Careers and Internships at PHR | Senior Human Resources Manager

Senior Human Resources Manager

New York, NY

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which shared in the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, 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.

This impactful work is led by a dedicated and talented team across the USA, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries that has been instrumental in the growth of the organization over the past few years and increased impact in the communities and countries they serve. This role represents a truly unique opportunity for a dynamic, experienced, and entrepreneurial senior human resources manager to lead the HR function, bringing PHR to a new level of excellence in talent management and organizational development and provide a balance of strategic and tactical leadership in response to changing needs throughout the organization.

The ideal candidate will be a leader who is committed to human rights and social justice, with deep knowledge of best practices and values-based approaches to recruit, assess, grow, and retain top-quality, diverse talent and foster an equitable, just, and positive organizational culture. S/He/They will bring the capacity and experience to coach, mentor, and advise peers, senior leaders, and other people managers on best-in-class talent management practices. As the lead for the function, the senior HR manager will provide a vision and set the tone for all staff that is consistent with our organization’s mission, goals, and values. This leader will strengthen and build the HR function to best support the staff at this critical moment and oversee talent acquisition, diversity, equity, and inclusion, talent development and learning, performance management, total rewards, and employee wellness, as well as manage relationships with a professional employer organization and outside consultants.

This search is being conducted by Whitney Herrington and Paola Peacock of NPAG. Application instructions can be found at the end of this document.

Organizational Overview

Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by five physicians from differing backgrounds, compelled by first-hand experiences with human suffering in the United States and abroad, and 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. Individually and in concert with other groups, PHR continues to provide the medical and scientific facts about human rights abuses that bolster the legal and moral imperatives to alleviate human suffering, uphold human dignity, and save lives.

PHR’s approach includes extensive documentation of the use of illegal and inhumane weapons in armed conflicts, attacks on civilians, and collection of rigorous evidence of the physical and psychological impacts of torture and sexual violence as a weapon of war. Other activities central to the organization’s mission include protecting the rights of those seeking asylum in the United States, and halting attacks on medical facilities and persecution of frontline health professionals, who are frequently the first to respond to humanitarian and human rights emergencies.

With its dedicated staff, interns, consultants and hundreds of volunteers, Physicians for Human Rights:

  • Documents human rights and humanitarian law violations based on established medical science, clinical know-how, research, investigations, and forensic documentation that produce sound evidence of abuses, negating perpetrators’ “plausible deniability” and strengthening truth-telling and prosecution of perpetrators in local, regional, and international justice settings;
  • Trains and supports physicians, nurses, psychologists, lawyers, police officers, judges, and others in conflict and post-conflict regions to document torture, sexual violence, and other human rights and humanitarian law violations using forensic techniques so that there is an evidentiary foundation for promoting prevention, protection, justice, and redress;
  • Prevents human rights violations by working 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 – whose ethical standards compel them to competently treat patients regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation – when they are harassed, attacked, or jailed by authorities for carrying out their professional obligations;
  • Corroborates the human rights abuse claims of individuals fleeing government-sanctioned persecution and torture in their homelands through a network of more than 1,500 medical professionals, trained primarily through partnerships with medical schools, who conduct physical and psychological examinations of U.S. asylum-seekers; and
  • Uses what it learns through research, investigations, trainings, and examinations of victims to advocate for human rights policy reforms internationally and to prompt robust responses to humanitarian emergencies and human rights violations from state governments, regional bodies, and the United Nations.

Senior HR Manager Role: Opportunities and Challenges

The senior HR manager will report directly to the chief financial officer, with a dotted line to the executive director, and be a member of the organization’s leadership team (LT). S/He/They can expect to engage in the following core challenges and opportunities, all of which require a balanced lens between domestic and international field office relations:

Employee Relations and HR Partnership

The senior HR manager will serve as a strategic partner to the executive director and the leadership team, proactively identifying and improving areas of weakness regarding people, talent, structures, processes, and organizational culture. S/He/They will build relationships with departments and leaders across the organization to increase communication and transparency and to support HR needs. This role will also need to serve as a tactful HR leader for employees to discuss and problem-solve confidential and personal experiences within the organization.

Building and Managing Effective Systems, Policies, and Practices

The senior HR manager will evaluate the HR function for continuous improvement and identify and implement effective and efficient solutions. This includes managing the relationship and work of the organization’s professional employer organization (PEO), implementing Human Resource Information System (HRIS) technology to maintain employee data and information, and creating and updating organizational policies that reflect organizational values while complying with federal, country, state, and local laws and regulations.

This role will also manage PHR’s internship program which builds the skills of up-and-coming professionals through opportunities to work on substantive issues and provides responsibilities with an eye toward learning.

Managing Total Employee Lifecycle

The senior HR manager will manage all the programs of the full employee lifecycle to ensure staff are supported, engaged, and motivated to do their best work – from recruitment to onboarding, talent management, performance management and learning and development, compensation and benefits, to transition management and offboarding. In many cases, s/he/they will partner with external consultants to evaluate, develop, and implement HR programs across the organization.

Organizational Culture, Equity, and Inclusion

In partnership with senior leadership, the senior HR manager will play a critical role as “culture keeper” to create strategies that promote employee engagement, development, and retention and that foster a workplace that supports, accepts, and values differences between its people. S/He/They will lead and collaborate with the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) staff working group to evaluate, modify, and implement equitable organization-wide policies and systems that embrace and advance diversity at all levels of the organization.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

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

  • A deep commitment to advancing human rights and the communities affected by social injustice and human rights abuses.
  • Five to seven years of experience in human resources within a non-profit setting, with the ability to draw on experience and knowledge across many facets of the function, including employee recruitment and retention, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and personnel administration. Previous experience in an international setting and an aptitude across different cultures is considered highly beneficial.
  • Demonstrated success in developing, implementing, and continuously evaluating human resources policies and systems that support the mission and values of the organization and adhere with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Ability to be effective and comfortable in roles that require both strategic thinking and project management as well as tactical implementation.
  • Excellent communications skills with intuitive ability to tailor communication style to diverse audiences globally.
  • Experience building strong professional relationships, demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills, sound professional judgment, and high levels of integrity and accountability.
  • Proven ability to be sensitive to the needs of employees delivering critical assistance to extremely vulnerable populations and a work approach that demonstrates the empathy and patience needed to maintain a positive culture.
  • A high level of customer service, ability to work well in fast-paced environments, and ability to prioritize workload in response to dynamic contexts.
  • Responsive, solutions-focused, and results-oriented.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience. A master’s degree in human resources, organizational development, public administration, or another relevant field is a plus.

To Apply

This search is being conducted by Whitney Herrington and Paola Peacock 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-shrm@nonprofitprofessionals.comIn 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. 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.