creating an organizational infrastructure and momentum to foster movement building within the network of global health professionals.
  • Nurture and support a highly committed, multi-disciplinary and geographically dispersed programmatic team, providing leadership to enhance team structures and systems that foster excellence, collaboration, and innovation. The new director will directly supervise the heads of the four programmatic units and will work proactively to understand the needs of staff as they conduct their work under ever-changing and difficult circumstances in the field. S/he/they will serve as a mentor and coach and build a culture in which team members feel valued, have opportunities for continued growth and learning, and are recognized for the unique contributions, perspectives, and commitment they bring to the work. The director will be a systems thinker with the ability to listen, motivate, and execute in a fluid, team-based environment. S/he/they will provide consistent, clear cross-team communication to build trust and promote team morale and transparency.
  • Represent PHR to partners and the public and collaborate internally and externally on fundraising and communications efforts. The new director will cultivate relationships with peer organizations and other leaders in the human rights sector and seek opportunities to engage in discussions and initiatives that advance PHR’s mission. S/he/they will write or shape reports and other published materials, presenting the organization’s research in a compelling and polished fashion. The director will also serve as a top spokesperson and advocate on international human rights issues, and engage with funders, media, international entities, and other key stakeholders in a way that reflects the values, vision, and goals of the organization.
  • As a member of executive leadership, inform and help shape PHR’s continued growth and impact. Serve as thought partner and collaborator with the executive director and other members of the leadership team and engage with the board of directors to support decision making and strategy.
  • Contribute to the ongoing development of a supportive, equitable, and inclusive work environment. The director will seek opportunities to deepen PHR’s collective understanding of and commitment to principles and practices that reflect diversity, equity, inclusion, and power.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

While no one candidate will possess all the qualifications listed below, the ideal candidate will embody many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • At least 10 years of progressive management experience in the human rights, humanitarian, public health, and/or legal advocacy fields, with a demonstrated ability to lead and inspire teams in multiple global locations, and to manage resources and budgets;
  • A record of success driving effective, integrated, and research-based human rights programming, including medical, scientific, public health, and/or forensic research and advocacy with a strong understanding of scientific research methods;
  • Demonstrated success navigating fast-paced, rapidly changing field environments; experience creating strategies, programs, and infrastructure that can maintain consistency while being innovative and responsive to circumstances unfolding in the field;
  • A deep commitment to advancing human rights and the communities affected by social injustice and human rights abuses; an understanding of the opportunities for advocacy in the international human rights landscape and how to leverage PHR’s unique space at the intersection of medicine, law, and human rights;
  • Experience with and enthusiasm for mentorship and staff development; ability to instill teams with a sense of shared commitment and purpose; demonstrated commitment to responsive, accountable leadership and the ability to inculcate those values into the team;
  • Experience in senior leadership and demonstrated success collaborating with a chief executive to inform and implement organization-wide strategy and systemic change;
  • Exceptional communication skills including compelling public speaking and persuasive writing skills, and the ability to defend and explain complex issues to broad audiences, including the media, senior officials, intergovernmental bodies, and donors; fluency in using digital tools, including social media, to engage audiences is preferred;
  • Familiarity with organizational fundraising strategies; ability to understand strategic opportunities and to develop the case for support for complex and long-term program initiatives;
  • An advanced degree in public health, medicine, international relations, international law, social sciences, or other relevant field is preferred; and
  • A willingness to travel as needed, sometimes internationally on short notice.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in New York City. Salary is commensurate with experience. PHR offers comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation.

How To Apply

This search is being conducted by Allison Kupfer Poteet, Linh Nguyen, and Melinda Hull of the national search firm NPAG.  Nominations and applications, including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and your resume (in Word or PDF format) should be submitted to: PHR-DP@nonprofitprofessionals.com.  In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff.