Careers and Internships at PHR | Senior International Advocacy Officer

Senior International Advocacy Officer

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.

Classification: Full-time 40 hours per week| Exempt

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.

Reports to: Deputy Director of Advocacy

Role Description

Located in New York City and reporting to the Deputy Director of Advocacy, the Senior International Advocacy Officer will develop and implement Physician for Human Right’s international advocacy strategies that build on and connect to PHR’s research and investigations, training and capacity development, and network-building initiatives. The Senior International Advocacy Officer will be responsible for the international component of PHR’s initiatives to identify, promote, and address human rights issues. Additionally, the Senior International Advocacy Officer will help mobilize and leverage the influence of health care workers, forensic scientists, and other allied professionals and constituents worldwide to advance human rights. 

Initially, a major priority for the Senior International Advocacy Officer will be coordinating advocacy efforts around PHR’s existing work to ensure protection, justice, and accountability for international crimes against Myanmar’s Rohingya population and Syrians who have experienced human rights violations including war crimes – two longstanding areas of PHR’s human rights work. The Senior International Advocacy Officer will also advance other areas of PHR’s international advocacy and help coordinate our evidence-based research and documentation of human rights violations to maximize advocacy impact.


  • Develop and implement PHR’s international advocacy strategies with a focus on identifying and following through on opportunities for PHR’s medical evidence and voices to have an impact.
  • Track and engage with the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization, other international and regional governing bodies, thought leaders, international professional associations, and international NGOs to position PHR’s research, training and capacity-building initiatives, and voices from PHR’s network to have impact on human rights law, policies and practices.
  • Join, develop, and maintain coalitions, working groups, and partnerships with a range of international professional associations and human rights organizations to advance PHR’s international advocacy.
  • Help build, maintain, and engage an international roster of PHR expert advocates and develop communications to strategically mobilize them and keep them informed.
  • Attend or help other PHR staff prepare for meetings with national and international governmental officials, the NGO community, and health worker networks and associations.
  • Monitor policy and related developments pertaining to the human rights programs and issues where PHR is engaged internationally and identify opportunities where PHR can strategically act alone or in alliance with others to strengthen human rights policy and practice.
  • Develop and implement campaign strategies and tactics through targeted messaging, convenings of internal and external experts and stakeholders, and outreach and engagement with medical health professionals and experts.
  • Contribute to the development of policy recommendations for PHR research reports and other products implicating human rights and medical ethics frameworks and obligations.
  • Develop and execute advocacy strategies to help further PHR’s programmatic advocacy goals, in collaboration with PHR program staff.
  • Provide to the PHR development staff subject matter input and materials necessary to draft grant proposals and grant reports for program donors.
  • Write and edit high-quality advocacy content, including petitions, letters, meeting requests, research briefs, factsheets, and other constituency-building communications.

Skills and Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree in public health, international relations, medicine, law, social sciences, education, or related field preferred.
  • At least five to eight years of relevant work experience in advocacy, international human rights, or public health.
  • Strong commitment to human rights with cross-cultural experience and cultural sensitivity.
  • Knowledge of international humanitarian and human rights law and policy, and familiarity with the workings of government, human rights bodies, NGOs, and professional associations.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Tech savvy and a natural problem solver.
  • Creative approach to developing issue-advocacy campaign strategies and tactics.
  • Adept at managing relationships with external stakeholders, including experience convening and facilitating workshops, coalition meetings, and advocacy meetings.
  • Energetic self-starter: ability to anticipate upcoming needs, work effectively under pressure with attention to detail, and prioritize and juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Advanced knowledge of Salesforce or other contact management database systems desired.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality, and to cope with repeated exposure to graphic and disturbing content.
  • Beyond English, fluency in one or more of French, Arabic, Chinese, or another official language of the United Nations preferred.

Salary & Benefits

The salary range for the Senior International Advocacy Officer position starts at $70,000 per year and may be adjusted commensurate with experience.

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

How to Apply

Please combine your cover letter and resume as a pdf or word document and send it to Please indicate “Last Name/First Name, job title” in the email subject line.

A complete application consists of:

  • A thoughtful cover letter explaining why you are qualified for/interested in this 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.