Careers and Internships at PHR | Program Officer, Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones (French-speaking)

Program Officer, Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones (French-speaking)

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 Program Officer, Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones (French-speaking).

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

Location: Boston, New York, or Washington, D.C. 

Reports to: Director, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

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.

Role Description

The Program Officer will work with the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones (the Program) to help strengthen forensic documentation and accountability for conflict-related sexual violence with a focus on children and adolescents. 

Physicians for Human Rights has recently embarked on a new initiative that aims to identify and cultivate best practices for medico-legal documentation of conflict-related sexual violence against children and adolescents, and elevate the use of these tools in national, regional, and international accountability spaces. The Program Officer will play a central role in the coordination, planning, strategy, and development of key initiatives for the Program, with a focus on our initiatives related to supporting child survivors of sexual violence. In executing these responsibilities, the Program Officer will work closely with our global teams, including specifically our team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to facilitate communication and alignment with strategic priorities and grant deliverables. The Program Officer will also support the Program’s child-focused work in Kenya and other priority countries as needed. The Program Officer will also partner with our global teams to advance key international, regional, and national advocacy initiatives relating to sexual violence in conflict zones.

The Program Officer’s responsibilities include effective deployment of resources, time, and funds for PHR projects. These projects involve complex coordination and require effective communication and creative and collaborative problem-solving. Building and maintaining strong, trust-based relationships internally and with external partners across cultures and geographies is an important function of this role. This is an exempt position which reports to the Director, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones. This is a one-year position with the opportunity for renewal for two additional years dependent on sustained grant funding. 


  • Support management and implementation of PHR’s child-focused strategy and activities in Kenya, DRC, and/or additional countries, including supporting high-quality execution of activities and tracking of project progress through management tools and ongoing monitoring and evaluation
  • Support the SVCZ team in convening international experts, documenting best practices, sharing lessons learned, and reviewing existing evidence and knowledge gaps on topics related to forensic documentation and sexual violence in children and adolescents
  • Serve as the focal point at PHR Headquarters to support the SVCZ’s programmatic initiatives in DRC, including supporting high quality, timely, and on budget implementation of grants, development of strategic vision and priorities, and efforts for resource mobilization including proposal development  
  • Lead implementation of the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones’ advocacy priorities at the global, regional, and national levels, including development of advocacy strategies, identifying advocacy partners, and preparing for advocacy meetings 
  • Monitor human rights and sexual violence issues, keeping the team informed of real-time developments
  • Provide overall project management to projects and activities including organizing processes, developing and implementing workplans, managing meetings, facilitating communications across different groups/teams, and updating on project progress as needed
  • Assist the team to maintain relationships with key stakeholders and other external parties
  • Draft, edit, or assist in the creation of programmatic outputs and communications products, such as PowerPoint presentations, training materials, manuals, blog posts, web, social media, and publication content as directed
  • Provide subject matter input and materials necessary to draft grant proposals 
  • Develop and manage detailed budgets, help monitor programmatic and grant-specific expenditures, and assist in budget tracking and reporting to funders/donors, ensuring adherence to timelines and spending guidelines
  • Any other general project-related and programmatic support, as needed 


  • Currently possesses appropriate authorization to work in the United States
  • Bachelors’ degree with at least 5 years’ progressive experience in research, public health, policy and/or advocacy. Alternatively, a graduate degree in public health, law, or other relevant subject area with 2-3 years’ years’ progressive experience in research, public health, policy, and/or advocacy
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and French required; additional languages desirable (especially Russian, Ukrainian, or Arabic)

Qualifications and Skills of the Ideal Candidate

  • Excellent writing and editing skills with a strong ability to translate complex, technical issues into accessible language for wider audiences 
  • Experience conducting advocacy at the international, regional, and/or national level, including development of advocacy strategies, identification of advocacy partners, and preparation for advocacy meetings and opportunities 
  • Experience working on sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health, human rights, and/or child rights required with experience doing so in DRC or other contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa preferred 
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, including expertise in using Excel 
  • Demonstrated project management and budget/expense tracking experience 
  • Experience in multimedia production, training, and developing training tools is a plus 
  • Strong work ethic with the ability to identify problems and develop solutions 
  • Strategic, creative, and innovative thinker with the ability to exercise measured and appropriate judgement 
  • Ability to engage experts, stakeholders, and partners in a professional and proactive manner
  • Effective and inclusive leader comfortable working in cross-cultural settings 
  • Adaptable, resourceful, and detailed oriented, with the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team 
  • Well-organized and able to effectively balance competing priorities and competing deadlines 
  • Analytical skills, with an ability to analyze data collected and inform programmatic decision- making. Strong quantitative skills with experience in monitoring and evaluation are a plus 
  • Willingness to travel to DRC, Kenya, and elsewhere for project implementation 
  • Demonstrated passion for PHR’s mission, and commitment to human rights and public interest work 

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in Boston, New York City or Washington, D.C. 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 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.

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