Careers and Internships at PHR | Program Assistant

Program Assistant

For more than 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has used science and medicine to document and call attention to severe human rights violations around the world.

A global organization founded on the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to advocate against human rights violations, PHR shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its contributions to the international effort to ban landmines.

PHR’s investigations and expertise are used to document mass atrocities, advocate for the protection of persecuted health workers and medical facilities under attack, prevent torture, and hold those who violate human rights accountable.

PHR is poised for even greater growth and impact. As part of that strategy, we are seeking committed activists with a passion for human rights.

One such position is that of program assistant, whose responsibilities focus primarily on providing support to the director of programs in the operation of PHR’s program division, and in the implementation of programmatic activities. Core functions of this role include providing high-quality logistic, operational, administrative, and office coordination, as well as programmatic support.

Reports to: Director of Programs

Location: Headquarters, New York, NY

This position is grant-dependent. Under the terms of the grant, this position will start immediately and is estimated to last for up to one year. Any continuation beyond that point would be dependent upon securing additional grant-specific funding.


Administrative Support

  • Provide administrative support, such as scheduling, taking minutes at meetings, and creating and maintaining filing systems.
  • Draft letters, reports, and other communications as needed.
  • Process internal financial reporting, accounting, and program expenses, and track spend-down of program expenses, including consultant contracts, purchase orders, and others.
  • Handle logistics for staff and consultant travel, including security protocols, travel logistics, travel schedules, visas and travel documents, and other necessary items.
  • Procure, maintain, and track supplies for the program, and manage and oversee complex  supply inventory in multiple offices.
  • Act as the programs division’s point person for management and use of data collected and stored in SalesForce.

Research Support

  • Conduct editorial tasks, such as proofreading, fact checking, and referencing.
  • Conduct background research on key areas of interest pertaining to human rights.
  • Monitor emerging human rights issues in those areas covered by PHR’s programs, including collecting and analyzing information from a wide range of sources such as governments, NGOs, media, and others.

Programmatic Support

  • Write objective and accurate blog posts, helping feed social media/advocacy channels, and monitor social media, in collaboration with the communications department.
  • Help with the hiring and supervision of interns in coordination with the rest of the program team.
  • Any other general programmatic support as needed, including in the areas of training, research, and technology development.

Training Development and Capacity Building

  • Prepare and update materials such as PowerPoint presentations and evaluation forms for trainings and conferences, including ensuring quality control for materials produced by third-party vendors.
  • Set up distance learning sessions, including webinars or workshops.
  • Assist in the development of learning content for human rights and forensics trainings.
  • Gather and evaluate training program metrics for trends and quality improvement.

Qualifications and Experience of the Ideal Candidate

  • Bachelor’s degree as a minimum.
  • One to two years’ demonstrated research, analytical, and writing experience, preferably in a human rights or other international NGO.
  • Comfortable and versatile using Google apps, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and  Outlook.
  • Fluency in a second language is a plus.
  • Knowledge of expense-management systems, especially Concur, and use of SalesForce, a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally with multiple stakeholders and organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle multiple workflows and deliver in a timely fashion.

Skills and Qualities of the Ideal Candidate

  • Genuine interest in and commitment to human rights principles and values.
  • Energetic self-starter with the ability to anticipate upcoming needs and work with minimal supervision.
  • Strong analytical, writing, verbal, and organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Professional team player with mature judgment, strong sense of integrity, and strict confidentiality.
  • Ability to cope with exposure to graphic and disturbing human rights violation content.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours in response to emerging and urgent events.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in New York City, or remotely during Covid. 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

Please email cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to Please include the job title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email. Kindly indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter.

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.